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NH Diocese Cancels Sale of Historic St. Joseph’s Church

Updated: Aug 3, 2019

On Monday, July 8th, the Diocese of Manchester confirmed that it had terminated the May 30th purchase and sale agreement with an unnamed buyer for the historic Saint Joseph's Church in Laconia. The ninety year old Gothic Revival church, built with the support of Irish immigrants, was scheduled to be demolished this summer.

The diocese, which had previously refused to even discuss keeping the church open with aggrieved parishioners, reversed its decision following protests by exasperated Catholics, opposition from public officials, adverse media coverage, and the threat of a canonical lawsuit.

In another apparent reversal, the diocese now says it might be possible to subdivide the parish property into three parcels, allowing the preservation of the church edifice, which parishioners hope will remain as a Catholic chapel.

The Friends of Saint Benedict Center called the decision a "well earned victory by long suffering parishioners who refused to allow their spiritual patrimony to be destroyed."

Friends of Saint Benedict Center Communications Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment: "The lesson to be learned here is that enough pressure is applied, even the most unresponsive and unaccountable of church bureaucracies can be made to understand the effects of public outrage, unfavorable publicity and the cost of potential legal action. While parishioners must remain vigilant, they are to be congratulated for achieving this well deserved reprieve for Saint Joseph's."

Meanwhile, the embattled diocese continues to be embroiled in two other controversies. The first is over its plans to merge Catholic Medical Center in Manchester with the abortion friendly Dartmouth Hitchcock Health, while the second involves its attempt to suppress the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond.

• • • • •

The Friends of Saint Benedict Center was established in March of 2019 to provide moral and materiel support to the Saint Benedict Center in its efforts to lawfully resist the heavy handed attempts by the troubled Diocese of Manchester to completely suppress their flourishing religious community. Those wishing to support the Brothers and Sisters of the Saint Benedict Center in their struggle to preserve their apostolate, made do so here.

Contact: C. J. Doyle

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