WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) Sunday marked the final mass at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Winooski.
The Burlington Catholic Diocese decided that after the current pastor, Stephen Hornat, left Vermont, there will be not be another priest assigned to the church.
Officials say the decision was made due to a shortage of priests, declining attendance, and numerous other Catholic churches in the area.
Father Hornat says the church was filled to the allowed capacity by regular parishioners and familiar faces that he hasn't seen in years. He says it was a somber and tearful goodbye, but everyone left with a smile on their face.
"People have been married here, people have been baptized here and so it was a wonderful gathering of different generations of parishioners that came together, it was very emotional," he said.
The diocese says there are several other churches in the Winooski area for parishioners to try. St. Stephen's will still be used for funerals.