Historic church, rescued from demolition, to reopen in @FRDiocese

Do you recall the post about saving a spectacularly beautiful church, a shrine to St. Ann, in Fall River, MA?  Miracles have been granted there.

A lot has happened since I posted that.   One thing that happened is that a group of lay people made a deal with the diocese to keep it open.   A long-time reader here, whom I wrote of today in the post about Ham Radio and ZedNet, is involved with that church.

A news story. HERE

Go look at the photos of the place. What a shame were it to close. What a great thing these people are doing to save that historic church!

It is true that great churches come and go.  That’s been the history of Christianity.  Not only churches… but Churches!   Christ didn’t promise that Hell wouldn’t prevail against Churches in N. Africa… or churches in Fall River.

However, we live in a time of wealth and of social communications.   If we lose these churches now, we probably won’t be able build their likes again.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Looking at that pipe organ, I know churches can’t charge for concerts, but are silver platter donations at the door permitted? Concerts of sacred music, both choral and pipe organ, would be a great way of raising funds for its upkeep.

  2. Gab says:

    And St Ann’s feast day is in July. Coincidence? I think not :)

  3. Ave Maria says:

    Whenever I have been to the east coast area, I always make a point to visit this Shrine. The last time I was there in 2017, there was a priest hearing confessions downstairs and I received the Sacrament. So happy that the Preservation Society has taken charge. Another suggestion might be to invite one of the Traditional Orders to come and take over and offer the TLM regularly. And then watch the parish be renewed.

  4. Thank you, Fr Z, for posting this.

    Doors opened this morning, people have been streaming in and lighting candles, praying at their favorite saints…and some just sitting quietly in the pews in front of the shrine altar, saying the rosary. OL of Fatima and the Lourdes Grotto especially popular, as well as the statue of St. Teresa of Calcutta.

    Further plans are still in flux, but, we are planning to have the traditional Novena to Ste. Anne, starting on the evening of July 17th through the 25th (sans benediction and exposition since there is no reserved Eucharist), with a Mass on her feast day of the 26th at 7PM, as one of the 2 fixed Masses (the other will be July 4 2020, July 4 being the anniversary of the dedication) we are permitted without requiring the ordinary’s permission each year. We just couldn’t get the Mass arranged for this year since we only took possession on Monday last.

    We are planning, based on interest, regular Rosary, Divine Mercy, and other activities as the preservation society gets its feet under it, as well as a website (social media does have a place for good!) to keep folks appraised of what we’re doing.

    Like the Field of Dreams, I’m of the strong belief that if you build it, they WILL come. The committee could not let this monument to our Faith in Southeast Massachusetts just fade away.

    Thank you for publicizing the effort. It’s not our doing solely…+deCunha did not have to say yes…lots of folks said it would never happen, some probably didn’t want it to come about, and we are still faced with a 10 year plus effort to restore the building to its former glory after decades of neglect. But the doors are open, candles are being lit, prayers are once again being said in the shrine, and we prepaid the 10 year rental in one check.

    I’m pretty sure the Blessed Mother is pleased that the shrine to HER mother is again accessible to the faithful.

    The shrine will be open 10am to 7pm (except for special events) 7 days a week.

  5. aroc981 says:

    This is great news!

    I know it’s a long shot, but the Catholics in a small college town in upstate New York (Syracuse diocese… Ahem…) called Oswego has just recently closed two of its three Catholic churches, including one very traditional and historic one called St. Mary’s. They had the Latin Mass every Sunday, even. This will no longer be the case, however, as the bishop unfortunately (but expectedly) chose the most “modern” of the three to keep, along with the most “modern” of liturgies.

    I’m not an Oswegian (?), and I know we can’t save them all, but it sure is a tragedy nonetheless :(. Still, maybe there’s some hope in rallying for St. Mary’s ressurection, too?

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