By: Staff Reports On: 10:10AM / Tuesday February 15, 2011
ADAMS, Mass. — The vigilers of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church have been rewarded for the waiting and praying they have done for more than two years to save their church.
A decree from the Congregation of the Clergy in Rome has rejected the closing of the church.
A statement from Friends of St. Stan's spokeswoman Laurie Haas says "the Congregation's decision affirms the Diocesan decree relating to suppression and merger of St. Stan's Parish, but overturns the decree that resulted in the canonical closing of our church. As a result, St. Stan's must be reopened as a place of Catholic divine worship."
The vigilers will address the decision at 2 p.m. today at the church on the corner of Hoosac and North Summer streets.
The statement and four-page decree can be found below.
The historically Polish church was slated for closure during a sweeping consolidation of churches in the Diocese of Springfield to contend with falling attendance and increasing costs. Parishioners say they were caught off guard by the announcement because they had been under the impression St. Stan's was the most fiscally and faithfully healthy.
The day after Christmas in 2008, the Friends of St. Stan's entered the church and refused to leave. More than 200 people have participated in the round-the-clock vigil, some for an hour here or there, others spending night after night in the sanctuary through the seasons.
The group joined with churches in Boston also appealing their closure after the sex abuse scandal rocked the diocese – and led to multimillion-dollar settlements. The Boston group hasn't fared well; the Vatican rejected their pleas at the end of last year after a seven-year wait. The Boston parishes are trying a last-ditch effort to prevent the archdiocese from declaring the churches available for nonreligious use.
The Friends of St. Stanislaus have been represented by a canon advocate in Rome, who, on July 10, 2009, submitted an extensive legal brief to the Congregation of the Clergy on behalf of the parishioners summarizing the facts of the case and canon law issues: particularly the procedure followed by Bishop Timothy McDonnell, the legitimacy of the parish suppression and church closure followed within the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Springfield. All appeal documents can be viewed at adamscatholics.org.
The vigilers have been buoyed by recent "split" decisions of the Congregation of Clergy that seemed to indicate a diocese could consolidate parishes – but not close certain churches without grave reason. That could mean the building would remain as a site of worship, dependent upon the parishioners.
The last week may have been the hardest in the two-year wait, knowing a decision had been made by the Congregation of the Clergy in Rome and was on the way.
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Now that St. Stan\'s is back in buisness(so to speak), does that mean that the \"ones\" who abandoned the church when it was open and worshiped elsewhere will now worship at St. Stan\'s? Or will they continue to go somewhere else because they don\'t like the Priest? I can\'t wait to see who the hypocrites are.
You've effectively driven all catholic churches out of Adams. Watch for another round of closings in the diocese and the Bishop will make sure every t is crossed and dot every i, resulting in the secretary, bookkeeper and sexton becoming unemployed. Hooray - Nice Going!
My late Polish mother-in-law Annie always said "don't ever tell a Polish person they can't do something. We are the most stubborn people in the world." I guess she was correct. God bless these faithful, tenacious souls.
I give tons of credit to all the people who fought to keep the church open. It was a long, hard battle for all of you but so well worth it. It is a beautiful church and thanks everyone for fighting to keep it open.
I'm hearing now through the grapevine that the bishop, at Fr. Boyles insistence, may be appealing the ruling rather than taking the logical road of sitting down with St. Stanislaus parishioners. Fr. Boyle had designs on certain St. Stanislaus treasures for Pope John Paul and assumed he could use the sale of the remainig items to pad the books. This has never been about doing what's right for the people, it's about the money folks and apparently the diocese is not ready to walk away from the piggy bank they hoped to break open.
Yes, it is obvious. That's the reason that St. Stan's was closed. Of course, the Bishop could not give that reason so he tried to come up with others that clearly made no sense, as was just confirmed by the Vatican.
The money lost from collections throughout North Berkshire and lost from the Annual appeal make this whole thing a net loss for the Diocese. This is such a no-brainer - How long will it take before the Bishop figures this out? Did he notice collections down in North Berkshire in the last 2 years? St. Stan's is why.
Fortunately there is the Marian Fathers where people of Polish descent also have some kinship with, and is financially independent of the diocese. It is a place of shelter for those displaced.
You can now continue the Idolatry of your man-made building without fears that it may some day close. 'Cause we all know the only way to worship God is through the church we grew up in, every other church just isn't as good
Just heard this morning that the letter from Rome came thru yesterday and the church must reopen as a place of worship. Doesn’t have to be staffed but it cannot be stripped and sold and must be available for requested services. Anyone else aware? I-Berkshires, perhaps you can check on this. The person I spoke to at a local convenience store was quite determined that this was the case and was wondering why it wasn’t in the news.