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Letters: Don’t close Holy Trinity

Thursday Jun 5, 2008

Don't close Holy Trinity
Dear Cardinal O'Malley:
This letter is sent to express my dismay and objection to your intention to close Holy Trinity German Catholic Church, slated for June 30, 2008 as stated in your recent letter to the church. This church, founded in 1844, has had an unbroken line of German families and visitors from abroad who have found a spiritual home there. Prior to their forced relocation to Newton, over 250 parishioners attending the Latin Mass at Holy Trinity also considered it to be their parish. Since that time, over 100 new attendees of the Latin Mass have been present each Sunday for the Latin Mass. The church also housed the Medeiros Center and programs for disadvantaged youth. In short, it was and is a very viable church.

Holy Trinity German Catholic Church was built with the sweat, toil and monetary contributions of the German people who built it over 160 years ago. Nicknamed "The Christmas Tree Church," a church of this magnificence could never be built again in today's dollars and with today's craftsmen - neither the dollars nor the skills exist. To destroy a spiritual community and a building of this stature is almost beyond comprehension. In a part of the city undergoing runaway gentrification, what is the message you are sending if you hand it over to a developer as a knock-down for quick cash? We have seen this thoughtless pattern throughout Boston's history, where viable neighborhoods and institutions are bulldozed - and not for any higher spiritual good. If someone were to suggest that the Old North Church be torn down to make way for luxury condos there would be an outcry. Holy Trinity German Catholic Church is a large piece of Boston's history - a monument to the wave of immigrants who built it. Today it continues to stand strong and shelter people of all ages and ethnicities and also the disadvantaged who find help there.

There is an old saying: "He who does not learn from history is condemned to repeat it." Before you send in the wrecking ball, I hope you will think about what you are destroying and what you are destroying it for. Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple. What would he have done is they had tried to turn it into condos? Surely he would not have handed them the keys. It is my sincere prayer that you will reconsider the closing of our church.
Angelo Messina


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