The End of Empire
The school closed in 2002... and yesterday, with all of 80 parishioners left, the vaunted MBS saw its final Mass.
The parish began in 1901 in the heart of an Irish Catholic neighborhood. As many as 35-hundred children attended its school at one time. The church itself is a sight to behold: vibrant stained glass windows, oil paintings, ornate detail beneath a vaulted ceiling freshly painted just 6 years ago.In haler days, it used to be said that "As MBS goes, so goes the church."
Jim Bell came back to his old neighborhood for today's farewell mass. "It's sad cause it's the end of an era. It's like so many children have come here and gone and now when you come back you see a couple hundred people."
The congregation has dwindled to just 80 members. The heat hasn't worked in a year. The building will now close so the congregation can join another blocks away.
"My heart is heavy today. I have a lot of fond memories of this church. I got married here. I've been here throughout the years," said Diane Reed.
At the end of the service the congregation said a blessing, draped the doors and locked them symbolically, ending 106 years of baptisms, funerals, marriages and masses in a holy place thousands of Catholics have claimed as their spiritual home.
And the more things change....