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Mayor Mitchell, Bishop Coleman, Discuss St. John’s – Church Closing Still Planned For November 4.


Mayor Jon Mitchell says he met with Bishop George Coleman on Wednesday, hoping to convince him to revisit his decision to close St. John the Baptist Church in New Bedford. But according to a statement from the Fall River Diocese, its unlikely that’s going to happen. Mitchell says he realizes the final decision rests with the Bishop, but he wanted to remind the him about the importance of St. John’s to the neighborhood around it.

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A statement released by the Diocese after the meeting gave no indication that the Bishop is reconsidering the decision to close St. John’s. It says the Mayor did not offer any remedies for the problems facing St. John’s, like sagging attendance and costly repairs to an aging building.

The statement also said while a vocal minority of parishioners are protesting the closing, others in the church have accepted the decision and are working to bring the parish together. The Diocese says St. John’s parishioners would be welcomed at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, less than a mile away. A final mass at St. John’s is scheduled for November 4.

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