Parishioners Hold Church Rally In Hopes Of Saving St. Paul Catholic Church

More than 200 St. Paul parishioners met Sunday, in what they call a "Rosary Rally." After weeks of pleas and protest directed at church leaders, on this Sabbath, church members turned their pleas to higher power.

They pray that the holy spirit will convince church leaders to rebuild St. Paul on the beach front property instead of merging with Our Lady of Lourdes church on Menge Avenue.

"We all feel very strongly that we shouldn't lose a church that was built in 1849. Maybe not this structure but it's been here. So this is our way of asking God to help us," Marjorie Schroeder, a church member.

After prayers, members spoke about what losing St. Paul would mean to them.

"St. Paul is like a symbol of the love that God gave to all of us," says one church member. "The city is seriously interested in having this thing return," remarks another member.

Members know yard signs, bumper stickers, petitions, and even prayer might not be enough to sway the diocese decision to merge and relocate St. Paul.

"I'm here for the long haul and I hope everyone is willing to fight," says one member.

But for them, keeping their church on the beach would be the answer to a lot of prayers.

"I may be in denial and I haven't come to the fact that this could happen to us so were not giving up," remarks a member.

Bishop Thomas Rodi says he stands by the decision of the church's pastor, Father Dennis Carver, to move the church to the new location farther inland.