FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — St. Anne’s Shrine has officially reopened – but the Fall River Diocese is no longer responsible for it.
St. Anne’s closed last November because it would have cost the diocese millions of dollars.
According to Fall River Bishop Edgar da Cunha, the diocese agreed late last week to transfer care and oversight of the shrine to the St. Anne’s Preservation Society.
The shrine is located in the building’s lower church and will serve as a space for prayer and worship.
“I am so very pleased that we have been able to work out this agreement,” da Cunha said.
da Cunha said the Fourth of July is significant for the church since it is the anniversary of the 1906 dedication of the building’s upper church.
The shrine will be open daily Monday through Friday.
The specific hours of operation are yet to be determined.
Going forward, St. Anne’s Preservation Society host a fundraising campaign so they can begin to repair the building. The group hopes to eventually fully restore both the lower and upper churches over a 10-year period.
Two Masses have already been scheduled – one being on July 26 for the Feast of Saint Anne and another one year from now for the anniversary of the church’s dedication.
Once the shrine is open, St. Anne’s Preservation Society will start to schedule recitations of the rosary, Bible studies and other special programs.