Sunday, Jan. 18, was the date the Diocese mandated that St. Andrews the Apostle Church, 124 Alden St., Syracuse, would be closed. But parishioners at St. Andrews had a different idea.
From noon to 1 p.m. today, Monday Jan. 19 at the Chancery Office, 240 E. Onondaga St. parishioners will gather in front of the diocesan offices in downtown Syracuse for a silent witness to the injustice of closing a living and vibrant parish, such as St. Andrew's.
Parishioners from St. Andrew's and other parishes that have been closed by the Diocese are invited to join in this vigil.
St. Andrew's parishioners believe their church to be a vibrant Christian community: fiscally solvent, with ongoing outreach through a prison ministry, a sister community in Nicaragua, refugee support, a home for the gay and lesbian Catholic community etc. and a parish priest who wants to continue serving.
Given that the Diocese had changed locks on some other churches prior to their closing, Jan. 11 was chosen as a day to celebrate the history of the St. Andrews community. There was an overflow of support, with standing room only at the Mass.
Parishioners feel strongly that the Diocese's current plans are short sighted. Instead of closing vibrant Christian communities, such as St. Andrew's, the Diocese should be seeking creative solutions to keep them open.
To learn more about the 50-plus year history of St. Andrew's go to catholic-church.org/standrew.