Albany Diocese Announces Final Decisions
of 2 ½-year Called to BE Church Process
2 ½ years, more than 600 meetings, input from more than
10,000 Catholics across the Albany Diocese, and prayerful consideration,
the final decisions of the Diocese’s planning process
have been reached.
decisions are being announced to parishioners during Masses
17 and 18, 2009.
grassroots planning process, known as Called to BE Church, involved
thousands of Catholics across the Diocese in shaping the future
of the church specifically, aligning its physical, financial
and personnel resources in a way that would serve the greatest
number of Catholics now and in the future, while preserving
the Church’s commitment to inner cities, the poor, elderly
and infirm, and other vulnerable populations. Thirty-eight local
planning groups (comprised of parish leaders and lay parishioners-representatives
from two or more neighboring parishes) studied issues on a neighborhood
and regional level across the 14 counties of the Diocese.
no question that the closing of parishes is a difficult and
painful process for the people of the parish, for which there
is a great spiritual and emotional attachment. All of the people
involved in this process empathize with the painful adjustments
that will be required,” said Bishop Howard J. Hubbard.
fact, my own home parish of St. Patrick’s in Troy will
be closing —the church where I grew up, went to
school, celebrated my first Mass as a priest of the Diocese,
and buried my parents. But we as a church must acknowledge the
social and demographic trends that require change, and remember
our Church must adapt, just as our ancestors’ Church adapted
to rapid changes in society throughout the 19th and
Move to the Suburbs
changes in parish alignment are driven by the following:
Most cities across the Albany Diocese have lost between 25 and
39 percent of their populations since 1960 (with the notable
exception of Saratoga Springs);
Suburban areas have grown by 50 percent or more during that
There are likely to be fewer than 100 Diocesan priests serving
132 parishes within 5 years. In the 1960s, there were approximately
400 priests in the Diocese;
Many of the multiple urban and ethnic parishes built in the
early 20th century only a few blocks from each other
in cities are now under-used because of population shifts.For example, across six urban churches in Troy (with a total
seating capacity of 3,200) the combined weekend Mass attendance
totals about 1,300 — the same number at a single parish
in Ballston Spa or Glenville.
Churches to Close, Others to Merge
total, 33 worship sites will close across the Diocese over a
three-year period, through the end of 2011. (“Church,”
as the term is used in this news release, means a building in
which Catholics worship. “Parish” refers to the
geographic area or population served by a church or churches.
A parish may include one or more churches or worship sites.)
Virtually all of the recommendations of the local planning groups
with respect to the future of their local churches were adopted
in the final decisions.
Albany, two churches will close as they merge with two others.
In Troy, six churches will close. In Schenectady, two churches
will close and two others will merge into one. In Cohoes and
Amsterdam each, three churches will close. One church will close
in Glens Falls.
after parish closings and mergers, the number of parishes in
the urban areas will be greater than in the suburbs.For example, Clifton Park has a general
population of approximately 36,000 people with one parish.In Troy, the population approximates 47,000
people yet the city will have seven parishes remaining, following
the closure of the six parishes just announced.The City of Schenectady will have nine parishes for a population
of approximately 61,000 people.The City of Cohoes will have two parishes for approximately
15,000 residents. Amsterdam
will have three parishes for a general population of approximately
18,000 people and Albany will have 10 parishes remaining for
a general population of 94,000.
Called to BE Church plan provides a blueprint for the most prudent
use of the resources that have been entrusted to us and a clear
statement of our continued commitment to meeting the spiritual
and human needs of residents of our cities,” Bishop Hubbard
for the future of parishes is happening in dioceses across the
state and across the Northeast. The Dioceses of Rochester, Syracuse
and Buffalo have closed between 20 and 30 percent of their churches.
Through Called to BE Church, the Albany Diocese will close just
under 20 percent of its existing worship sites.
the Diocese, the Called to BE Church final decisions are as
the City of Albany:
St. John’s/St. Ann’s and St. James will merge
by July 1, 2010, with both worship sites to remain open.
St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Siena will merge by October 1, 2009.St. Teresa’s worship site will close.
Holy Cross and St.
Margaret Mary will merge
by October 1, 2009.
Holy Cross worship site will close.
St. Teresa’s School and Holy Cross School will merge on July 1, 2009 at the Holy Cross School site.
in Albany County:
St. Bernard’s (Cohoes) will close by February 25, 2009.
St. Joseph’s (Cohoes)
will close by February 25, 2009.
St. Rita/Sacred Heart (Cohoes) will close by February 25, 2009.
St. Michael’s (Cohoes) to become a territorial parish, will remain open.
St. Bernadette’s Mission Church (Berne) to close by December 31, 2010.
St. Mary’s (Hudson)
and Resurrection (Germantown) will merge by July 1, 2009, with both to remain
St. John Vianney (Claverack)
and St. Bridget’s (Copake Falls) will share a pastor, and conduct feasibility
study on possible merger and worship site. The
findings of the feasibility study are to be submitted to the
diocese by December
Nativity/St. Mary’s (Stuyvesant Falls) and Holy Family (Stottville) will merge by December 31,2009 with both remaining open.
Our Lady of Good Counsel Mission Church (Roxbury) will close immediately.
St. Mary of Mount Carmel (Gloversville) and Sacred Heart (Gloversville) will merge by July 1, 2009; determination of which worship
site will close to be made by July 1, 2009.
Holy Trinity (Johnstown)
to determine by July 1, 2009, which one of its three worship
sites will remain open.
St. Patrick’s (Catskill) to conduct feasibility study of parish facilities
by December 31, 2009; At that time the diocese will revisit
possible merger with St. Patrick’s (Athens).
Immaculate Conception (Haines Falls) and Sacred Heart (Palenville) will merge by July 1 ,2009, with both to remain open.
St. Casimir’s (Amsterdam) to close by May 3, 2009.
St. John the Baptist (Amsterdam) to close February 25, 2009.
St. Michael’s worship site (Amsterdam) to close by February 25, 2009.
Sts. Peter & Paul (Canajoharie), St. James (Fort Plain) and St. Patrick’s (St. Johnsville) to merge by July 1, 2009. Recommendations on
worship site(s) to be submitted to the diocese by July 1, 2010.
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mission Church (Edmeston) to close by July 1, 2009.
St. Mary’s Mission
Church (Sharon Springs) to close by December 31, 2009.
Blessed Sacrament Mission
Church (Springfield Center) to close by October
St. Thomas (Cherry Valley)
to become mission church of St. Mary’s (Cooperstown) by July 1, 2010 with both to remain
the City of Troy:
St. Patrick’s to close by July 1, 2010.
St. Peter’s to
close by May 31, 2009 (Tridentine Mass will move to St. Joseph’s
St. Paul the Apostle to close by May 31, 2009 (Perpetual Adoration Chapel to move to Chapel
at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy).
St. Francis de Sales to close by February 25,2009.
St. Mary’s to
close by July 1, 2010.
St. William’s to close by February 25, 2009.
in Rensselaer County:
St. Joseph’s/St. John’s (Rensselaer) will determine one worship site for parish by July 1 2009,
with other worship site to close by July 1, 2010.
St. Bonaventure (Speigletown)
and Holy Trinity (Schaghticoke) to merge by July 1, 2010, with both remaining
St. John Francis Regis (Grafton) and Sacred Heart (Berlin) will merge by September 1, 2009, with both remaining open.
St. George Mission Church
(Pittstown) to close by July 1, 2009.
Assumption/St. Paul (Mechanicville) will determine one worship site by July 1, 2009.
Our Lady of Assumption (Rotterdam) and Immaculate Conception (Schenectady) will merge by July 1 2010;Immaculate Conception worship site to
close by January 1, 2011.
St. John the Baptist (Schenectady) to close by February 25, 2009.
St. Mary’s (Schenectady)
to close by July 1, 2009.
St. Margaret of Cortona (Rotterdam Junction) will become a mission church of St. Joseph’s (Schenectady) by July 1, 2009.
St. Joseph’s (Schoharie)
and St. Catherine’s (Middleburgh) to merge by July 1, 2009.St. Joseph’s worship site to close by July 1, 2009.
St. Mary’s Mission
Church (Schenevus) to close by February 25, 2009.
St. Anna’s (Summit)
to close by July 1, 2009.
St. Alphonsus (Glens
Falls) will close by July 1, 2010.
Immaculate Conception (Corinth) and Holy Infancy (Lake Luzerne) will merge by July 1, 2009 with both to remain
St. John the Baptist (Chestertown) and Blessed Sacrament (Hague) will merge by December 31, 2009, with both
to remain open.
St. Joseph’s (Fort
Edward) and St. Mary’s/St. Paul’s (Hudson Falls) will share a pastor in July, 2010, with both remaining
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Granville) will close by April 13, 2009.