Saint Mary Polish Society Challenges Legality of Relegating Saint Mary Church

The Saint Mary Polish American Society recently published to its Facebook page a letter it sent to Father Thomas Heron at Saint Matthew Parish questioning the legality (Canon Law) of relegating Saint Mary Church, the former Saint Mary Parish. Relegation is the process to declare a Catholic church, no longer a church. The parish was merged in 2014, along with Saint Gertrude and SS. Cosmas & Damian, into the existing Saint Matthew Parish.

Since then the Saint Gertrude property was sold to the Borough of West Conshohocken and S.S. Cosmas & Damian was purchased by a Coptic church. Saint Mary Church was on a path towards relegation, however, the Saint Mary Polish American Society was created and has led the effort to keep the Saint Mary Church as a shrine and center for Polish culture in Montgomery County.

Below is the letter: 

In the letter, it mentions what was published in Saint Matthew Parish bulletins in regards to relegation in June. Here is the text of what was published:

On February 21, 2017 the Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils voted unanimously to renew our request for the relegation of St. Mary’s church. Both councils emphasized the need of having all parishioners worship at St. Matthew’s to enhance unity and help parishioners focus on the future of the parish community. The relegation will provide more effectively for the pastoral needs of the faithful, assure the vitality of parish life, provide for a better stewardship of resources and optimum use of clergy, and lay personnel.

Fr. Heron, the Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils welcome your input and comments. Members of the Pastoral Council: Joe Carr, Pat Getzfread, Ed Garbacz, Debbie Golas, Michelle Borkowski, Mary Kay McKenna, Mary Ann Cook, Mary Ann Pruskowski, Joe Boccella, Paul McConnell.
Members of the Finance Committee: Leah Hepler, Ed Pluciennik, Chris Pecoraio, Ellen Mansfield, Matt McKendry, Kevin McMonagle.

We don’t know what to think about this. If the Society has the money and wants to make the repairs, why are they being prevented? That was exactly the hopeful outcome mentioned in a letter from the Archdiocese when the Society formed.

So what do the readers think? Let us know in the comments.