CLEVELAND -- It didn't take long for the Bishop's words to reach those who had so desperately prayed and had hoped for this decision.
Here at St. Patrick's, we've seen people gathered to celebrate this now certain reality that the churches will reopen.
"Thank the Blessed Mother, Bishop Lennon," Mary Jane Bartel, of St. Patrick's, said.
Those are the words many parishioners wondered if they'd ever get the chance to say.
The churches that will reopen are:
- St. Mary (Akron)
- St. John the Baptist (Akron)
- St. Mary (Bedford)
- St. Adalbert (Cleveland)
- St. Barbara (Cleveland)
- St. Casimir (Cleveland)
- St. Emeric (Cleveland)
- St. Patrick (Cleveland)
- St. Peter (Cleveland)
- St. Wendelin (Cleveland)
- St. James (Lakewood)
- St. Mary (Lorain)
A still-closed St. Patrick's, once a place of hurt, is now a place of hope, as the Bishop's response to the Vatican's ruling now fills what was an empty space.
"...and he said peace be with you and I knew that he meant we'd have peace in the dioceses," Rosemary Kelly said.
Over at St. James, there's similar excitement. The locked church doors, papered with the sign of relief, many feel as parishioners, like Toni Sabo, and dare to imagine how it will feel, walking into her church of 43-years.
"It's going to feel like coming home after a long vacation," Sabo said.
But their faith, they say, never left and was only tested.
"We've been waiting all this time for him to say that, kind of a long journey," Joseph Dwyer said.
"But he did accept the fact that he had to reopen us and he was very gracious in doing it," Karen Endredi, a St. Patrick's parishioner, said.
"Oh no, no hard feelings. If we had hard feelings, we wouldn't be good Christians, would we?" Bartell said.