The proverbial die is cast: ‘Onze Lieve Vrouwe van Lourdeskerk’ (our lady of Lourdes church) in the Woensel district of Vlokhoven is closing down.
The Congregation for the Clergy in Rome sent a letter to the parish informing them of this decision. The hundred churchgoers and the parishioners of Lourdes Church have gone to Rome and fought for the preservation of the church.
Marjolein Verhoeven, of the ‘St. Petrus’ parish (under whose jurisdiction the Lourdes Church lies), informed that the Diocese and the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome, rejected the objection of the parishioners.
She regrets the closure, but understands. "The diocese has indicated that we are too few to be able to support the church, and are currently living beyond our means and therefore decided that the church should close. For churchgoers this is obviously very painful."
Some parishioners put the blame for the closure on the Thomas Church in Woensel East, but Verhoeven says that probably isn’t fair. "If the church where you are used to go is going to close, it is always disappointing. Some people feel the Thomas Church should be closed instead as fewer people are visiting there."
The visitors of the Lourdes Church have to look for another church now. According to Verhoeven, it makes no sense to arrange transportation for people who have difficulty walking. "There’s still a little resentment and to go to another church is a big step. Also the elderly do not want to depend on a bus to take them to church. "
The last service in the nearly century-old church will be held next Sunday.