Along with 177 Catholic Churches in Brooklyn and Queens, two of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill’s largest churches just emerged from a year of financial scrutiny. Bishop Nicholas Dimarzio launched an initiative to shore up the stability of Catholic churches and decrease a deficit, he stated, that they can no longer afford.
Queen of All Saints Church at 300 Washington Avenue will remain open on a tight budget according to 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 budgetary reasons, according to the, Rev. Kieran E. Harrington, diocese Vicar of Communications. The site will remain open, but the administration of Mary of Nazareth Church will determine its activity and direction and whether mass will be held there regularly.
Several parishioners at Saint Lucy-Saint Patrick church said tough times in their church are burdened by 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 he used to donate five to seven hundred dollars a year to the church but now can barely give half of that amount.
“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, this soundslide concentrates on Saint Lucy – Saint Patrick, a church built on fundraisers and small donations and that sits in a neighborhood of constant ethnic change.
This story has been published at http://fort-greene.thelocal.nytimes.com/2010/12/29/voices-from-two-churches-in-financial-trouble/