ADAMS, Mass. — A Roman Catholic church that was occupied by protesting parishioners for more than three years has reopened for regular worship.

Protesters occupied St. Stanislaus Kostka since it shut in December 2008. It was merged into the new Blessed John Paul the Great Parish.

The Rev. Daniel Boyle, the St. Stanislaus pastor, said the diocese has approved a plan to reopen St. Stanislaus Church as a "chapel-mission" of the parish. His plan follows a Vatican decision to keep the church in religious use.

The first Mass is scheduled for 8 a.m. April 1 — Palm Sunday — and Mass is scheduled for Sunday mornings.

Catholic dioceses around the country have recently closed parishes due to falling attendance, a priest shortage, population shifts from cities to suburbs and financial troubles.