The new year brings major changes for a local church victimized by arson.
A fire was set Tuesday inside St. Monica Catholic Church in Creve Coeur. Sunday morning parishioners gathered in their temporary home, the neighboring St. Monica Catholic school gymnasium, for the first mass of 2017.
Missing from the service was the church's pulpit, altar and presidential chair. All those items were damaged or destroyed by the fire.
But what was present in abundance was the spirit of faith and togetherness.
"We're the church. It's not the building," said parishioner Linda Goldkamp. "It doesn't matter where we are. We can be in the gym or outside, any place."
St. Monica parish leaders say it'll be at least three weeks before services can be held inside the church. They're received calls from the St. Louis Rabbinical Association as well as other churches in the area offering support and assistance.