Community of closed Denver-area church reunites with candlelight vigil on Christmas Eve

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DENVER -- While Our Lady of Visitation closed in April 2017, its community has remained together. Parishioners gathered Monday night to reenact a Biblical scene about the events leading to Christ's birth.

Our Lady of Visitation is located on West 65th Place in Berkley, which is part of Adams County just north of Denver city limits.

The church's community is hoping to show the Archdiocese of Denver that they have not lost faith and are worthy of having the church reopened.

A spokeswoman for the Goat Hill Catholic Society says appeals to the Vatican give them hope. Moreover, they said that at least two masses a year can be held on the grounds.

"Our church is one of those small, little bright spots that keeps people interested in the Catholic Church," petitioner Sandy Garcia said.

While no priest was at the Christmas Eve ceremony, Denver's archbishop says he will provide a priest on the church's feast day in May of next year.

Requests for comment were not immediately returned by the archdiocese.

On Thursday, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Denver sent the following statement:

"The Archdiocese of Denver and Holy Trinity worked in good faith to find a compromise and solution that would allow the pastor of Holy Trinity Parish to best serve the interests of everyone in the Holy Trinity parish boundaries. This included at one point offering to hold a monthly mass at Our Lady of Visitation, a compromise that was rejected.

We will now follow the conditions set forth in the decree from the Vatican. The pastor and staff at Holy Trinity are working to re-open OLV as a subsidiary church sometime in early 2019."

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