Oakland Park Church Reopens After Being Destroyed in Fire

All Saints Catholic Mission burned a month ago in a fire, but a picture of Jesus remained unharmed.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A special service marked the newly-restored building's reopening for worshipers whose hearts remained with the church. NBC 6's Betty Yu spoke with Father Bob Caudill about the experience.

    It's been one month since parishioners praised the Lord inside All Saints Catholic Mission in Oakland Park.

    The church closed last month after a fire that burned its tabernacle, two big-screen TVs on the sides of the altar.

    A special service marked the newly-restored building's reopening for worshipers whose hearts remained with the church.

    Oakland Park Church Fire

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    Dozens of people came to worship in the great outdoors in Oakland Park Sunday at the Praise Sanctuary Church, just days after an electrical fire ripped through its attic.

    "We're happy to be back here," said Father Bob Caudill. "Our faith doesn't exist in stones or pews or things, but it exists in our relationship with God."

    That relationship was strengthened by a picture of a simling Jesus hanging in the church that remained unharmed while everything else burned and melted in the fire, which was thought to be caused by electrical problems.

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    Police on Tuesday night identified Catalina Gomez Pelaez, 27, as the victim of a fatal crash outside a school cafeteria in West Kendall earlier in the day. Miami-Dade Police said driver Nuris Better, 73, has not been charged at this time in the incident which took place across the street from a church called Our Lady of Lourdes. Student Justin Rodriguez, Our Lady of Lourdes spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta, parent Mario Sufrain and parishioner Maggie Raman spoke about the incident.

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    "I think that's God, anybody else would say that was good luck or some chance, but no it's God's hand," Caudill said.

    Also on display during the service was an image of the Virgin Mary that appeared out of soot amid the debris.

    "It's like the message of Easter, there has to be a little death a little pain and then you rise up and you're much stronger before than before, we're much stronger people now," Caudill said.

    The church was rebuilt in a month's time with the help of the community. About $60 thousand in damages were covered by local companies who donated fixtures including air conditioners, pews and windows. workers rewired the building at no cost.

    "When things happen in the world, that we can't really control, if we come together and really keep our faith, we can accomplish more than we ever could imagine," said parishioner Paul Haddad. 

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