Saturday, December 01, 2007
Catholics grieve at church closings
The Kilgen pipe organ thundered for the last time. A rendition of “Ave Maria” echoed gloriously among the decorative oak rafters. A haze of incense hung over the pews.
And 83-year-old Florence Maziarz was reduced to tears during the closing Mass in Queen of Peace Catholic Church on Genesee Street — one of five Catholic parishes holding final liturgies Sunday.
“People’s hearts are broken,” she said. “When they sang ‘Ave Maria’ in church today, I cried like a baby.”
A deep, abiding sadness isn’t the only sentiment Catholics are expressing about church closings.
As the toll mounts, feelings of anger, frustration, disappointment and betrayal have been growing.
Some Catholics say they might never join another parish. Others insist they will have to watch Mass on television now, because, with their church closed, they won’t have transportation to a different church.