HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Friends of Mater Dolorosa held their 4th annual reunion banquet Sunday night at the Cavalier Restaurant in Chicopee.
They honored seven Holyoke City Councilors who voted to support a failed bid to create a polish heritage district in the Lyman and Maple Street neighborhood.
The Mater Dolorosa Church closed its doors four years ago. In May, former parishioners lost an appeal to keep the church open. They had hoped to preserve their church with the formation of a polish historic district, but the city council voted 7-8 against the idea.
Those who voted for it told 22News why. “For those of us who voted in favor of the historic district, it was a pretty straight forward vote because it was based on economic development and downtown revitalization,” said Rebecca Lisi.
Jossie Valentin told 22News, “I think it’s very important to recognize and honor the different cultures that we have in the city and to really recognize the past, the present and the future that that brings.”
For the last four years, the former parishioners have been holding Sunday Mass outside the church.