Former Syracuse Catholic church to become Islamic mosque

From CNY Central:
Syracuse’s Holy Trinity has a new owner, and some major changes are coming for the former Roman Catholic church.

As we first reported on Monday, the church, rectory and its old school, currently used for refugee and immigration programs, have been sold to the North Side Learning Center, a North McBride Street-based all-volunteer organization founded in 2009.

Dr. Yusuf Soule, who heads up North Side Learning Center, confirms that his not for profit program has bought the campus and will lease the former church to a new Islamic society, which will name it ‘Mosque of Jesus the Son of Mary’ (Masjit Isa Ibn Maryam). The group is already working in the sanctuary, which Soule says has leaks in the walls and flooring after being vacant almost four years. Pews and benches, as well as the Christian symbols inside, have already been removed.

North Side Learning has filed with the Landmark Preservation Board to remove the crosses from the steeples and grounds. The reason, in the petitions, “Due to new usage of the church as a place of worship for other religious group than used previously, where crosses on the building are not in line with the worshipping practices.”
I could give one of two reactions here: the “sensitive, charitable” response…or the “rigid, dogmatic” response.

Not sure which way that I would want to react on CAF. I wouldn’t want to offend anybody, after all.

I think the only true response to this is one of disappointment. It is sad to see a former church be converted to a mosque. The thing is, the parish was all but abandoned. And the truth of the matter is, this will continue to happen as long as we Catholics are timid in our faith. The only way we will bring people back to Christ is if we are on fire for Him and are willing to share our fire with others.

I don’t understand the issue here. Is it against Catholic teaching for this to happen? Surely it must be disappointing for a church to be converted to a mosque, but what is the alternative in these circumstances? At least the church is being converted to another house of worship albeit of a different religion, and not something altogether profane.

I recall reading something a while back that for the Muslims,this is a trumph,to build a mosque over a Catholic Church or Cathedral:(

The bar one with the still where the altar used to be upsets me the most. I’d much rather a different faith use a prior church as their place of worship than for it to be used for secular purposes.

I’m pretty sure most religions would view building a place of worship over another religion’s place of worship as a “triumph.”

So, my only question is: Most Catholic churches have a relic of a saint buried by the altar, dont they? So, when a Catholic church sells like this do they remove the relic??? Or am i miss-informed???

I agree. Also, I wonder if they named the new Mosque after Jesus as an homage to its former purpose.

Catholic parishes do need to be financially solvent and ultimately are going to be bound to the free market.

The problem I have with articles like this is that is gives the impression that Catholicism is dying out and Islam is ever-ready to replace it.

What has been happening is that some older, less attended Churches close mainly for financial reasons. In a state like New York, population decline may have something to do with that which in turn is caused by a lousy economy and declining morals.

There’s no doubt the Muslim population will continue to increase, but it’s also worth noting that a lot of new Catholic Churches have been built recently as well.

The fact also remains that many mosques are funded from Gulf State oil revenues, and the grandiose minarets may not exactly do justice to the amount of Muslims there are or who actually go to the mosque.

So really I just don’t want this to get blown out of proportion too much, but it is something to pay attention to, especially since many Catholics are not having large families where as Muslims are comparatively speaking.

Well, when you put it like THAT…:eek: :o :mad:

On the other hand, if they were so secure in the truth of their religion, such grand-standing would not be necessary.

It’s times like these I am oh so glad to be Catholic.

That’s actually happening to a large extent in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. :yup:

I don’t want to spin this, but let’s face reality: It’s easier to build a big mosque in New York than a big Church in Saudi Arabia or northern Nigeria.

They are removed. I believe that there is a whole list of stuff that has to be done prior to a church being sold or used for other purposes.

From the article- Mosque of Jesus the Son of Mary


You wrote pretty much the same thing I was thinking.

In the best of all possible worlds, the building would have remained a Catholic church. However, it was closed because that wasn’t possible. I am glad that the building will continue to be used to worship God. As someone else pointed out, the new name which was chosen is clearly meant to smooth over bitter feelings about the transition.

The situation reminds me of what happened with the Crystal Cathedral, in southern California. It was the centerpiece of the Schuller ministry. To lose it deeply hurt the Schullers and their followers. They chose to sell it to the Catholic Church so that it would continue to be used to worship God, instead of being turned into a school. In response, the Diocese of Orange, knowing the pain which the previous congregation felt, chose a name which fit the religious traditions both of Catholics and Protestants.

That the mosque is named after Jesus and Mary, is a good thing. I think it speaks well of the sensitivity of the new caretakers.



I don’t find a mosque to be the troubling part- I find the “former Roman Catholic church” to be the saddest, most troubling part. With populations increasing, it’s sad to see parishes (in this country) closing and decreasing.

But…better a mosque than a bar.

Better a pile of rubble than a mosque.


I wish this could have been turned into something else - a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter…anything that would still continue the mission of helping the poor.

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