Parishioners Saddened As St. John The Baptist Closes In New Bedford
Parishioners and visitors to St. John the Baptist filled the County St. church during the last Mass on Sunday. Bishop George Coleman has ordered the church closed, ironically, because of declining attendance, and the costly repairs needed to maintain a 100-year old building. Maria Botelho was in tears.
Nelson Torres is not a parishioner, but he attended the last Mass at St. John's because of its history. Its believed to be the oldest Portuguese parish in North America.
The Fall River Diocese is asking parishioners to attend Mt. Carmel Church on Rivet Street, less than a mile down the road. Some parishioners say however, they're not giving up. They will take their appeal to Rome if necessary to overturn the Bishop's decision.