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Saint Anne Shrine rises again as beloved Fall River church begins repairs on roof, here is how you can help



Photo courtesy of St. Anne Shrine Preservation Society

After years of anticipation, the St. Anne Shrine Preservation Society officially began repairs on the south side of the roof of Saint Anne Shrine of Fall River this past week.

A combined crew from J.G. Vandal Roofing and Starck Architects of Fall River began setting up scaffolding in the adjacent parking lot on Wednesday, October 25, and repairs began in full swing on Friday, November 10.

The historic church has been the victim of leaking and water damage for decades, contributing to roof issues outside and plaster falling inside the upper church. The safety issues caused by the plaster led to the closure of the upper church to the public in 2015. Believing the cost for restoration was insurmountable, the parish was suppressed by the Diocese of Fall River in November 2018.

A small group of laypeople, dubbed the St. Anne Shrine Preservation Society, formed in the midst of the closure. They forged a ten-year lease with the Diocese of Fall River in July 2019 to foster the reopening & restoration of Saint Anne Shrine. Now in its fourth year, the Preservation Society keeps the lower church open daily, while raising funds for the restoration of the upper church.

The Preservation Society is thrilled to have arrived at this important stage of restoration, and looks forward to the hopeful reopening of the upper church. Jeff Montigny, Vice President of the Preservation Society, said: “Over the past year, we [studied] the roof in detail [and] discovered that the gutters and downspouts were failing. We decided to take a phased approach to the repairs aimed at repairing the worst damage first. This year, we’re repairing and replacing the upper gutter and downspouts on the hospital side of the building. We will then focus our efforts to other areas on the roofline as a next phase.”

Montigny expressed his gratitude for the community’s support of the Shrine’s restoration efforts. “I would like to thank all of our donors… from the major donors to daily visitors who come to the Shrine to purchase a candle. All those funds are being utilized for the preservation of this building… for generations to come.”

The Preservation Society still needs financial support to continue the repairs. Those wishing to make their tax-deductible donation can do so in person at the Shrine’s gift shop (located in the lower church), mail it to Saint Anne Shrine (818 Middle Street, Fall River, MA), or complete it online at

The St. Anne Shrine Preservation Society is the registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that operates Saint Anne Shrine of Fall River. It was formed by volunteers and former parishioners in 2019, hoping to preserve both the building and its impact on the community.

Saint Anne Shrine of Fall River is a historic Catholic shrine located in the heart of Fall River, Massachusetts. Since 1895, it has welcomed visitors & pilgrims from across the world who are drawn by its magnificent architecture, history, and reported physical healings. The Shrine currently operates under the St. Anne Shrine Preservation Society, and is owned by the Diocese of Fall River.

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