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Parishioners and non-parishioners alike protest St. Anne’s Church pending closure



They came from many walks of life. Many are lifelong city residents who have worshiped there for over fifty years. Several were from out of town, but were there to lend their support for a place they consider sacred. Others were young people who saw St. Anne’s School close and are disheartened to see the church possibly go with it.

On a sunny, fall, Sunday, a group gathered outside of St. Anne’s Church to voice their displeasure of Bishop da Cunha’s decision to close the iconic Church and Shrine on November 25th. The Bishop has stated costs to repair the church, changing demographics in the diocese, and decline in parish membership as reasons for the closure. Many of the protestors, however, feel that the Church can still be saved.

Several sentiments were expressed by protestors at the event which was held at noon after mass. Several in attendance felt that the Diocese of Fall River already had their mind set on selling the property long before it was announced. Some are hoping for wealthy donors, either locally or nationwide, to reach out through a word of mouth campaign. The most popular opinion expressed throughout the crowd of protestors, however, was the ability to fix St Anne’s albeit gradually.

The roof, in particular, appears to be one of the more important repairs needed to the structure. According to several of the parishioners, much of the work can be done gradually and is not needed for the upper level of the Church to be operational. There have apparently been several offers in different forms to help repair the Shrine. The Bishop, however, would need to withdraw the closure and approve the construction to move forward. This is something the Bishop, at least as of yet, has not agreed to.

It is currently unclear what the protest has, or will, accomplish. At the very least, it has fortified the fact that citizens from across the area, Catholics and atheists, residents and non-residents, young and old, are adamant that this special building should not disappear and they are not going down without a fight.

You can view our video of the protest here

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