Father Daniel Boyle, pastor of St. Stan’s, says that after the final mass before closure was held on the Sunday after Christmas in 2008, members of the church took action.
Vigilers took turns occupying the church, some for just a few hours a week, some for overnight stays. The vigil spanned 1,150 days.
The appeal reached the Catholic Church’s highest judicial authority, the Apostolic Signatura for decision. The Signatura reviewed the Bishop of Springfield’s actions of closing St. Stan’s. Father Boyle explains…
St. Stanislaus Kotska could still not be reopened as its own parish, but is now a chapel of the Parish of Pope John Paul the Great. St. Stan’s held its first mass in over 3 years this week, celebrating Palm Sunday. Over 800 came to worship.
In the three years it took the appeal to reach and be decided on in Rome, the vigilers grew close. Eugene Michalenko, one of the dedicated vigilers says he almost wished the vigil would never end.
Michalenko said that the ordeal brought the Catholic community of Adams closer together.
Father Boyle says that the reopening offers an opportunity for Catholics of different backgrounds in Adams to strengthen bonds and keep St. Stan’s in operation.
St. Stan’s will remain open under conditions that it offers one mass a week, plus reconciliation and funeral services. Father Boyle mentioned that a special mass will be held honoring the members of the former Saint Stanislaus Kotska Church that passed before the chapel was reopened.