Last week on November 30th, the Archdiocese of New York deconsecrated four churches–St Roch’s and St Pius V (both in Mott Haven), Our Lady of Pity in Melrose, and St Joseph’s in Tremont—setting the stage for their eventual sale.
They join Visitation in Kingsbridge and St Ann’s Church in Norwood which were both deconsecrated this past summer by the Archdiocese as well.
With the ongoing development boom in The Bronx, particularly the South Bronx which is fueling gentrification, by relegating these churches from sacred to profane use (aka deconsecration), the Roman Catholic Church will play a role as developers snatch up these properties which are located in prime locations.
The Archdiocese has yet to put them up for sale but this is generally the last process before putting them on the market.
Many within the church argue that these sacred places of worship are not museums and that the church is made up of its parishioners and not a brick and mortar building but that’s a bit far from the truth in the public’s eye.
Particularly in the South Bronx, these places have played an important role in the preservation of our communities when they were abandoned by the powers that be.
These churches created the very communities that built them.
Bronx resident Felix Cepeda thinks these churches should be used as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants facing deportation.
“As a Catholic, I feel these churches should be used to offer sanctuary
to immigrants facing deportation, serve the homeless and as a
community spaces, not to be sold to the rich.” Cepeda told Welcome2TheBronx.
We couldn’t agree more.
Parishioners have until December 10th to appeal to the Archdiocese for reconsideration of their decision.
Call the Archdiocese of New York at 212-371-1000 to find out how to appeal.