93
      Friday
      92 / 72
      Saturday
      92 / 74
      Sunday
      92 / 74

      St. Patrick residents ask, "what if?"

      St. Patrick's Day is only two weeks away.

      One Missouri town that is known for its special cancellation stamp during this time of year could be seeing its last few months of postal service.

      "Once the post office is closed, your community kind of loses its identity," Marcia Hardin said.

      Hardin and her family own the post office in St. Patrick, Missouri. The Saint Patrick post office is part of a postal service plan to shut down almost 3,700 small post offices nationwide, but no official closing notice will be made until May.

      "We had a meeting last September, October when the man from the postal service came and he had a meeting with everyone in the community and said it was slated to be closed," Hardin said.

      "We're not sure yet," Father Paul Hartley said. "So we're kind of hoping that we'll be overlooked and everything will be fine, but we don't really know at this point what's really going to happen."

      Father Hartley is the pastor of the Shrine of St. Patrick Parish. Each year, the church hosts a fundraiser with the post office for St. Patrick's Day. With the possibility of a closure, the church may also suffer, so the town is preparing.

      "Well, we're going to try to make arrangements where there will still be a postmark for St. Patrick's Day," said Father Hartley. "We can maybe work something out with postal service that they will be able to put up a temporary postal station that we can continue to mark St. Patrick's Day in that special way."

      Until then, the town wants to focus on this year's St. Patrick's Day.

      "Despite the things that seem to be going on, we believe that this St. Patrick's Day is a sign that things are going to be continuing," Father Hartley said.

      "We'll still keep on doing what we're doing and hopefully, the postal service will see how important this is and let us continue with the post office here," Hardin said.

      The post office currently pays $100 for monthly rent and supplies the salary of the post master. Residents are hoping that the relatively small cost for the postal service will allow the office to stay open.