Pleas fail Fells Point parish set for closure

April 20, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A delegation of parishioners from St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church in Fells Point, which is being closed because of dwindling membership, met yesterday with Cardinal William H. Keeler in an attempt to persuade him to keep the parish open.

Five members of the Steering Committee to Save St. Stanislaus Kostka Church met with Keeler and Bishop Gordon D. Bennett, Keeler's assistant who supervises city parishes, for about 45 minutes yesterday. They were told the archdiocese has no plans to delay the closing.

"We wanted to convince them to reconsider their position, but from what we heard, they don't want to reconsider," said Dan Kuc, chairman of the steering committee, which gave Keeler a petition signed by about 2,500 people, as well as letters offering testimonials about the church.

"It was a cordial meeting," Kuc said. "But at the end, we were abruptly told, `We're still going to close it.' "

St. Stanislaus was founded in 1879 by Polish immigrants. Its numbers have declined in recent decades as members have moved to the suburbs.

The property is owned by the Conventual Franciscans, the religious order that administers the parish. The order will seek a buyer for the complex.

After the meeting, the Archdiocese of Baltimore issued a written statement: "The meeting, which did not result in any change in plans for the parish, consisted of a mutual and frank exchange of views, involving people who care deeply about their Church and its future."

The final regularly scheduled Mass at St. Stanislaus will be the Easter Mass this Sunday. A farewell Mass is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, May 6.

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