The Deacon's Bench

New Orleans has now joined Boston as an American city where parishioners have moved into churches and are refusing to leave, to keep them from being shuttered.


Parishioners occupying two Catholic churches in defiance of closure orders from the Archdiocese of New Orleans began laying plans Monday to live in the churches in shifts.

Parishioners from both St. Henry and Our Lady of Good Counsel met Monday night with Peter Borre, a Boston energy consultant who has been involved in Boston parishes’ resistance to a wave of parish closings Cardinal Sean O’Malley ordered in 2004.

Five Boston-area parishes have been occupied around the clock — or under “vigil” — for four years.

In an interview earlier Monday, Borre said he would urge New Orleans parishioners to resist the closings with occupations, in part because “these vigils are the only thing these bishops understand.”

Later, he told a group of two dozen St. Henry parishioners that Boston parishes are being occupied by traditional, mainstream Catholics who are finding their faith enriched in the struggle.

“Here in Catholic America, some people are standing up and saying these are our parishes, and we will protect them against the depredations of our appointed bishops,” he told the group.

You’ll find more about this at the link.

Photo: Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, photo by Sean Gardner, USA TODAY.

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