Boston Community Fights to Keep Church Open

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Parishoners at a Boston Catholic church are not giving up their fight to keep their building from being torn down.
    
The Boston, Mass. archdiocese closed Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini on Oct. 25, 2004, but volunteers are keeping the doors open and the seats warm. 

"The church is never left unoccupied," church supporter Maryellen Rogers said.

The faithful keep vigil inside 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And they haven't missed a minute in five years.
    
Longtime parishoner Margy O'Brien is there 12 to 14 hours a week.

"If you've ever spent time vigiling here - you would feel the presence of God," she said.

Supporter Jon Rogers also said the faith community is going nowhere.

Vigil volunteers meet Sundays for communion and prayer.
    
But there is no mass, no priest, or church officials there.

"I miss the mass," O'Brien added. "I go to a mass at another parish every Saturday."

The Boston archdiocese ordered Saint Francis closed in a cost-cutting re-organization.
    
But church members are appealing the decision to the Apostolic Signatura in Rome -- which is essentially the Supreme Court of the Catholic church.

"The fiscal crisis they are in is due to their mismanagement," Rogers said. "Don't destroy churches. That's not the way to evangelize and bring people back to the church."

In a recent statement the archdiocese said it "continues to seek a prayerful resolution to this and remaining vigils. We await the appeals that are currently being reviewed in Rome." 

Parisoners at Saint Francis are waiting as well.

"We'll explore any option," Rogers said. "But we are not letting this church be bulldozed. And if we have to spend another five years and have it be a decade,  we're going to stay."

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