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A Reprieve for St. Mary's

Parishioners attend a service at St. Mary of the Angels.
Melissa Block, NPR
Parishioners attend a service at St. Mary of the Angels.

A small Catholic church in Boston has been given a two-year reprieve after being told it would need to close. Parishioners at St. Mary of the Angels, in the city's low-income Roxbury neighborhood, are praying that the church will prove its worth to the community and stay open.

The Archdiocese of Boston announced this spring that more than 80 parishes -- nearly one in four -- would have to close. Among the reasons cited for the reconfiguration: population shifts, a shortage of priests and a soaring deficit. A new audit shows the archdiocese was $20 million in the red last year. Archbishop Sean O'Malley has stressed that none of the funds raised from consolidation will pay for the settlement of sexual abuse cases.

NPR's Melissa Block reports.

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