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New parish closing decrees signed, Newton vigil to end

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BRIGHTON — The Archdiocese of Boston released three new decrees, dated Jan. 11, for the suppression of two parishes in Quincy — Most Blessed Sacrament Parish and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish — and the creation of Holy Trinity Parish, which will be formed from their territories.

"Having considered the needs of the Catholic population of Quincy, it is my belief that one territorial parish with two worship sites is the best plan to meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of the people of the Houghs Neck, Merrymount and Germantown sections of the City of Quincy," wrote Archbishop Seán P. O'Malley in the closing decrees.

Most Blessed Sacrament and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton be officially suppressed at 12:00 p.m. on Jan. 31. Their territories will form Holy Trinity Parish, and both church buildings will remain open. The canonical registers from both parishes will also transfer to Holy Trinity. The remaining goods and obligations of the former parishes will become the goods and obligations of the archdiocese. Holy Trinity will become a parish at 12:01 p.m. on Jan. 31.

Last week, the archdiocese announced that an extension had been granted to Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown, which will now close sometime after Easter. Sacred Heart was originally scheduled to close in November 2004 but had been given a reprieve until Jan. 9.

The archbishop granted the second extension after consultation with the Reconfiguration Review Committee in order to give parishioners more time to make the difficult move to their new parishes.

"We are grateful for this extension," said Father Joseph Curran, Sacred Heart's pastor. "This additional time will allow our parish community to effect a transition in the manner that will be most helpful for our parishioners."

In a separate development, parishioners at St. Bernard Parish in Newton suspended their protest to upcoming closure after meeting with the archbishop on Jan. 10.

"Suspending it means it could be resumed at any time if the circumstances warrant," said Maria Plati, a member of Friends of St. Bernard's.

St. Bernard’s 24-hour vigil began in October although the parish had been granted a reprieve and was still open. Catholics at seven former parishes, closed in reconfiguration, are conducting 24-hour vigils. The archdiocese plans to close 83 parishes in reconfiguration, which began last spring.

AP materials contributed to this report

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