Local Polish immigrants and their descendents gathered in front of the St. Paul Cathedral Saturday to protest the merger of their parish, Holy Cross, into St. Anthony of Padua in Minneapolis.
It was part of a larger demonstration by members of four churches appealing to the Vatican to stop their mergers with other parishes.
Holy Cross members want their 125-year-old church to continue as solely devoted to Polish customs.
"We have a loyal following throughout the metro area that's willing to drive many miles," said parishioner Jason Franzen. "We just think it's unreasonable that we have to go this far to stop this from happening.
Dennis McGrath,a spokesman for the archdiocese, said the traditions developed at Holy Cross will continue.
"Holy Cross is not going to change, and anything to the contrary is unfounded," said McGrath. "They're going to continue to have Polish mass, they're going to continue to have Polish Sunday school, Polish activities and social activities. Nothing is going to change."
McGrath says decreasing membership and dwindling funds forced the reorganization announced last year.