Postcard from Adams

As financial woes and falling attendance shutter Catholic churches nationwide, some of the faithful refuse to go quietly. A prayer (and a sit-in) for St. Stanislaus Kostka

Channing Johnson for TIME

Parishioner Henry Tomkowicz looks out St. Stan's front door during the lock-in vigil.

On Friday evenings, Francis Hajdas takes his sleeping bag to church. He puts it down among the pews on the left side, close to the century-old carved-wood confessionals, before examining a folding table by a marble tomb of Jesus, which holds a spread of apples, candy canes, water and homemade cookies donated by supporters.

"People come from near and far to drop off food and wish us good luck," says the retired Navy electronics specialist, 72. "Makes me feel good to know that should I go to jail for this, I did the right thing."

On Dec. 26, Hajdas and about...

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