ST. CLOUD - While many consider a church just a building, people in Melrose considered St. Mary's Church a part of the city's identity and in some cases a family heirloom.

So when the Diocese said it wanted to build a new structure instead of restoring a church that's on national registry, church goers were astonished and wondered how they could take away a big piece of the community.

After feeling like the wrong decision was made, the St. Mary's Church community decided to protest at the Diocese on the eve of Easter during Mass.

Monica Kraker was one of the protesters in front of St. Mary's Cathedral. Kraker says the protest is to make sure they are being heard.

"We believe St. Mary's church deserves a chance to be restored and we feel like we haven't been heard. Basically the decision has been made for us, and we just feel as if we need a chance to be heard and have a say in the matter. It shouldn't be decided by people who have no personal connection to St. Mary's Church.  "

People in the Melrose community, whether they went to the church or not, found some identity in the Church. St. Mary's is a staple of Melrose, with many remembering the city by the one-of-a-kind spirals of St. Mary's Church.

Michele Schulzetenberg was also protesting in front of the Cathedral. She says losing the church is like losing a part of yourself.

"This is also a very important part of our city, much the same as this building here (St. Mary's Cathedral), this is a big part of St. Cloud. If this wasn't in the skyline of St. Cloud I think they would feel it, it would be a hole in the heart of St. Cloud and we feel the same thing."

While many are upset with the decisions being made for them, they say the most upsetting part is that no one from the Diocese is communicating with them. The group of protesters said they feel as if everything that's being decided is done in secret without a care for what the church community wants.

More From AM 1240 WJON