Novena Prepares for Severe Weather

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SCRANTON -- After nine days of prayer and celebration, St. Ann's Novena is coming to an end, but not without a bang. Severe weather made it a challenging day for the Feast of St. Ann, but Novena coordinators and visitors came prepared.

As churchgoers prepare for the Feast of St. Ann. Novena, coordinators spent the day prepping for another big event severe weather.

"There are some chairs around here that have bigger backs. We're taking all of those in. Because of the winds. We don't want them to blow into anybody's car or into anything like that," said Brian Hallock, Novena coordinator.

In addition to the chairs, plants were tied down and the piano brought in as organizers decided to move the 11:45 mass indoors. The tents are staying put since Big Top Tents said they're strong enough to withstand the storms.

Some who made the trip to St. Ann's are not pleased about attending the Novena inside.

"This sort of messed up our day here. I wanted to see an outside mass today, but mass is mass whether it's outside or inside," said Ron Androshick of Pottsville.

"I'd rather for church to be outside instead of inside," said Jim Riley of South Carolina.

Even though the 11:45 mass was moved indoors. People are still out, taking their chances until those first raindrops come down.

"I'm sure that the weather will hold out for us. If not we'll go in the church, but I'll stay out," said Rosemary Finucci of Scranton.

The church can hold up to 1000 people, and about 4000 are expected for the closing mass at 7:30. If it needs to be indoors, people will have to squeeze under the tents outside.

Mary Burns, who came with jacket and umbrella in tow, said it's all worth it to honor St. Ann.

"The priests always have beautiful homilies and it's just wonderful. I feel awe-inspired when I leave here," said Mary Burns of Berwick.