Market driven ecumenism

by Tom Roberts

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What happens to old Catholic churches that were boarded up because there aren’t enough priests to go around? In Worcester, Mass., as in a number of other cities, Pentecostals step in where Catholics used to tread.

In the most recent case, a group called the Upper Room Family International Church of Worcester bought the former St. Margaret Mary Church, one of five closed last year by Robert J. McManus, for $555,000, according to the Telegram and Gazette.

It wasn’t the first such turnaround for the small church. In 1923, Catholics who had been meeting for Mass in a local Knights of Columbus Hall bought the building from a Methodist Congregation.

This time around, Bishop McManus was rather gracious about the sale, saying: “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,” he said, “and I know that he will continue to do so for the congregants of the Upper Room Family International Church.”

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