Pawtucket church closing due to safety concerns, debt

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By News Staff

The Catholic Diocese of Providence has announced that St. Maria Goretti Parish in Pawtucket will be closing its doors.

The parish administrator, Father Timothy Reilly, cited significant safety concerns, parish debt, and a decline in attendance for requesting that the church be permanently closed.

The safety issues include leakage from the church roof skylight, fire code deficiencies, and a boiler failure. The estimated cost to repair is expected to be at least $70,000. The parish is also in debt about $440,000.

Parishioners are encouraged to attend nearby churches in Pawtucket, Providence, and North Providence.

Bishop Thomas Tobin approved of the closure and parishioners were notified during mass over the weekend.

“The closing of St. Maria Goretti Church is very sad, but now unavoidable,” said Bishop Tobin. “We thank God that the church has served several generations of Catholics and has helped them along the path of salvation. We hope and pray that in the strong and unshakeable faith of the parishioners, the legacy of the parish will live on. I am deeply grateful to all who have served and supported the parish over the years.”

The final Mass is scheduled for Sunday, November 20.

(C) WLNE-TV 2016