Again, let me state this very clearly: Resurrection Church is not closing – but lets be real it’s “on the table”.
Every parish in the diocese is currently engaged in a strategic planning process with the bishop. The “Christ Jesus, Our Hope – Diocesan Strategic Planning for Parishes” plan is to evaluate the current status of local parishes for the long term stability of the church. Meaning… closings of churches are “on the table” – across the board – across the diocese.
All churches have very low attendance, and there seems to be a lot of different reasons for the low attendance, but according to the report some factors include “demographic shifts, small and large from the migration of many Catholics away from the Northeast to changes in ethnic groups within certain neighborhoods.”
The Bishop does not want what happened to schools in their decision of closing to happen to churches. To that end, he is making everyone alert to what is going on.
Some churches cannot support themselves because they are either in poor areas and are not being supported by parishioners, so the diocese has been subsidizing them. Some are receiving up to 40%. Selling church property is not an option, Real estate will probably go back up. Some churches are very close in proximity and some have very high maintenance costs and falling apart.
The bishop has appointed a committee to go to the churches and evaluate buildings, structure, cost efficiency, maintenance. They are also looking at the “sacramental life” of the church e.g. baptisms, weddings, communions, confirmations etc.