The pastor of a Cleveland congregation holding worship services inside a former warehouse is speaking out following a decree of excommunication by Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon.
CLEVELAND - Parishioners of the 12 Roman Catholic churches in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese that are expected to reopen within the next year are rejoicing.
"The power of prayer," said Joanmarie Racette, a St. Patrick parishioner.
Racette has prayed the rosary nearly every day since the diocese announced that her beloved church would close. Tuesday, she said her prayers have been answered.
"This is not the old St. Patrick, this is a rebirth of the parish, a renewal," said Racette.
"It is a wonderful day for St. Casimir church and parish," said Tina Girod, who wrote the 27-page appeal to Rome. "This is almost like another resurrection, with our church, we have another chance to show the Catholic Diocese that we are a vibrant parish."
A sign outside of St. Wendelin celebrates the reopening of the church, and there's a ribbon outside of St. Patrick -- all signs that parishioners are celebrating their churches.
Patricia Schulte-Singleton is thrilled about the reopening of St Patrick but still has questions.
"When, how, the different details, we would like to know," said Schulte-Singleton.
Pope Benedict XVI will be held high regard by members of Cleveland churches ordered reopened by the Vatican under his watch, a lay leader of a spared congregation said Monday.
St. Casimir parishioners celebrated their first Christmas inside parish since the Cleveland Catholic Diocese shut down 13 local dioceses.
Mass will again be held at St. Emeric Catholic Church beginning Nov. 4, and the pastor of the parish has just been announced.
The last of 11 churches closed by the Cleveland Catholic Diocese and later spared by the Vatican is planning its reopening.