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Historic Catholic church closes in San Antonio after decades

Last mass at historic church

San Antonio's Saint Stephens Catholic Church along S. Zarzamora has officially closed. It served downtown for more than five decades. When news of the closing was first announced back in June, many people couldn't believe it.

"I just feel real sad about it, because we won’t see this anymore” said Ester Cadena a member of the church.

According to officials, the church was forced to shut down because of its small attendance. The last service was held on Sunday afternoon.

"Very sad emotions you know,” said Cadena, “I can't explain it.”

“I can't believe this is the last time we are going to have mass,” said RoseAnn Trevino a member of the church.

Like many at St. Stephens, Trevino has been attending services there her entire life. She tells us she never imagined that it would close down.

"When I heard about it, it tore my heart because it was my whole life,” said Trevino. “Being here, it meant so much to me.

On Sunday the building was standing room only, as much of the community came out for the last service.

“We're still going to be remembering this church forever, in our hearts,” said Trevino.

We did catch up with Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller after the service.

He says today was a tough day for him and for those who attended mass at St. Stephens every week.

"We have great hope because the people who have been coming to St. Stephens will be served even better,” said Archbishop Garcia-SIller. “The gifts that have been given by individuals will be shared with other parish communities."

The Archbishop says the parish will continue being a Catholic site.

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