Last January, I told you the story of a cancer patient, Greg Thomas, who worked on restoring the 150-year-old Budejovice Church/St. John’s Chapel near Montgomery. Now it is part of the Holy Redeemer Parish.

Now he says he does not feel welcome there anymore. According to KARE 11, he is no longer allowed to be in the church without an escort, and he can only come there to pray.

Thomas says he was forced to cancel a Christmas open house, a similar event drew at least 500 people last year. He told KARE 11 that "it was a bitter pill and truly sad."

He was asked to come to Holy Redeemer Church, the owner of the little church and cemetery. He was addressed by Trustee Greg Mach.

Thomas said Mach told him the parish was grateful for the restoration work, but they had objections to a gas fireplace that was installed along with electrical service. The parish was concerned that they would have to take on the expense of insuring the property if it were completely fixed up. A lack of restrooms, handicap access and parking were issues as well. The parish wants to have the little church be a showpiece without access to the public. Thomas feels it should be open for worship and enjoyment inside and out.

Mach admits now there was some miscommunication. The parish has said now that they were going to change the locks and that Thomas can only go into the church with an escort to pray, because he is not a parishioner of Holy Redeemer.

Thomas' work on the church started in 2008. He had once beaten the Stage 4 head and neck cancer, but it returned last year and the diagnosis is not good. He has a book and has been public speaking about his life. He is also trying to become a minister.

Stephen Senzel Thinkstock
Stephen Senzel Thinkstock

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