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Group continues to push for St. Pat's reopening

Sep 22, 2016 7:00 am

Greg Hudson is reporting in The Daily Mail the parishioners of St. Patrick’s church in Catskill are pursuing a mixed plan to save the historic church, despite the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany's declaration that the decision of Bishop Edward Scharfenberger is final. The diocese closed the church nearly 10 years ago. The Friends of St. Pat’s met Tue., Sept. 20, to discuss various various ideas for saving the parish. Brody Hale told the group the church was improperly closed when Scharfeberger failed to issue a decree of relegation. That decree was the only way, under canon law, that the closure could have been challenged by the parish. Without it, there is the possibility the bishop's decision could be overturned. The group is organizing a petition to the diocese demanding the church be reopened. In the meantime, the church building remains unused and in need of repair. The friends group asked Scharfenberger in a letter this summer to consider allowing a fundraising campaign to support an effort to repair the historic building. Scharfenberger said an earlier capital campaign did not raise enough money and the best decision was to close the church and move services into the building that once housed St. Patrick’s Parish School. In a conversation with the paper on Wed., Sept. 21, a diocese representative said the bishop's decision was final. Diocese of Albany Director of Communications Mary DeTurris Poust said, "There is nothing else to discuss in terms of the former facility." Instead, she said, the parish must look to the future. "It is time to move forward, and we are grateful to the people of St. Patrick’s who have done just that and have created such a vibrant community there," Poust said. However, the friends group is pushing forward with its plan to organize as a non-profit organization, raise funds and restore the building. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

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