Amid a lot of bad news for a lot of parishes, one bright spot. Holy Innocents in Manhattan, originally on the list to be closed, has been spared the axe.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan announced on Sunday the largest reorganization in the history of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of New York, with 55 parishes from Staten Island to the Catskills to merge with neighboring parishes.
In 31 of those mergers, all Masses and other sacraments such as weddings and funerals will cease to be celebrated on a regular basis at one of the churches being merged. In the remaining 24 mergers, both churches will remain open for the regular celebration of Masses and other events.
Of the churches that will essentially be closed on a weekly basis for worship purposes, nine are in Manhattan, six in Westchester, six in the Bronx, four in Staten Island and six are in Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, or Dutchess counties.
Some churches that had been recommended for mergers by an advisory panel earlier this year were spared, at least for now, after parishioners raised objections. Among them are Holy Innocents Church in Midtown Manhattan, the only church in New York where the Latin Mass is celebrated daily, and St. John’s Church in Piermont.