Small dioceses are also suffering from this crisis, and they are trying to be good stewards of their finances. Because they are holy places, dedicated to God and His saints, set apart for worship and the reception of the sacraments, paid for by the faithful, and honored as repositories of sacred and devotional art.
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What if the people can come up with a financial plan to maintain the church?
Some churches, though seldom used, can become satellites of nearby parishes.
They were put up quickly on low budgets by poor, uneducated immigrants.
Yet for many people these buildings seem like masterpieces in comparison to the worship spaces that we—wealthy, educated, and professional—have built over the past fifty years. Not to a Protestant congregation, which usually has limited funds, but to a developer who could retrofit it into some secular use, whether as condominiums, office space, or a community hall.
In working-class neighborhoods some see it as a concern, but they are a minority. In dioceses across the country, including Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, and New York, we have faced a historic number of church closings.