Catholic parishioners across New York attended final mass services on Friday as dozens of churches close or end regular services. The future of the properties, as of yet, remains unclear.
The closures follow an announcement by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York last November that it would consolidate 368 parishes into 294, according to Reuters. One of the buildings set to close this week is Our Lady of Peace, a 100-year-old red brick church with an ornate interior on the Upper East Side.
But individual parishes have filed appeals to reopen to the Vatican, leaving their futures unclear. Meanwhile, churches across the city have dived headlong into the real estate game, selling off air rights in lucrative deals and even converting their properties for retail or condos. [Reuters] – Christopher Cameron