St. Margaret Mary Church is sold
Diocese assists St. Anne Parish with transition
July 31, 2009, WORCESTER, MA – The Chancellor’s Office of the Diocese of Worcester announced today that the Diocese facilitated the sale of St. Margaret Mary Church and rectory on behalf of St. Anne Parish, Shrewsbury. Upper Room Family International Church of Worcester officially purchased the buildings on July 30 for $555,000 following several months of discussions with their senior pastor, Gerald Plange. All proceeds from the sale will go to St. Anne Parish, which took responsibility for the former parishioners and their records upon the closure of St. Margaret Mary Parish on July 1, 2008, along with assuming all assets and liabilities of the church and its property on 75 – 77 Alvarado Street in Worcester.
Prior to the sale of the structure and property, various religious items were conveyed to other Catholic parishes for continued liturgical use. For example, 16 of the stained glass windows have been conveyed to St. Mary Catholic Church in Marietta, Ohio. The pulpit is now at Our Lady of Vilna in Worcester. Additional churches will be sought for the remaining liturgical items being held in reserve.
Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester noted that “given the limited number of congregations that are seeking the purchase of another place of worship in this challenging economy, I am glad that we have been able to conclude our negotiations and can transfer St. Margaret Mary Church to another worshipping community. The beauty of the church lends itself to the fact that the Lord will continue to be worshipped there. The Lord has deeply blessed all those who worshipped at St. Margaret Mary Parish for nearly a century and I know that he will continue to do so for the congregants of the Upper Room Family International Church.”
For the past year, St. Anne Parish has maintained the property in order to keep it presentable for future use. Proceeds of the sale going to the welcoming parish are in keeping with the diocese’s stated intention that the assets of a parish would follow the parishioners to their new place of worship. St. Anne had been recommended as the welcoming parish by a task force of parishioners at the former St. Margaret Mary Parish.
In commenting on the process of selling the property, Msgr. Thomas Sullivan, chancellor said, “It has been a joy to work with Fr. Ed Moran, Joseph Zecco, their parish administrator, and now Fr. John Foley on the conveyance of St. Margaret Mary Church and rectory to a new owner. The parishioners of St. Anne’s have worked very hard to welcome their fellow Catholics from St. Margaret Mary. The fruits of their union are now even more evident.”
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