SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – While many places of worship are preparing to reopen, St. Francis Chapel in Springfield will be closing its doors permanently.
The chapel located on Bridge Street hasn’t been fully staffed for a decade due to lack of need from the community. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said funds collected at the chapel were “considerably less than the expenses associated with upkeep.”
In a statement to 22News the Diocese said in part:
Worshipers could not be expected to off-set the cost of maintaining a three-story building, one level used for daily Mass and confessions.Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield
The Diocese tried renting unused office space but it was still not enough income to sustain the chapel. Last fiscal year, the operating deficit was over $60,000 due to costs including compensation for the priests, employee salaries, supplies, utilities, and, especially, the ongoing costs to maintain the large, old building.
The Diocese is encouraging those who attended the chapel to find a new parish nearby- which can be done on their website. The City of Springfield currently has 13 other Catholic churches.
The property has been placed on the market for sale.