Century-old rectory torn down in Grand Lake | SkyHiNews.com

Century-old rectory torn down in Grand Lake

by Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Because of mold and bat guana in the attic, the rectory at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Grand Lake was demolished Friday. (Photo by Tonya Bina)

The St. Anne’s Catholic Church rectory in Grand Lake was demolished Friday because it had been overtaken by mold and bat guano ” causing illness in those who stayed there.

The area’s previous priest, Father Frank Gerber, lived in the rectory next to St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Grand Lake for 12 years. Unbeknownst to him, an estimated 400 bats found their way to the attic during summer months.

Over time, the air quality problems in the home began to show signs in his health.

Gerber complained of persistent breathing problems upon leaving last summer, according to Father Michael Freihofer, his replacement.

When Freihofer’s moved to Grand County, he slept in the home, but after just two days, he suffered a bloody nose that lasted for more than four days, he said.

When the home was inspected, the individual who conducted the work suffered a sore throat after just three hours of being in the home.

Freihofer, who conducts mass for St. Anne’s, St. Bernard of Montjioux and Our Lady of the Snow Catholic churches, moved into the priest living quarters in Granby, displacing the Our Lady of the Snow Church office. The church is now building a temporary office in the basement.

The rectory in Grand Lake was a century-old cabin beneath a series of additions. Rather than a foundation, the structure was built on boards over dirt.

“But the big news,” Freihofer said, “is that our goal is to have a prayer garden in its place.”

-Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext 19603 or e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com.

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