AKRON, Ohio - A closed northeast Ohio church spared by the Vatican has reopened.
Nearly 700 people gathered Wednesday night at St. Mary Roman Catholic Church in Akron to mark the reopening and the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
More than 50 churches in the eight-county Cleveland Diocese were merged in recent years amid declining numbers of priests and worshippers.
The Vatican ordered 11 reopened and a merged parish won back its original name. The Vatican sided with parishioners who said the closings weren't done properly.
St. Mary Church was merged with St. Bernard and one priest now serves as pastor of both.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal , both churches are part of a cluster of four parishes assigned to work together to better utilize resources.