Friends of Mater Dolorosa in Holyoke to hold Christmas prayer event outside closed church

The Republican

By Jeanette DeForge, The Republican
on December 24, 2012

HOLYOKE — Friends of Mater Dolorosa will hold a Christmas prayer event at 11 a.m. on Christmas in front of the closed Mater Dolorosa Church at Maple and Lyman streets.

The group, which has appealed the decision of the Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, to the Vatican, held a round-the-clock vigil inside the church for more than a year to protest the closing of the church and the merger of its parish with that of Holy Cross Church. The new parish, called Our Lady of the Cross, worships at the former Holy Cross Church on Sycamore Street.

Protesters decided to end the vigil in June after the Apostolic Signatura, which is the Vatican’s supreme court, agreed to hear the appeal but told protesters to leave the church and ordered the bishop to refrain from destroying or selling the building.

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