|Jerie Greve of St. Austin Catholic Church prayed for her church’s independence after a merger was announced in 2011.|
Worshipers at St. Austin Catholic Church in north Minneapolis learned this month that their church would be closed — immediately.continue at STrib
It was the latest setback for a spunky church community that had taken its fight to avoid a church merger all the way to the Vatican.
St. Austin was among 21 churches the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced it would fold into 14 “receiving” parishes during a 2010 reorganization. It was merged into nearby St. Bridget parish, and religious services had been alternating between the two campuses since.
But that ended this month when the congregations voted that if only one church were to remain open, it would be St. Bridget. St. Austin skeptics claim the entire process was rigged. Proponents said no, the closing reflected the real challenges of operating two churches with limited money and members.
These are always sad stories.