SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Founded in 1917 by Polish immigrants, the Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Springfield’s Liberty Heights neighborhood will hold it’s last mass on Sunday, January 28.
Diocese Spokesperson Mark Dupont told 22News that ethnic churches have been feeling the brunt of consolidation because the communities that founded the churches no longer exist.
The diocese says the expense of fixing the old steam heating system, along with the declining attendance and the relocation of the school next door, made the church’s future unsustainable.
“Quite frankly, collections have long been deficient at Our Lady of the Rosary to meet their operating costs,” Dupont said. “But they have the rent to offset that. We know that rent is going to disappear. The public school is going to be moving out.”
It’s not clear what will happen to the building. The diocese hasn’t decided if it will be demolished, sold or re-purposed.
Dupont says the Bishop is hoping parishioners will go to either the Immaculate Conception Church or Saint Stanislaus.
Dupont told 22News that all churches are facing financial struggles and he couldn’t rule out more closings or consolidations in the future.