It appears the fight by a group of parishoners to keep open the historic St. John the Baptist Church in New Bedford is nearing an end.

According to the Anchor, the newspaper of the Fall River Diocese, the Catholic Church's highest judicial body has upheld Bishop George Coleman's decision to close St. John the Baptist Church, and merge the parish with Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  A letter from the Vatican says the "decree is not subjject to any further challenge."

St. John the Baptist, at County and Allen streets, is the oldest portuguese parish in North America. The church closed its doors in November, 2012, because of declining attendance, and $1.5 million in repairs needed in the 100 year old building.