Ceiling collapses at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Passaic

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Toni Yates has the story

A church in New Jersey is changing plans for Easter services after a portion of its ceiling collapsed.

Holy Thursday church services were canceled at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Passaic following the collapse.

The extent of the damage is unknown. The Diocese of Paterson will be sending insurance investigators to St. Anthony's.

No one was inside when the ceiling came down. The church posted pictures of the damage.

Holy Week Masses usually are held across the street in the church's gymnasium to accommodate higher attendance, but includes a procession into the main church for a celebration of the Eucharist.

This year, Communion was in a small room at the parish center.

"The lady who cleans the church heard a noise. She ran to the office to tell us, it was about 5 minutes and when we came back, the ceiling was already down," said the Rev. Edgar Rivera.

To this parish that has let nothing get in the way of its observances, the collapse is a minor inconvenience needing major repairs.

Insurance will cover some, but St. Anthony of Padua is also accepting donations.

Rev. Rivera tells The Record parishioners had noticed the ceiling beginning to sag earlier in the week.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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