Union City church reopens 16 months after major fire

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UNION CITY -

A Union City church is back up and running after a massive fire shut it down almost two years ago.

A mass was held Saturday after Cardinal Joseph William Tobin promised parishioners their church would reopen after a fire severely damaged their building and killed a 2-year-old boy. 

Saint Joseph and Michael Parish was badly damaged last March when a fire in a neighboring apartment building spread to the nearly 120-year-old church. The steeple fell off and there was major damage to the sanctuary. 

"I went to my file to look for a good sermon for consecrating a church that been burned," said Cardinal Tobin. "I couldn't find one."

The church actually had to close its doors as 700 people showed up to the reopening that was 16 months in the making.

The reconstruction cost around $6 million.

Two men pleaded guilty to charged related to the fire including the father of a 2-year-old who died during the incident.

The church still has a few more things to repair but made their goal of reopening before Christmas.

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