Save Our Parish Community
Parishoners Rise Up

Parishioners in Toledo, New Hampshire and Boston, are turning to the civil courts, actively resisting, and/or offering alternatives to diocesan decisions to close or merge their parishes. In Boston, parishioners from Sacred Heart Parish proposed an alternative plan in which it would share a pastor rather that merge.  While other dioceses permit such clustering, Archdiocesan policy until now, was that every parish must have its own pastor. 

Meanwhile in Scituate, MA vigilling parishioners from St. Frances Cabrini parish are pursing a civil lawsuit seeking a temporary injunction to prevent the archdiocese from selling the church or its property. In July a second hearing of the suit was heard at the Suffolk Superior Courthouse. Parish attorneys are citing laws about the role of the archbishop as a trustee in making their case.

In Toledo, members of two former parishes, St. Joseph Church in Salem Township and St. James Church in Kansas, Ohio filed civil lawsuits. St. James parishioners want to retrieve $78,000 of parish assets taken by the diocese when the parish was closed following months of 24 hour vigilling by parishioners. In mid July, parishioners from United Parishes, Voice of the Faithful and SNAP also staged a protest outside diocesan offices.

In New Hampshire, state representative, Fran Wendelbore, hopes to stave off eventual closure of her St. Agnes parish by spearheading a formal appeal to the Vatican to avoid merging with two other churches in neighboring towns.  Wendelbore believes church leaders are already planning to close her parish despite objections raised by parishioners: “People say that politics is dirty.  I’m a politician and I have never seen such filthy politics as church politics, ever.”

Save Our Parish Community Crisis Kit  A special “crisis kit"  is available for free downloading (Download the Crisis Kit). It provides immediate information, canonical and civil resources, and discernment tools for viable parishes deciding what to do when faced with closing or merger. Even more comprehensive resources available soon.