TAMAQUA, Pa. -- A Roman Catholic church in Schuylkill County will be closing soon.
The announcement came at Masses over the weekend: after 150 years, St. Jerome's Church in Tamaqua is closing.
"It's a historical church," Fred Roberge said.
"(I'm) disappointed. The church has been here for a long time, longer than me anyway," said Paul Moyer.
Back in 2014, St. Jerome and SS. Peter and Paul Churches in Tamaqua combined into one parish, St. John XXIII with two churches. Now, one of them will no longer be used.
Community members say they had a feeling it was coming.
"About a week ago started the little gossipy thing in this little town and people were discouraged," said Debra Rogers.
The church's pastor says his members shouldn't worry because they will still be able to attend their normal services.
All services will be moved to SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Tamaqua.
"For me, since I don't have transportation, it's easier for me to get to this other church here, which is SS. Peter and Paul," Roberge said.
The pastor says the decision was made to close this church because the building is so old and the parish can't afford to renovate it.
Even still, members are saddened about the loss to the community.
"People were really discouraged when they heard about it. We have a lot of people coming in and saying it's been a landmark forever and their children have gone to school here, Confirmation and different things. With it closing, it's sad."
The combined church services will start at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church on May 20.