CHICAGO (CBS) — More than 120 parishioners of St. Adalbert’s Church in Pilsen marched on Holy Name Cathedral Wednesday night, in the hope that Archbishop Blase Cupich would hear their appeal and rescind his orders to close their church.
The clock is ticking for St. Adalbert’s. On Sunday, parishioners were read the documents that dissolve the parish as of July 1, and clear the way for the sale of the 102-year-old Italian Renaissance church building, designed by noted architect Henry Schlacks.
The protesting parishioners prayed the rosary in English, Spanish, and Polish as they circled the cathedral, its rectory, and adjacent Frances Xavier Warde school six times.
Cupich moved to the rectory after becoming archbishop last year.
In the decree, Cupich said “changes in demographics, reduction in the number of priests, significant decline in the number of practicing Catholics, unpaid parish debts, and a need to reduce the costs of staffing and programming all argue for some measures to be taken now.”
Protester Mary Silver and other parishioners said they have found the money needed to make structural repairs, but said the Archdiocese has refused the money and won’t listen to their ideas.
“There’s no communication,” she said. “There’s no ability to communicate for us, to allow us to give proposals. Now we have to go and fight a decree? It had to come to that?”
They said fight they will. They’re being consulted by Brody Hale of the Catholic Church Preservation Society, a national expert in fighting such decrees.