Saint Mary Church Moving Towards Relegation

The Saint Mary Polish American Society posted the below update on its Facebook page this evening. The update states that Saint Matthew Parish has informed the society that it plans to move forward with relegating Saint Mary Church. Near the end of the post, the Society seems to be stating that it is going to offer some behind-the-scenes information in the near future.

Read the post from the society below:

Friends, we have always endeavored to be a source of truth and accurate information during the course of our existence as an organization dedicated to promoting Polish heritage in Montgomery County while raising money for the maintenance, upkeep, and restoration of St. Mary’s Church so it can serve as a home for Polish customs and traditions for generations to come. Today we reaffirm this commitment, but also find ourselves being forced to address some unfortunate developments.

Once again, St. Matthew’s Parish has decided to pursue relegation of St. Mary’s Church, informing our board of this decision in a meeting yesterday, but also announcing it during their Masses this weekend. Relegation would take away St. Mary’s status as a Catholic Church and a sacred space, and inevitably pave the way for its sale and demolition.

It is essential to emphasize here that relegation requires one of two grave conditions to be present, severe structural issues with a church building or significant financial hardship for the parish responsible for caring for the church building in question. Simply put, neither condition is present in the case of St. Mary’s, and we are confident that any attempt to relegate St. Mary’s will not be successful upon appeal.

While this development does not surprise us, it saddens us that St. Matthew’s has chosen to pursue this path forward with regards to St. Mary’s, despite St. Mary Polish American Society demonstrating its ability to meet the financial needs of St. Mary’s Church since taking over all the expenses for the church building since last April, as well as continually striving to work with them and respecting their position as the sole Catholic parish in Conshohocken. Until this point we have gone out of our way to tell our story in a positive light, looking past the difficulties created by St. Matthew’s as we worked to accomplish our mission. The time has come to tell the whole story, no longer leaving out the facts of the challenges we have faced. We will be sharing more details of this story later this week in a subsequent post.

Please pray for the Catholic community in Conshohocken, and for the future of Polish heritage in Montgomery County, and the fate of St. Mary’s Church, never losing sight of hope, as this development represents a new beginning in our efforts to save St. Mary’s Church.

In the words of our beloved Pope St. John Paul the Great, “Be Not Afraid!”