All jokes aside, the advent of the St. Dorothy Catholic Community Sunday mass in what used to be a neighborhood gay bar, St. Matthews Tavern, was something of a divine intervention. The bar’s new owner, Matthew Fassl, happened to be attending one of the Catholic group’s Winter Park meetings at its previous home in a wedding chapel when he heard that the group was about to be displaced. He offered up his watering hole as a place to hold services, and from there, one of Mills Avenue’s most striking anomalies was born: a church in a bar. The mix works remarkably well, with Holy Communion preceding the opening of the actual liquor bar by an hour; also, the reclaimed church pews add a certain profundity to the interior decor, even after Jesus has left the building.
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