Mater Dolorosa parishoners holding out hope for the church

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The group who is still holding out hope that the shuttered Mater Dolorosa Church in Holyoke will reopen once again held their annual remembrance gathering.

It’s been six years since the house of worship closed its doors due to declining membership and disputed structural concerns over the safety of the steeple.

The Friends of Mater Dolorosa as they call themselves, sat vigil 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for nearly a year.

Mater Dolorosa merged with Our Lady of the Cross, but the former parishioners are making an effort to buy their old church from the Diocese of Springfield to at least preserve its significance as a polish landmark.

The decision on whether to demolish the building is going through the court system.

Attorney Victor Anop told 22News, “From all the evidence that was given, it appears to me that they will not allow the immediate demolition of the church so it’s another win for the friends of Mater Dolorosa”

During the remembrance held at the Collegian Court Restaurant in Chicopee, Five members of the friends of Mater Dolorosa were honored along with city councilor Michael Sullivan for their efforts in fighting to reopen the church.