Two of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill’s largest catholic churches just emerged from a year of tough financial scrutiny. Bishop Nicholas Dimarzio launched an initiative to shore up the stability of the 197 Catholic churches in Brooklyn and Queens and decrease a running deficit that the church can no longer afford, he stated on their website.
Queen of All Saints Church, at 300 Washington Avenue, will remain open on a tight budget with an eye towards focused fundraising, said its pastor, Rev. Joseph A. Ceriello.
Saint Lucy-Saint Patrick, at 285 Willoughby, will merge with Mary of Nazareth Church on Adelphi street because of low attendance and budget problems, according to Rev. Kieran E. Harrington, diocese Vicar of Communications. The church building will remain open, but administrators at Mary of Nazareth Church will determine its activity and direction.
Several parishioners at Saint Lucy-Saint Patrick church said their tough times stem from tough times in the economy. One African-American father, who preferred not to give his name, lived in Clinton Hill for 46 years and said while he used to donate five to seven hundred dollars a year to the church, he can barely afford half of that now.
“The economy, it’s affecting everyone,” he said. “We can’t be expected to give our last dollar to the church when we have to help our families survive.”
While the bishop’s initiative examined the budgets of these two area churches, these two soundslides concentrate on the people who make up their unique communities, communities built up in a neighborhood of constant ethnic change.
Not shown is the Church of Saint Edward at 108 Saint Edward Street. It had been a second site of worship for Mary of Nazareth Church, but will no longer hold mass in 2011 and the building’s use will be determined in the future, according to Mr. Harrington.