Monday, March 08, 2010

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"After 114 years ministering to the spirtual needs of generations of Lorain families, St. Joseph Catholic Church closed its doors yesterday after a final Mass celebrated by Bishop Richard Lennon, of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

It was the last of several church closings or mergings in Lorain County ordered by the diocese due to falling memberships and financial pressure, according to Robert Tayek, a diocese spokesman.

But yesterday's emotional service, on the third Sunday of Lent, drew sadness and criticism from many members of the congregation, founded in 1896 by German immigrants at 317 W. 15th St., Lorain.

More than 200 parishioners filled the pews and two lines of folding metal chairs at the rear of the church for the 75-minute service. No babies cried during the Mass, but many older members shed tears as they recalled happier times at St. Joseph."