Category: Archive

Hope lives this Christmas at some Boston churche

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

It was at such a meeting between the lay committee and aggrieved parishioners at Blessed Kateri in West Plymouth that led to O’Malley’s decision last week to keep that church open. In a statement, the archbishop attributed its reversal to “a better understanding of the dramatic residential development and population growth in Plymouth,” which is the largest town in Massachusetts.
That reversal, and a recent flurry of outreach by the archdiocese to some of the closed churches, has given hope to parishioners in places such as Newton, Weymouth and East Boston.
At St. Albert’s in Weymouth, which is the site of the longest and most organized vigil in the archdiocese, O’Malley recently met with parishioners and then announced that Christmas Masses will be held at that closed church.
“It was an open, cordial and free-flowing meeting that we had with the archbishop,” parishioner Mary Akoury said after the meeting. As one of the vigil leaders, she told the Echo that the Christmas season will be brighter because of that meeting. “This gives us hope that the archbishop will reverse his decision and let our church stay open,” she said.
Earlier this year, Archbishop O’Malley cited financial woes stemming from the sexual-abuse crisis, declining attendance, a shortage of priests, deteriorating buildings and shifting demographics as reasons for the sweeping parish reconfiguration, in which 83 of the 357 churches would be closed. Nearly 50 have been closed thus far.
At St. Bernard’s in Newton, parishioners voted last week to continue their 24-hour vigil, even though the archdiocese recently permitted the church to remain open for at least the next six months while a possible merger with another church is considered.
At St. Albert’s, Akoury said that a former pastor of the church is coming back to celebrate the Christmas Masses.
“We’re hopeful that this is just the beginning, and that our doors will remain open,” she said.

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