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St Annes Church in Fall River set to close

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According to a statement issued by Bishop Da Cunha, St Anne’s Church is set to close.

The statement, which was issued to parishioners on Saturday, states that the iconic Church will be set to close November 25th. The Bishop stated reasons such as the cost to repair the church, changing demographics in the diocese and decline in parish membership.

A call to the church rectory also confirmed the sad news.

According to St. Anne’s Church committee member Richie Affonso, the parish was taking pledges to get an idea of how much money could be raised, but it was a monumental task.

To renovate the building enough to re-open the upper church at Saint Anne’s Parish and Shrine, it will cost approximately $13.5 million dollars.

The parish has been having mass in the lower church for several years due to structural issues in the upper level of the building.

If you remember on April 5th, Bishop da Cunha stated the possible combining or closure of parishes in the Fall River diocese. The Bishop also stated that although parishioners become attached to a building of worship, and he realized the importance of that, he does not see the church as a building.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Everett

    October 13, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Bull**** bishop Da cunha !! This church can be saved !!!!!!!!!1

  2. Fr Jakob Thibault

    October 13, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    If the parishioners raise the money to buy it, I will serve it as a priest

  3. elizabeth beers

    October 14, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Shouldn’t there have been active fundraising started before deciding to close or was that the way it was suppose to go so that St Annes Hospital could acquire the church and do whatever just like it did with the school not to mention giving up the rectory some years back so that is a non issue also.No fight at all was given to save the church nor the Rectory and so do you really expect people to endear themselves to become parishioners with this kind of non action?? I think not.Close them all.

  4. E Costa

    October 14, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    I feel this is such an evil act to close one of the most beautiful churches in New England and perhaps the US. They never even tried a fundraiser. There’s more to the picture than meets the eye. St Mary’s Cathedral, home of our bishop, has a roof that leaks like a sieve. Last month during a Saturday Mass it was raining outside and inside the main church. Buckets were out, people mopping as puddles formed on the floor and in several pews. Some people nearly slipped as they gingerly made there way to communion. They need to replace the roof there, similar to St Anne’s. By closing St Anne’s, Holy Rosary and Holy Cross the will redirect all those accounts to St Mary’s and St Mary’s, home of the Bishop, will get repaired while St Anne’s becomes more dilapidated. St Mary’s tried to get the millions of dollars from Holy Rosary in the past that was left to that church from deceased parishioners ‘ wills by closing Holy Rosary and combining all the money but Holy Rosary parishioners would not stand for it. The Board of Health needs to investigate St Mary’s leaking roof before someone gets hurt. Yes more to the picture than meets the eye.

  5. P.L

    October 14, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    TRAGIC! SHAME on the Fall River diocese. If St. Anthony of Padua NB. could stand the test of time…

  6. Fr. Thomas Kocik

    October 14, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    I was administrator of St Anne’s for nearly two years (2012-14). From the perspective of demographics and economics, St Anne’s has not been a viable parish for years. It has long relied on non-parishioners for most of the income received from weddings and funerals. The average Sunday Mass count for November 2012 was 511; were it not for the Sunday evening Mass (attended mostly by outsiders) it would have been 143. And while revenue from the votive candles in the shrine kept the parish afloat (utility bills were paid), a great deal of money was owed to the Diocese for insurance and pensions. Even if the parish had all the money needed to repair the upper church, for how much longer could the bishop assign a severely limited number of priests to keep alive old parishes as shrines? The problem is not just lack of funds but lack of people. I am heartsick over this, and cannot help wondering what could have been had my efforts to attract more souls been given more time to bear fruit. The key to a promising future, I believed (and still believe), has to do with my happiest memory from my time there: the Solemn Mass in the older, traditional Roman Rite which I celebrated one Sunday evening in October 2013, using the beautiful altar shown in the photograph above. The event was widely publicized and drew so many people from far and wide (including clergy and seminarians from Boston and Providence) that the church was nearly filled. “Can we have this every Sunday?” asked more than a few people who were deeply impressed by the beauty, the mystery, the profound sense of the sacred conveyed by this ancient form of worship (which, thanks to Pope Benedict XVI, has become more widely available). But we weren’t ready to do that on a regular basis, because the traditional Latin Mass in its solemn form requires not only a priest but also a deacon and subdeacon, a choir competent in Gregorian chant, and several well-trained altar servers. “We’re not there yet, but give me time,” I promised. A few months later, the bishop (George Coleman at the time) ended my charge of the parish.

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