FW church closes, members still hope to save it

- Ask  anyone at San Mateo Mission and you’ll hear decades of memories.

“It's the little church that could, the little church that keeps on trying,” said Sandra Bermejo, a church member.

“Sixty-two years. I was here when the first church sat on the corner,” said church member Louise Rivera.

After more than a half century welcoming members through the doors, San Mateo Mission is shutting down.

The Diocese of Fort Worth decided to close the church and direct members to Saint Patrick’s instead, citing decreasing mass attendance among other factors.

Sunday church members shared old memories on the last day.

“You know, these were celebrations of the community. This was something that was important to us,” said Bermejo.

And some even brought cameras to remember this day, the last mass they’ll celebrate in this building for now.

“It's kind of sad to see it go away this way, the way they're treating us,” said church member Emerico Perez.

In a statement the Diocese said in part:

“For many of the most recent years the priests and staff of St. Patrick's Cathedral parish have been responsible for the administration of this mission.  San Mateo has never been a self-sustaining parish community."

“To say that we are not able to sustain ourselves financially is a falsehood. But we are here as a community, we will gather and stay as a community to fight this,” said Bermejo.

And some members say they’ll keep trying to contact the diocese and the bishop to try and keep the doors at San Mateo open.

“It is more than a building. It's a family that you've basically taken and shoved out the door and locked the key,” said Rivera.

The Diocese of Fort Worth says no decisions have been made about what to do with the building and demolition is not planned at this time.

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