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Another Save For Yankees’ Mariano Rivera: New Rochelle’s North Avenue Church

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(credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

(credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork / AP) — It’s another save for Mariano Rivera.

A Christian congregation that includes the star Yankees reliever is taking over a century-old church in New Rochelle and promising to restore it.

Rivera said at a news conference Tuesday that he fell in love with the North Avenue Church the moment he saw it. Rivera says his Spanish-language congregation had been looking for a permanent home.

“It is a privilege for me to be here,” Rivera said. “To me it’s worth it to have this beautiful church renovated in the city of New Rochelle.”

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The church, built in 1907, has been owned by the city for decades and has been vacant and falling into disrepair. Its bell tower was removed last year for safety reasons.

“We have a lot of goals to work with the youth,” said Rivera. “That is my passion. We are working hard to make it open as soon as possible.”

Mayor Noah Bramson says Rivera’s church will lease the building, restore it and eventually buy it for $1. The cost of the restoration has been estimated at $3 million.

“It is a much beloved structure in New Rochelle history,” said Mayor Bramson. “We are here to celebrate to bring the church back to its original luster.”

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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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