Friday, June 2, 2023

Politicians Working to Save St. Patrick’s Church in Highland Mills

A group of local politicians are working to save the planned closure of the St. Patrick’s Church in Highland Mills, which was recently announced by the Archdiocese of New York.

The church is located on Route 32 in the Town of Woodbury. It will merge with the Sacred Heart Parish in Monroe. After July 1, 2023, it will only be used for special occasions.

New York State Senator James Skoufis, Assemblyman Chris Eachus, Town of Woodbury Supervisor Tom Burke, and Village of Woodbury Mayor Andrew Giacomazza joined forces to pen a letter today to Cardinal Timothy Dolan regarding the planned closure of the church.

The team of politicians respectfully asked Cardinal Dolan to reconsider its position on the merger, which would “effectively shutter St. Patrick’s.”

The letter stated, “During Eileen Mulcahy’s recent presentation to the parishioners of St. Patrick’s on March 22, 2023, she attributed the need for this merger to the church’s ongoing vocational crisis: a shortage of new priests, and an aging population of existing priests, have challenged individual parish’s ability to sustain regular masses and services. While this is a reasonable concern, we firmly disagree with the Archdiocese’ solution.”

The letter continued, “The congregation at St. Patrick’s has remained strong. Despite dwindling numbers of parishioners at other parishes such as Maybrook, which closed its doors a few years ago, St. Patrick’s has fully rebounded from COVID-era restrictions and regularly welcomes over 400 parishioners each weekend. To ask these 400-some residents, some of whom are elderly and have mobility concerns, to travel to Sunday mass at Sacred Heart–which, by the Archdiocese’ own admission, is already overcrowded–is unreasonable. Ms. Mulcahy suggested that an additional mass be added at Sacred Heart to accommodate the influx of worshipers; if an additional service is needed, why not address this scheduling concern by sending a priest to St. Patrick’s, instead of rerouting hundreds of parishioners?”

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