Amazing results in the saving of St. Anne’s beautiful shrine in @FRDiocese

Remember the story some time ago about the beautiful Shrine of St. Anne in Fall River, MA, that was scheduled for closure? It looked grim for the magnificent church. A group of lay people got organized, worked something out with the diocese and they’ve kept it going. The lower church is open and many people are coming to visit and to pray. Tonight the local bishop will say Mass and they will have a procession.

One of the people who has saved the church is a regular commentator here and a ham radio operator!

He has sent photos. They’ve been scrubbing and cleaning and organizing and finding old treasures.

Local news story HERE

A relic of St. Ann.  Bp. Morlino, who had a real devotion to her, would have loved that.

The upstairs.. which needs work…

I am told that people are coming in, staying, praying, buying candles.  They are making some money and momentum.

Our friend found the chalice his grandfather gave to the church.  It’s all polished up and ready for the Mass tonight.

Sanctus bells!

See the crutches?

Ready for the procession.

Yes, it can be done.

It takes tears and sweat and patience and diplomacy and prayers on top of prayers.  And I think that Bp. Morlino is smiling on this one.

¡Hagan lío!

The local bishop, who had wanted to close the place, will say the Mass tonight.   The people with whom he had the tussle invited him.

Never never never underestimate the power of an invitation.  Pray to their Guardian Angels tonight to continue to soften hearts.

St. Anne, pray for us.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gab says:

    What a beautiful church. Praise be to God!

  2. Richard McNally says:

    As a Fall Riverite, it’s so good to see St. Ann’s open. I don’t know Bishop Da Cunha but he must be a pastor who listens even when difficult or even impossible. The next time I’m in FR, I’ll be certain to visit the shrine. Blessed Feast of St. Ann.

  3. To say those of us who have been scrubbing floors, polishing brass, ironing vestments, and answering questions from the steady stream of people coming in the door were not absolutely blown away by the SRO crowd and procession that stretched around 2 legs of a city block chanting the chaplet to our patroness would be to minimize the turn out and faith on display in the tired city of Fall River.

    I’m sure, as our gracious host says, the Extraordinary Ordinary, may he rest in our Savior’s presence, was smiling down on our poor efforts.

    It can be done. It will be done. Bp Morlino, Good Ste. Anne, pray for us poor sinners who are desiring to do this in your honor.

  4. Bryan: We look forward to photos.

  5. The one picture showing a huge crucifix hanging over what looks like a chair a priest (or bishop) would use at Mass reminded me of something from a prior parish. In that parish, the beautiful high altar had long since been taken out; there were niches that held statues and I wondered, what became of them? We undertook a substantial improvement in the church; the high altar wasn’t restored (I was hoping to come back to that but moved on before that happened), but we did find the statues and refurbish them; and we chose some nice spots to display them. St. Theresa of Avila ended up on a sconce directly over my the sedelia where I sat for Mass. I often thought: if I do anything I shouldn’t, St. Theresa will be able to punish me!

  6. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Nice statue of St. Anne teaching Mary to read the Bible! People forget that she is a powerful patron of education, including religious education. Although honestly, she is a powerful patron of so many things….

  7. Charivari Rob says:

    Father, you’ve mentioned in a couple of these articles how the upstairs “needs work”.

    I’m curious – what’s needed? All I can tell from the upstairs photos you’ve had is that there’s not anything glaringly obvious in view like peeling paint, water damage, scaffolding holding up the ceiling, buckets all around to catch the rain… – all of which I’ve seen in churches that are in use.
    I’m well aware that there can be a lot needed behind walls and above ceilings – just curious.

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Well done to Bryan D Boyle and all. Deo gratias.

    “It can be done. It will be done. Bp Morlino, Good Ste. Anne, pray for us poor sinners who are desiring to do this in your honor.”

  9. Charivari Rob: The damage in the upstairs sanctuary is a lot of falling plaster due to water ingress and deterioration of the walls inside. The city closed the upstairs to use until repairs and bringing the building up to code is accomplished. I’ll try and get some and send to our Father moderator.

  10. Charivari Rob says:

    Thank you, Bryan

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