, Salem, MA


March 4, 2013

Letter: Former church site looks like a 'war zone'

To the editor:

“Time marches on,” despite the innumerable legal battles fought and in spite of the countless words of wisdom uttered from the mouths of learned historians and architects. Yes, despite the dedication and devotion of the faithful parishioners, St. Joseph Church at 7 Lafayette St. in Salem was mercilessly and totally demolished.

Even despite the earlier-known facts that St. Joseph’s property had the only Catholic school in Salem, and that it also had an active food pantry that fed many hundreds and thousands of hungry people daily seemed insignificant to the Boston Archdiocese. Although it had a convent with holy teaching nuns, and this church was built in the newly formed style of cruciform architecture, which was eligible for the historic register, it also seemed unimportant to the Boston Archdiocese, for this organization had it demolished anyway.

However, many former parishioners knew that their closed church would always be holy for them. Therefore, they would bless themselves by making the sign of the cross as they passed by, or they would genuflect for they knew that they were treading upon God’s holy ground. However, recently, God’s holy terrain looks like a war zone with mounds of dirt and broken bricks that are full of smoke and holy dust waiting to be trashed.

Yes, I already know the answer to this question, but I will ask it anyway. Why did the Boston Archdiocese close St. Joseph’s Church and then have it demolished? One great writer once said that “God will have the ultimate word.”

Yes, I believe that this statement is true, for God alone will be the final victor who will ultimately bring justice to mankind’s fallen earth.

Anna Della Monica


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