Catholic Parish Worshiping in a Lutheran Church?

Hi all,

I was wondering if this is unusual. In Columbia County, in the Diocese of Albany, New York, a Catholic Parish has “moved in” with an active Lutheran congregation. Appearently, this was done after the Bishop closed both Catholic churches and that although the parish is planning a new church, they have been attending mass in the Lutheran church for several years.

What are your thoughts? :confused:

I am no Catholic, but that sounds weird.

Are they attending the Lutheran service? Or are they holding a Catholic mass in the Lutheran building.

Regardless, seems off…

I don’t know the area, but are other Catholic churches too far for parishioners to go to?

Apparently it’s a logistics matter: It’s a rural area and 2 churches were closed.

FWIW the consolidated parish website is here

In this case the bishop closed two churches (small “c”) but at least one of the parishes still exists. (I don’t know why the church buildings were closed. Maybe the property had to be sold to pay off debts and a new larger building will be built in a less expensive area?

In any case, “new” parishes or existing parishes who lose the use of a building have to hold Mass in some other facility while waiting for a new building. Unless there is a large Catholic college chapel nearby that usually means Mass in an auditorium, gym, industrial building, or the like. Sometimes a nearby protestant parish will offer it’s building because it has fewer Sunday services and the building is already setup for worshiping.

I know of at least one case in Arizona where a brand new Catholic parish “moved in” with an existing Lutheran parish while the Catholic parish raised money and eventually built a church. Once the Catholic church was being used, the parish loaned out it’s hall to a Lutheran parish that had been newly formed.

Usually the “visiting” congregation pays a fee for the use of the building (utilities, maintenance, etc.)

Mission churches in this area often have Masses and office space in store fronts or office buildings. I think that is much weirder than using a Christian church building. Most Protestant churches only have 1 or possibly 2 services on a Sunday morning. That leaves plently of time for a mission congregation to hold an early morning or afternoon Mass in a space designed specifically for worship. The Catholic churches that were closed presumably kept their altar furnishings, vestements, etc. I would imagine they could not reserve the Blessed Sacrament unless they had some sort of tabernacle ‘safe’ that the priest could keep.

Sr Sally, there is a “church” here that is in a … office building! :eek: I agree, that is weird.

Friends of mine belong to a newly formed non-denominational church that holds services at a movie theatre.

Yup, churches that are starting up or otherwise without a building set up in all sorts of unusual places. Usually called ‘storefront’ churches for that reason.

I’ve heard there are several places in America where orders of Catholic priests set up spaces right in the shopping malls where shoppers can go to confession. An interesting idea, and a great way to persuade more people to take part in the sacrament!

It just seems like, that sense they had two established churches, the rug was pulled out from under them.

Catholics can have Mass in non-Catholic churches if there is an extreme need. I have heard of Extraordinary Form Masses being said in these churches while the parishioners are building a church.

All the Catholics need to do is buy a special altar cloth that has a relic sewn into it. It’s like a portable altar stone

A priest who says our EF Mass has one. He used to use it in a cathedral’s side altar whose altar stone was removed after Vatican II.

There’s one around here too. In Dallas, we have all kinds. :hypno:

ooooh! I like that! Could also be a recruiting center,… yes? no? :confused:

I know of at least one case in Arizona where a brand new Catholic parish “moved in” with an existing Lutheran parish while the Catholic parish raised money and eventually built a church. Once the Catholic church was being used, the parish loaned out it’s hall to a Lutheran parish that had been newly formed.


And I know of another Arizona city where an Orthodox congregation is meeting in an unused Lutheran building!

I’ve heard of this happening also in New York state from a woman who was getting married in that parish. The Catholic parish was doing their masses at a local protestant church. It was also a rural area in which that church was the only Catholic church in the area and had to be closed temporarily. I think they had some major damage to it. My memory is foggy as to why it was closed temporarily. So they received permission to celebrate mass at the protestant church until it could be opened again.

I was a military dependent. The post chapel was used by all denominations. It does not at all sound strange to me.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.