Keep our church open, keep our traditions alive

To the Editor:

Over 113 years ago, a group of Italian immigrants, wanting to continue their Catholic traditions in their new home, knocked on the doors of their local churches for help. Unfortunately, they were turned down. At a tremendous cost, they decided to build their own church and they called it Our Lady of the Assumption. My grandfather told me that these faithful even sacrificed purchasing groceries in order to raise money to build a church. This Italian Church grew to become the second most attended church of all of the churches in Bayonne.
Thirty years ago, the Spanish community faced the same problem the Italian community had. With their deep faith, this Italian church opened its doors to them and they became a very vibrant community. Later, the Filipino community was also included. They all continued their traditions brought here from their respective motherlands.
Three months ago, the Archdiocese had decided to keep the church open. The members of the church were all pleased, especially since there were threats of the Archdiocese closing other churches in Bayonne. However, a month ago, the Archdiocese decided to close Our Lady of the Assumption Church. I feel that this move discriminates against the Italian, Spanish, and Filipino communities. While Pope Francis preaches his true belief to “not close the churches,” the Archdiocese thinks differently. Let’s fight to keep the church open!


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