St Barnabas Parish in O’Fallon, Missouri, was scheduled to close within five years in 2013.
Then, Father Ray Hager introduced the Latin Mass and the congregation grew rapidly (OnePeterFive.com, July 25). Now, 200 people, mostly young families, attend.
In 2018, instead of closing, the church was renovated, including a beautiful new high altar that St Louis Archdiocese called “extraordinary”.
St Louis Archbishop Carlson retired in summer 2020, and Francis appointed Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski.
He suddenly claimed in March 2021 that Father Hager had not sought “proper approvals”, or followed “direction” from his superiors. Hager was ordered in April 2021 to transfer to another parish or to retire. He chose the latter. The Mass still continued.
In May 2023, Rozanski announced a massive downsizing of parishes, euphemistically called “All Things New.” St Barnabas was among the parishes to be closed, explicitly because most of its parishioners attended Mass
Rozanski will stop the celebration of Mass at St Barnabas on July 30. Since March 2023, the parishioners have been praying the rosary outside the church.