STATEMENT OF THE FALL RIVER DIOCESE ON CATHEDRAL CAMP
April 18, 2021
Earlier this year Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., assembled an ad hoc committee of clergy and laypersons to take a deep look at Cathedral Camp in East Freetown, both the facilities on the site and the programs sponsored there by the Fall River Diocese. The committee membership included persons with expertise in youth ministry, finance, and construction and maintenance.
Concerns about the operation of the Camp have been mounting over the past few years. The annual diocesan subsidy for Camp operations has averaged around $200,000 annually. The other source of funding comes from camp user fees. Together, the total amount was no longer covering the Camp’s yearly costs.
In addition, the various buildings on the Camp property are in need of significant investment. While routine maintenance has been done, some of the buildings date back 100 years and more and now require structural repairs.
The ad hoc committee considered all these challenges amidst the overall financial constraints and uncertainties confronting the Diocese following the pandemic.
After hearing the feedback from the committee, and the diocesan College of Consultors, Bishop da Cunha has decided to suspend all the programs at the Cathedral Camp facility. It is the consensus of those involved in the study that the use and model of the Camp is no longer sustainable in its current structure.
At the Bishop’s direction, a thorough assessment of the property and its resources will be undertaken to determine how it might be used in the future to further the mission of the Fall River Diocese in southeastern Massachusetts.