Parishioners rally to save their New Bedford church

by James Swierzbin


Dozens of parishioners from New Bedford's Saint John the Baptist Catholic parish, held a vigil Monday night, hoping to get the bishop to reconsider his decision, to shut their church down.

Talk about closing the parish started back in 2008, so far the pleas of parishioners, and their work to reinvigorate their parish, have kept it alive.

But now, despite their efforts, it's supposed to close its doors for good, this November.

The Fall River diocese says that a significant decline in parishioners, 205–thousand dollars of debt, and an aging church that needs more than 1.5-million dollars worth of repairs to its roof, are the reasons the parish is a target for closure, despite parishioners efforts to try and save it.

Although the future of the parish, the oldest Catholic Portuguese parish in North America, seems certain to the diocese.

The men and women who worship at Saint John the Baptist are still holding out hope and praying for a miracle.

“We are all family, we all love each other, we all do things for one another, and we're very close.” said parishioner George Landino.

Saint John the Baptist parish is scheduled to shut down on November 4th.

The diocese says that parishioners will be encouraged to join the Mount Carmel parish, which is less than a mile, from their current parish.