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Vigil to be held at Chancery

A vigil will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday Feb. 12 at the Roman Catholic Chancery building, 240 East Onondaga Ave. All are welcome to attend.

The vigil is called to ask the diocese to change the current reconfiguration plan of one priest/one church, which is resulting in the closing of 40 parishes throughout the Central New York Diocese.

These parishes represent more than 2,000 years of local church history.

The Action Committee of St. Andrew's notes that:

* Roman Catholic Canon Law, section 517.2, allows lay members of the church to carry out services when a priest is not available.

* A recent article in "National Catholic Reporter" notes parishes in other parts of the country are handling the shortage of priests without closing churches.

"The reason we're here is to remind the people inside, that we, too, are the church; that we're the people that they hoped we would be," said Bill Collins, a parishioner at St. Andrews. "We're passionate about our faith and our individual faith communities are important to us. St. Andrew's, St. Mary's in Jamesville, and others were healthy congregations and those communities still exist."

"We just don't have our buildings any more. It's our hope that no more vibrant parishes be closed, and that other faith communities that still exist, like ours, be acknowledged with the reopening or our buildings," Collins added.

The parishioners of St. Andrew are continuing to gather for prayer and fellowship even though their building has been taken from them. An outdoor service attended by 25 was held at St. Andrews on Feb. 8. A service outside the church is planned for Ash Wednesday.

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