HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Holyoke Historical Commission held another packed public hearing Wednesday night on the future of the Mater Dolorosa Church.
Now, parishioners are celebrating a victory. Victor Anop with Friends of Mater Dolorosa said the Historical Commission voted 4 to 0 to put a hold on demolition of the church for the next six months.
The Diocese of Springfield requested an emergency demolition order for the church, but the age of the building meant approval would have to go through the Historical Commission first, and Wednesday night, they voted to delay the demolition.
“During that time (six months), we normally work with the applicant to try and find another alternative to demolition. If we don’t vote for a delay, we’re giving them their demolition permit,” John Paul from the Historical Commission told 22News.
Some parishioners said the church represents an important part of Polish heritage. After six years of sitting empty, people for and against demolishing the church said they were ready for a resolution.
“My grandparents came from Mater Dolorosa Church, my other grandparents came from Immaculate Conception Church. I just feel as though we have to move on. As Catholics, we’re taught that it’s not the building, it’s the people,” said David Rosinski of Chicopee.
At least one group has made an offer to the Diocese of Springfield to purchase the Mater Dolorosa Church if it isn’t demolished.
Related Mater Dolorosa Church Coverage:
- Debate continues over fate of Mater Dolorosa church in Holyoke
- Diocese appealing to the state to demolish the Mater Dolorosa Church
- Non-profit organization prepared to buy Mater Dolorosa Church
- Mater Dolorosa parishioners hoping to save their church
- Diocese plans to demolish Mater Dolorosa church; parishioners’ group outraged
- Mater Dolorosa Church parishioners hold remembrance celebration
- Church members return to closed down Mater Dolorosa in Holyoke
- People still gather at closed Holyoke church