When the Archdiocese of Boston announced plans to close 60 of its churches in Eastern Massachusetts last May (see “From Altar to Alcove,” September 2004), parishioners cried and wrote letters of protest, but ultimately, most of them have been left to find new houses of worship.
But one parish took a stand. Parishioners at St. Albert's the Great in Weymouth, Mass., refused to leave the church on Aug. 29, the day the Archdiocese officially closed it. They've alternated shifts—including overnights—to occupy the church every day since then. Though Mass is no longer celebrated at the church, its patrons continue to hold prayer services, pay the church's bills, and run a healthcare ministry. St. Albert's parishioners—who have inspired similar efforts at a handful of other churches—hold out hope that their church will be saved, though the Archdiocese has sent its management company to begin evaluating the property.
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