St. Mary Star of the Sea is the one and only Catholic Church on City Island and one of 368 parishes being reviewed for future closure by The Archdiocese of New York under a program called "Making All Things New" - Any and all last minute pleas should go directly to Bishop-elect John O’Hara, Director Archdiocese of New York Office of Strategic Pastoral Planning Making All Things New 1011 First Avenue New York, NY 10022 and to Cardinal Timothy Dolan. City Island Images reached out to Father Michael Challinor, but there has been no response so far.
City Island Images spoke with Joseph Zwilling, Director of Communications for ARCHNY. He says last Sunday was the last day for parishioners to voice their opinion on the future of St. Mary. He said clusters were given plenty of opportunities to have their voices heard and also understands that this is a difficult and painful decision, but added that a preliminary recommendation is expected by the end of the month, but a final decision will be made by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York on, or around September 13.
For several months, local clusters and reconfiguration groups have held discussions with local pastors and in consultation with the Archdiocese of New York to recommend closing parishes.
Does this sound somewhat familiar folks? This is what happened when the Catholic Church decided to close the elementary school on City Island back in June 2013. That one was called "Pathways to Excellence"
Although the spokesman would not get into specifics on the amount of moneys collected by St. Mary Star of The Sea Church, or the total number of sacramental services, like masses, baptisms, first communions, weddings and funerals, he did say that these would be considered before a final decision is made.
The Archdiocese of New York is not alone in facing financial challenges and shares the same issues as public, private and other faith-based organizations across the country. This reconfiguration process will help ensure that it will be financially stable, sustainable and, more importantly, open to all worshipers. It is dedicated to providing pastoral support and guidance to every family personally affected by reconfiguration to ensure all parishioners will be warmly welcomed into a neighboring Catholic church. The nearest church is Our Lady Of Assumption on Pelham Bay.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis appointed three New York Bishops. The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has chosen three priests of the Archdiocese of New York to serve as Auxiliary Bishops to Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
Bishop-elect John O’Hara, 68, who is currently directing the archdiocesan planning process "Making All Things New" and former pastor of Saint Teresa of the Infant Jesus Parish on Staten Island, Bishop-elect John Jenik, 70, currently the pastor of Our Lady of Refuge Parish in the Bronx, and Bishop-elect Peter Byrne, 62, currently the pastor of Saint Elizabeth Parish in Manhattan.
City Island Contact: Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea #252
595 Minneford Avenue
Bronx, NY 10464
Reverend Michael Challinor
(718) 885-1440 - firstname.lastname@example.org