Sunday, January 18, 2009

Albany Diocese to close 33 worship sites

Carnage in Albany Diocese

Albany Cities across the greater Capital Region will bear the brunt of a massive plan to close 33 worship sites throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Bishop Howard Hubbard announced today.

Troy will be ground zero in an unprecedented consolidation the 14-county diocese is undertaking to cope with shifting demographics and a shortage of priests.

Hubbard, despite lobbying to change the outcome, decided to close six of the Collar City's dozen Catholic churches. That is more than any other city. And the list of soon-to-be-shuttered Troy churches includes St. Peter's, the state's third-oldest Catholic parish.

Elsewhere, St. Teresa of Avila and Holy Cross will close in Albany. In Cohoes, St. Bernard's, St. Joseph's and St. Rita/Sacred Heart will all shut down. And in Schenectady, St. Mary's, St. John the Baptist and Immaculate Conception will also close.

Altogether, the diocese is closing just under 20 percent of its 190 worship sites, a historic downsizing that is comparable to other consolidations in the dioceses of Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester.