Parishioners at Our Lady of Angels gather at prayer service after fire destroyed school

- A Delaware County community is leaning on one another in prayer. Their school was destroyed in a fire last week. Now, they're trying to move forward.

READ MORE: Our Lady of Angels school to open on time after fire; Virgin Mary statue saved

There was a standing ovation for first responders at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in Morton. It's the first time they’ve been back since battling last week's massive fire that destroyed Our Lady of Angels Regional Catholic School.

Lost in the fire was 17 years of memories and pictures from the classroom of 2nd grade teacher Sarah Walkowiak.

"Tonight, we’re going to thank him and Mary for protecting us as she always does," she said.

She, her 3 children and 400 other students of Our Lady of Angels will start the year inside the classrooms at nearby Cardinal O’Hara High School.

"I tell them that we are going on a little adventure and that we’re going to be OK." Walkowiak said.

The shock of last week’s fire is now replaced by hope and prayer. The auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese celebrated mass next to the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that was salvaged by firefighters

"We in turn have to work together, stick together to get the job done so to speak to rebuild and reopen. it will involve a lot of patience and perseverance and sacrifice," Auxiliary Bishop John J. McIntyre said. 

The message is the school is much more than just a building what matters most is the people and faith inside.

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