2006_07_29_stbrigids.jpgThat's the headline in both the Post and the News today. In a long-expected announcement yesterday the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York issued their final list of parishes that they are closing. A total of twenty-one parishes in the Archdiocese, which covers the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and several upstate counties, will be closed. Ten parishes will be shut down completely while eleven others will be merged with neighboring parishes.

The Times reports the changes are being driven by changing demographics and immigration patterns. Urban churches have lost many parishioners while churches in the suburbs have overflowed. While the may have the need to adjust their parishes to better serve their worshipers, Cardinal Edward Egan was upbeat about the announcement, many attendees at those churches are saddened by the loss of their home church. Nilda Ortiz, who attends the to-be-closed St. Francis of Assisi in the Bronx told the News "I've been going there for 20 years. I don't know what I'm going to do."

Church officials declined to give a timeline for the closures, saying they will work with the individual parishes. Officials also said there are currently no plans to sell church property.

Photo of St. Brigid, which is to be merged into St. Emeric parish by bluejake