UPDATE: The Old Cathedral announced Wednesday afternoon that it will be open for Holy Week services. Here are the times of services this week:
- 5:30 p.m. service on Holy Thursday
- Noon service on Good Friday
- 8:00 p.m. Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday
- 8:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon Easter Sunday services
ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Saturday night strong winds caused widespread damage through most of the News 4 viewing area Sunday morning.
The Old Cathedral in downtown St. Louis did not get a pass on the weather as the high winds pulled part of its 100-year-old roof off.
All Palm Sunday services had been cancelled after rain leaked inside of the Old Cathedral because of the damage; however, they hope to re-open Easter Sunday.
Father Richard Quirk said almost three quarters of the roof was ripped off. He said the sanctuary has been decorated for Palm Sunday but the leakage couldn't have been controlled in time. The roof is currently being worked on and a waterproof molding is being installed under a new permanent roof. The permanent roof will take longer due to needing to work with the National Park Service to ensure it matches the historic significance of the church.
"They've used towels to try and soak some of that up," Quirk said. "The Cathedral was anticipating over 1,000 parishioners to attend."
The historic building was established as the first Catholic Church in St. Louis in the early 1800s.
Quirk said the building was renovated a couple years ago and he's worried the high winds damage will affect the newly restored structure. They are still waiting for inspections on the plaster ceiling. Until then, masses remain canceled.
"What we're concerned about is if the rain continues, off and on, and we don't know how much rain came down last night, that there will be plaster damage to all that art work that we had accomplished," Quirk said.
Cathedral leaders temporarily covered the roof with a tarp.
"We're fairly creative folks to tell the truth, so we will come up with solutions," Quirk said. "But not today."