‘Totally Uncalled for': Archdiocese Plans to Close Sudbury Church, Upsetting Parishioners

Parishioners at St. Anselm Catholic Church in Sudbury, Massachusetts, are calling on the Archdiocese of Boston to reconsider its plans to shut down the church

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Parishioners describe St. Anselm Catholic Church in Sudbury, Massachusetts, as a tight-knit family.

That family may now be broken up.

"The one constant thing we all had was our church," said parishioner Barbara Lettery. "And now, it's going to be gone, so it's sad, very sad."

The Archdiocese of Boston has announced plans to close the church's doors, saying.

"The decision to conclude the mission of the Rectorate was reached after careful review of several factors that included the viability of keeping the worship site open ... as well as financial considerations," the Archdiocese said in a statement.

"I find it totally uncalled for," said Lettery.

"We know there's other Catholic churches that we can go to," said parishioner Jamie Hanson. "But we had something special here, we have something special here at St. Anselm. We've always had that, and that is that welcoming community."

This isn't the first time the church has faced closure. Starting in 2004, parishioners held round-the-clock vigils inside for nearly two years when the Archdiocese wanted to shut down the church. Those parishioners prevailed.

"The Archdiocese of Boston needs more churches like St. Anselm, not fewer," said parishioner Chris Kenney.

"We will pull together a group of council members and church leaders to identify ways to provide pastoral care to Saint Anselm parishioners and carry forward your spirit of fellowship," the church's rector, Father Gerald Souza, told the congregation in a statement.

Parishioners have requested a meeting with Cardinal Sean O'Malley. They're hoping he'll change his mind.

If not, the last Mass is scheduled for Oct. 3.

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