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Paul Diemand: Says St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish not looking back


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish is moving forward, despite recent publicity by two disenchanted individuals.

Ninety-five percent of our parishioners have accepted the mergers of five parishes and the closings of three churches. A group of five percent remain in denial despite rejected Appeals to the Diocese and Rome. Pastor Father Reilly also has reiterated numerous times that St. Mary’s will not reopen and is for sale, as is the Blessed Sacrament property in the near future.

And now, seven years later, this group is enlisting the sympathy / support in the court of public opinion through the media. How disingenuous to the faithful who wish to forge ahead but continue to be bullied about the past !

Messrs. Fleury and Carpenter are inferring that the church building we worship in is vastly more important than the parishioners who worship in the church — that unless we re-open St. Mary’s and proclaim it as our principle place of worship, we will not be saved?

Can we not receive the same Sacraments, grace and peace in the former Sacred Heart church on King Street that the Elm Street location offers? God forbid!

True, the process of merging parishes throughout the Springfield, Worcester and Boston Diocese was not perfect. However, the criteria for access, parking, CCD programs, social center, land for future expansion, age and overhead costs of buildings/churches was a key factor in the decisions. Not solely steeples, stained glass, statuary, marble and architecture.

Perhaps the aforementioned two persons can solicit investors, including themselves, to purchase the St. Mary’s property and add it to their portfolios. The faithful people of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish are not interested and not looking back. We are moving forward and complying with the Diocesan decision rendered in 2009.

Paul Diemand

Southampton

The writer is on the finance board of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Northampton.