The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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February 3, 2013

Chapel ownership changes

— Ownership of the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel has changed hands, but its mission will stay the same.

On Jan. 24, Archbishop Ramzi Musallam of Catholic Church of the East officially became sole owner of the memorial chapel and its properties.

An agreement was signed between Musallam and retired Catholic Church of the East Bishop Alphonse Mascherino, who purchased the old seed warehouse in 2002 and turned it into a nondenominational chapel.

The chapel is located about three miles from the crash site. It annually attracts thousands of people who come to pay their respects to the victims of United Airlines Flight 93.

“My avowed commitment is to continue the mission of the chapel as envisioned and developed for more than 11 years,” Musallam said in a statement. “To honor the glory of God and to the memory of the 40 heroes of Flight 93 and all innocents who perished Sept. 11, 2001.”

Plans calls for the conversion of the chapel guest house as the first phase of the Flight 93 Chapel Memorial Museum and the construction of the memorials that were planned by Mascherino.

“The artifacts and relics presently displayed in the chapel will be permanently preserved and displayed in the new museum,” Musallam said.

He expects to dedicate the museum on

Sept. 11.

“Bishop Mascherino has passed the baton on to us and we accept it and commit ourselves to protect, preserve, and develop his vision and his commitment,” Musallam said.

Mascherino, who suffers from a terminal form of cancer, celebrated his last service at the chapel Jan. 20.

“I extend special gratitude to the chapel board of directors who have contributed so much time and talent during this last year to help stabilize the chapel financial structure and help visualize a new future for the chapel, chapel museum and chapel memorial,” Mascherino said in a statement.

For information on the chapel, call 444-8339.

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