An East Harlem church that was among the first in New York to welcome newcomers from Puerto Rico. An Upper East Side parish founded with $50 donations from working-class Italians in the 1920s. A 150-year-old Midtown church that is the only one in the city to offer a daily Latin Mass.
Each of these parishes is set to hear this weekend whether it will be eliminated as part of the largest reorganization in the 164-year history of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.
Church officials say more than 50 parishes will be “consolidated” next year, the culmination of a planning process that began in 2010. And while the list of churches will not be released until Sunday, it is already clear that no corner of the archdiocese will be untouched.
Protests have already begun at some endangered parishes, and more are expected across the archdiocese, whose territory includes 368 parishes in the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and seven counties north of the city. In 2007, Cardinal Edward M. Egan closed 21 parishes, then the largest set of New York closings. The battles that ensued were public and wrenching, and in some cases, are still going on.