7/26/15, "Dozens Of Catholic Churches Hold Final Sunday Masses," newyork.cbslocal.com
"Dozens of Catholic churches in the New York City area have celebrated Sunday Mass for the final time.
The parishes are slated to be merged with others as part of a large reorganization by the Archdiocese of New York.
As CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported, a special processional was held at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church on the Upper East Side, one of the churches holding their final Mass.
“It’s sad for a lot of people” said Father Patrick McCale. “For me,
it’s just kind of getting through it, encouraging people to have hope.”
St. Elizabeth is the only church in the archdiocese that offers
masses in sign langugage, and deaf worshipers come from far and wide to
“That’s the most difficult of all — we’re dealing with people who
don’t understand why it’s happening, and I can’t explain why either,”
The church is slated to close and merge with St. Monica’s. It’s one
of 31 parishes affected by the major reorganization because of issues. The archdiocese is hoping the move will lead to fewer but stronger churches.
“I’m depressed,” one woman at the Church of Holy Rosary in East
Harlem told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern. “I love this church. This is like a
“The decisions were made for us, not by us,” said another worshiper
there. “But we talked to each other and we prayed. And so the majority
of us, for now, will be going to Mount Carmel, and if it’s God’s will —
we were doing a lot of prayer — for us to come back, we will be here.”
Nearby at St. Lucy’s Church, Monsignor Oscar Aquino was saying goodbye to his parishioners.
“We have to see brighter light because we always have to look at the future,” he said.
At the Church of the Holy Agony in East Harlem, parishioners have
been fighting to keep the doors open. And at the Church of the Nativity
on the Lower East Side, they’ve appealed to the Vatican.
“We are working together,” said parishioner Mercedes Sanchez. “We are
being united, and thankfully we have a cannon lawyer who’s guiding us
about what we should be doing legally.”
They’re hoping Cardinal Timothy Dolan hears their pleas.
Dolan said he understand how difficult it is for parishioners, but said the diocese will function more efficiently.
“What I hope they understand deep down — and I think they do — that
as important as a building is, that’s not the church, and that
everything they cherish there — the Mass, the sacrament, the prayer, the
community, the works of charity and love that they do — that can now go
on in a new structure.”"
5/8/15, "Mergers Of 31 Additional NY Catholic Churches Announced," newyork.cbslocal.com
"“For too long we have been in the
of maintaining buildings and structures that were established in the
19th and early 20th centuries to meet the needs of the people of that
time, but which are not necessary to meet the needs of the church and
its people as it exists today,” he (Cardinal Dolan) added."....