Around New England

Venerable Fall River Shrine Closes

November 26, 2018

St. Anne’s Shrine, a spectacular double-spired granite church in Fall River built by French-Canadians in the 1890s and early 1900s, closed Sunday with a final Mass celebrated by the bishop of the diocese.

The upstairs closed in 2015 because of failing plaster, and a recent study found it would take $13.5 million to fix the church. Bishop Edgar da Cunha decided to close it instead, saying the diocese has nowhere near enough money to make the needed repairs.

A capacity-plus crowd filled the downstairs shrine Sunday morning, according to the Fall River News Herald. The shrine is dedicated to the St. Anne, the mother of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

The future of St. Anne’s, which is the most striking building in Fall River, is uncertain. A committee has been formed to try to preserve it. Bishop da Cunha has said he is open to hearing suggestions. Converting the building to housing is one option.

St. Anne’s Church and Shrine in Fall River, Massachusetts closed permanently Sunday, November 25, 2018. Photo by Kenneth C. Zirkel, courtesy of Wikipedia.




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