Bronx Church Closings & The Voice of Morality!

St. Ann's Church in Norwood

St. Ann’s Church in Norwood

Across the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan recently announced how scores of parishes would be affected by the largest reorganization in the history of the archdiocese.

From Staten Island to The Bronx, there was anguish for congregations that learned that their churches would be effectively shuttered. A five-year archdiocese initiative called Making All Things New, was evaluated for parishes with dwindling attendance and financial woes. In New York City, there are 368 parishes and 2.8 million Catholics living in communities served by those churches.
In all, 112 parishes will be merged to create 55 new parishes, the archdiocese announced. In 31 of those new parishes, one of the churches will no longer be used for regular services, meaning those churches will be effectively closed by August. As of 2013, only about 12 percent of the New York archdiocese’s 2.8 million Catholics regularly attended Sunday Mass, according to the archdiocese. Recently, archdiocese officials slated St. Ann’s, in Norwood Bronx, for consolidation. North Bronx Neighborhoods , that were once teeming with Italian, Irish and other Catholic immigrants have been overtaken by office buildings and other Commercial in fusions, leaving those parishes with fewer faithful. In May the archdiocese offered three reasons for consolidation: St. Ann’s declining attendance, low funding and proximity to St. Brendan’s Church, also in Norwood.

St. Ann’s will be one of six Bronx Catholic churches to close its regular worship, according to the archdiocese. In total, 31 churches will close in eight counties. The archdiocese has stated more consolidation will be considered in the coming months. And if you do not think consolidation in a pain in the neck, many parishioners of St ann’s said they worried the roughly half-mile walk between St. Ann’s and St. Brendan’s will be too difficult for elderly members. “It will be a very long walk for people who attend regularly, who aren’t athletic,” said Kay Collins, who has worshiped at St. Ann’s for 55 years. “And on Sunday, buses are not as frequent as other days of the week.”

The archdiocese did not announce what will happen to church buildings that will no longer be used regularly. Cardinal Dolan has indicated that some churches might be sold, but that such sales were likely years away. Any eventual proceeds, would likely be shared between the parish and the archdiocese, to create endowments for things like church upkeep to educational programs

Bottom Line: Over 80% of NYC residents are now “NOT ACTIVE” church goers despite only 10% Church Services closing!

Now is that why we are losing our moral sense of right and wrong! Because we stopped listening?


Anthony Rivieccio is a 5 decade northwest Bronx resident and business owner. He was President of the “204th St/Bainbridge Ave Merchant Association”, “Former member of Community Board 7” and Founder of “North Bronx Thinktank” & “Northwest Bronx Democrats”. Anthony is a published columnist and has written for distingued newspapers like: The Norwood News, The Riverdale Press, The Bronx News, Parkchester news, The Bronx Times and this newspaper.

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