NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Archdiocese of New York announced Sunday that 112 Catholic parishes in the region are merging into 55.
The reorganization leaves dozens of parishes with two churches. Thirty-one of the merged parishes will only regularly use one church to celebrate Masses and sacraments, essentially closing 31 except for during special occasions. In the other 24 new parishes, Masses and sacraments will continue to be celebrated at both churches.READ MORE: Investigation Underway Following Police-Involved Shooting In Wakefield Section Of Bronx
The mergers will take effect by Aug. 1, 2015.
“There’s no denying the hurt,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb. “There’s no denying the sting. There’s no denying the sorrow today.”
The mergers are part of a years-long effort to cut costs and reduce the number of parishes, which archdiocese officials have said is excessive. The archdiocese also has been trying to overcome a lack of priests.
“The place where the were married, the place where their kids made their first holy communion, after Aug. 1, may no longer be,” Dolan told CBS2’s Steve Langford