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Infant of Prague Shrine closing in Williamsville

A Catholic shrine in Williamsville is closing July 16 after 57 years, a religious congregation announced Friday.

The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities said the shrine and the half-acre property it sits upon at 6380 Main St. will be sold to Village Park Associates, LLC of Williamsville.

The shrine was open night and day for anyone who wanted to pray, said Sister Peggy Wetzel. But in recent years, there has been a decline in the shrine’s use and the congregation is less able to maintain the building and grounds.

The shrine was once part of a 58-acre campus that also housed the convent and offices of the former Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Divine Child, but the rest of the property was sold in parcels beginning in 2003.

Wetzel said she did not know what Village Park Associates plans to do with the site, which is surrounded by office buildings. The sale to Village Park Associates is expected to be finalized within the next few months; no sale price was disclosed.

The Sisters of St. Francis are planning a prayer of thanksgiving service at the shrine at 11 a.m. July 16.

“The shrine may be closing but the sisters will pray for the intentions of those who would come to the shrine to ask God for help or to offer their thanks,” said Sister Barbara Jean Donovan, general minister. Donovan said individuals could make prayer requests by calling 716-632-2155.

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