PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The doors closed for good on Sunday at Our Lady of Angels Church in West Philadelphia.

The Archdiocese officially closed the parish five years ago, although the church remained in use as a worship site.

At the last Mass, it was standing room only. Theresa DiBattista says Our Lady of Angels was built when ethnic groups were separated by more than language.

“This church was built by the people because when the Italian immigrants came, the Irish immigrants wouldn’t let them worship at St. Gregory’s. They literally built this church themselves.”

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Since then, attitudes and technology have evolved. Mike Pagnottelli says the farewell mass was organized through that most social of media, Facebook.

“I was one of the ones who helped put this thing together, and I’m overwhelmed. It’s a lot more people than I ever expected. I can’t remember the last time I saw the church this crowded.”

Reported by Molly Daly, KYW Newsradio

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