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BS: Fall River church basement

keberoxu 09 Oct 19 - 08:18 PM
Joe Offer 10 Oct 19 - 02:07 AM
Joe Offer 10 Oct 19 - 02:13 AM
keberoxu 10 Oct 19 - 08:53 AM
fat B****rd 10 Oct 19 - 10:39 AM
keberoxu 10 Oct 19 - 12:05 PM
Joe Offer 11 Oct 19 - 01:56 PM
keberoxu 12 Oct 19 - 02:41 PM
keberoxu 12 Oct 19 - 04:59 PM
Joe Offer 12 Oct 19 - 06:00 PM
ChanteyLass 12 Oct 19 - 09:01 PM

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Subject: Boston Globe: Fall River church basement
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 08:18 PM

In Fall River, Massachusetts
(a diocese different than the Archdiocese of Boston),
a group of lay Catholics retreat to the church basement
after the upper church ceiling caves in.

The Boston Globe reporter is one of the faithful,
not an anti-Church journalist.

Neil Swidey writes about the St. Anne's Preservation Society


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Subject: RE: BS: Fall River church basement
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 02:07 AM

French immigrants tended to build huge, gorgeous churches in the New World. St. Anne's is the prettiest church in Fall River, but there is no longer a French Catholic neighborhood nearby to support it. The church is surrounded by office buildings. I wish somebody could find a way to ensure the survival of these beautiful, old buildings. I don't think there are any easy answers. The Catholic ethnic communities who built these churches, no longer exist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fall River church basement
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 02:13 AM

I came across Saint Anne's in Fall River at lunchtime a few years ago, when I was looking for Polish food. I found a restaurant that looked really good, but it was closed that day.
And there were no French restaurants around anywhere. Some of my ancestors sailed from France with Cadillac to found the city of Detroit, and they built a church named Saint Anne's. But they didn't leave behind restaurants like other immigrant people did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fall River church basement
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 08:53 AM

The writer Jack Kerouac was born and baptized in Lowell, Massachusetts, and the parish in question was a French-American parish with a stunningly beautiful church, all Romanesque arches. After the Archdiocese shut the parish down, it was converted to condominiums, I believe.

I looked up a little on the history of St. Anne's in Fall River.
For a time, the church was ministered to, first by Dominican friars directly from France, then by French-Canadian members of the Dominican Order in the Order's Canada province. It seems that no one could interest the Dominican friars who administrate the Order's province for the northeastern United States. But that province is known for being doctrinaire, top-heavy, and insular; so those friars might not feel at home in a parish that is as inclusive and diverse as the lay parishioners described in the Boston Globe article.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fall River church basement
From: fat B****rd
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 10:39 AM

Isn't Fall River better known for Lizzie "Chopper" Borden ?.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fall River church basement
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 12:05 PM

It is true, fellow Mudcatter,
that the infamous Borden home still stands in Fall River.
It was a bed-and-breakfast at one point,
capitalizing on its notoriety.
Don't know if it still does business that way;
it's an historic building, regardless, as
the family was prosperous, the house was impressive,
and houses like this one are no longer built.

I drove past it in my car,
and it gave me the CREEPS. Kept on going.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fall River church basement
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 01:56 PM

I haven't spent much time in Fall River lately, but I pass through it often on the way between relatives in Rhode Island and relatives in Massachusetts. Twenty years ago, before I acquired all those relatives by marriage, I did a proper tour of Fall River. There's a very nice maritime museum, and Lizzie's house is in an area of splendid homes - so she must have been wealthy. Many palatial homes near her were built by sea captains from New Bedford.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fall River church basement
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 02:41 PM

Here is another angle on the very same church building.
This comes from the firm of architects which
evaluated what work is neede.

"St. Anne's Church does not need $13.5 million to re-open"


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Subject: RE: BS: Fall River church basement
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 04:59 PM

This article -- outdated, I fear, regarding
the staff (I think the pastor was re-assigned when the diocese was
shrinking down its parishes) --

confirms what Joe Offer posted about French-Catholics in the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Fall River church basement
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 06:00 PM

My wife grew up in Woonsocket, 32 miles from Fall River. Woonsocket is an old, decrepit mill town on the Blackstone River in Rhode Island, right on the Massachusetts border. Like in many New England mill towns, most of the mill workers and small business owners were French Canadian, and French was the language spoken most commonly on the street.

My wife is Polish, and her first language was Polish. She didn't go to Catholic school until third grade, when the nuns started teaching in English instead of French. Nonetheless, she had French class every semester until she finished high school.

Things have changed in Woonsocket. Like in my home town of Racine, Wisconsin, once-productive industry is mostly dead. The Tupperware plant where my wife worked (and was fired), is now condominiums. The huge rubber plant where U.S. Keds shoes were made, burned to the ground in 2011, and seemed to mark the death of industry in Woonsocket. Like my hometown, the population has shrunk, and the ethnic groups have blended together. Most people speak English now, and fewer and fewer people belong to churches that express their ethnic identity.

My town and my wife's town were dirty industrial cities but they had a certain charm to them. They still have beautiful buildings, but many are boarded up and abandoned. I wonder what can be done to bring these beautiful towns back to life.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Fall River church basement
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 09:01 PM

The Rhode Island city where I grew up, Pawtucket, and the town in which I live now, West Warwick, have histories similar to that of West Warwick. And in both places, some churches have been closed, too. The beautiful church where I was baptized has been closed for many years. The church I attended for most of my childhood is still functioning, but it's been renamed because another church a half-block away was closed and its parishioners were told to join the newly renamed parish. I never went to Catholic school. My Episcopalian father had to agree to let any children be raised as Catholics when he and Mom got married, but his private deal with her was that thir children would attend public schools. I was an only child and the only Catholic child in my neighborhood who went to public school.


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Mudcat time: 20 October 8:28 PM EDT

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