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Rev. Alphonse Mascherino, 69, left Catholic Church, founded chapel to honor United 93 victims

The Memorial Chapel for United 93 victims Shanksville Pa. | Keith Srakocic~AP files

The Memorial Chapel for United 93 victims in Shanksville, Pa. | Keith Srakocic~AP files

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Updated: February 24, 2013 12:44AM

SOMERSET, Pa. — A priest who left the Roman Catholic church and founded a nondenominational chapel to honor the victims of hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 has died.

The Rev. Alphonse Mascherino died Friday after a long battle with cancer. Archbishop Ramzi Musallam of the Catholic Church of the East says Rev. Mascherino died at a Somerset hospice.

Rev. Mascherino, who was 69, bought a former Lutheran church and converted it into the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel to honor 40 passengers and crew killed when the airliner crashed during the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Then Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Joseph Adamec said Rev. Mascherino’s work was commendable but not compatible with his Catholic priesthood.

Rev. Mascherino went on to become a bishop in the North American Old Roman Catholic Church.


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