They call themselves “Roamin’ Catholics,” traveling from church to church, looking for a new place to worship since Cleveland’s oldest black Catholic church was shut down more than a year ago.

Initially, there were nearly 50 of them from St. Adalbert Catholic Church, which closed in June 2010, as part of a diocesewide downsizing.

But some found other worship communities—both Catholic and Protestant—while others just quit church.

Phillis Fuller Clipps, 54, said she knows of 14 former Adalbert members or families who joined Protestant churches, 29 who no longer attend any church and 69 who joined other parishes.

But 16, including Clipps and her husband, are still displaced and say they will continue to roam as a group until they get a ruling from the Vatican on an appeal they filed, challenging Bishop Richard Lennon’s closing of St. Adalbert’s.

More than a dozen Cleveland-area parishes closed by Lennon over the last two years have appeals pending in Rome.

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