Holy Cross Statement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2020
Bishop Libasci: Statement Regarding Holy Cross Parish In Derry
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester recently learned that the occupancy permit for Holy Cross Church in Derry will expire on April 30, 2020. After that date the church building will no longer be able to be used for any type of public assembly. This prohibition affects all activity, including the celebration of Holy Mass.
“As good citizens who value the lives and safety of our people, the sacrifices of our firefighters and all our public servants, we must close this building until the necessary issues are resolved,” said the Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester.
“It is important to note that only the building will be closed,” Bishop Libasci said. “The future of the Parish of the Holy Cross itself is unaffected by this action. In order to attend to the process ahead of us we must engage in consultation with all the parties involved, especially the parishioners. Any decisions as a result of these consultations will be announced by me, via the diocese’s Office of Communications. Anything to the contrary will amount to nothing more than rumor and misunderstanding.”
Local fire officials recently informed the parish that the building’s occupancy permit, which was originally set to expire on February 29, cannot be renewed until the fire sprinkler system is made operational. The estimate to replace the system is $150,000 and the parish, which is currently in debt, has no means to fund this extraordinary but absolutely necessary project. Fire officials graciously agreed to let the parish continue to use the building for Mass until after Holy Week and Easter, the most sacred dates on the Christian calendar. After fulfilling those rites, the parish will close the building to the public, as the law requires.
It is also important to note that the diocese has not made any decision to close Holy Cross Parish, even though the church building itself will no longer be allowed to be used as a place of assembly after April 30. While the building is closed, we encourage Holy Cross parishioners to join those who attend Mass at nearby parishes, including Saint Thomas Aquinas in Derry or at Saint Anne in Hampstead.
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The Diocese of Manchester is the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire, serving the needs of nearly 235,000 Catholics. For more information, please visit www.catholicnh.org/overview.