By Andrea Flores

DENVER (CBS4) – The faithful at Our Lady of Visitation are fighting back against the Archdiocese of Denver after they forced them to stop offering mass to parishioners April 30.

church 4 Hundreds Protest Archdiocese Of Denvers Church Closing Move

(credit: CBS)

“We feel so betrayed,” said Marlene Casso. “(I) was baptized in this church and I’ve been coming ever since.”

In November, the Archdiocese of Denver notified OLV the church would close for good on April 30 due to a lack of priests and dwindling attendance. But with 400 registered members, Our Lady of Visitation officials say their community is stronger than ever.

Maria Gubser’s great grandfather donated the land at the intersection of Federal Boulevard and 64th Avenue to start the church in the 1940s.

“It’s history, it’s our faith and it’s our tradition,” Gubser said.

church 5 Hundreds Protest Archdiocese Of Denvers Church Closing Move

(credit: CBS)

After Sunday morning’s final mass, hundreds of parishioners protested outside the gates of the Archdiocese.

Their requests to meet with Archbishop Samuel Aquila went unanswered.

Former Denver Mayor and OLV parishioner Federico Peña hand delivered more than 1,200 signed petitions in hopes the Archbishop will reconsider.

church 1 Hundreds Protest Archdiocese Of Denvers Church Closing Move

Federico Peña (credit: CBS)

“One mass a week, that’s all we ask,” said Peña.

Parishioners plan to take their plea to the Pope.

“Please, hear our prayers, Pope, and let this church stay open,” said Our Lady of Visitation President Pierre Lopez.

Until then, the tiny church is holding out hope for one big miracle.

“We are going to make it,” Gubser said. “With everyone’s support we will succeed.”

church 2 Hundreds Protest Archdiocese Of Denvers Church Closing Move

(credit: CBS)

The OLV parish plans to meet with the Archbishop this week. Until then, parishioners are being redirected to Holy Trinity Parish, which is two miles from their current church.

The Archdiocese believes Holy Trinity will better serve the community, with more mass times, in English and Spanish.

Andrea Flores is a reporter for CBS4. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @AndreaFloresTV.

  1. Randy Stein says:

    Being a priest use to be such a honorable profession, no longer. The world has the best, most caring Pope in hundreds of years, but it’s not enough. The Church is dying because of the self-gratification, greed, and inability to face reality by it’s leaders for many hundreds of years. The result: churches having to close for dropping numbers of believers and people not wanting to be priests due to the stigma of being one, but the number of people becoming Muslim the world over increasing despite the hideous stigma and the hate caused by groups like ISIS. True Christianity is a great thing, too bad so few people are ACTUAL Christians..

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