Around New England

Cellist Plays Bach Across From Demolition of Historic Polish Church

December 13, 2018

A cello player originally from Poland played Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sarabande Suite Number 1 to mourn the demolition of a Polish church in the western Massachusetts city of Holyoke.

Ignacy Gaydamovich wasn’t a parishioner of Mater Dolorosa Church, which closed in 2011 and has since then been the inspiration for prolonged efforts by parishioners to save it.

“I came here to mourn this beautiful building that used to be such an important Polish heritage site,” Gaydamovich said Thursday afternoon, according to MassLive.com. “And — thanks to I think greed — it is being demolished.”

Mater Dolorosa means “Mother of Sorrows” in Latin. The brick church was completed in 1903.

The mayor of Holyoke thought he had a deal to save the church in May, but the city council rejected a proposal to have the city buy the building for $50,000. The deal didn’t include items of value within the church such as the stained glass windows and wall paintings and also didn’t include the church’s parking lot, which the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield intended to keep.

So the diocese decided to demolish the building.

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