Closing Masses have been scheduled at two Rochester churches as part of a consolidation at Our Lady of the Americas Parish from three worship sites to one.
The closing Masses are:
Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008, at 4 p.m. at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 60 Woodward St.
Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008, at 4 p.m. at Holy Redeemer/St. Francis Xavier, 300 Bay St.
Masses in both English and Spanish now are held at the Corpus Christi Church building at 864 E. Main St., which is now to be called Our Lady of the Americas Parish. It contains religious symbols from all three of the churches.
All are welcome to attend the final ceremonies.
Like all city churches, the churches served Rochester’s thriving Catholic immigrant families in the first decades of their existence — Irish-, Italian-, German-Americans and other groups. As these families began to move to the suburbs in the middle to late 20th century, the churches slowly have experienced a dwindling of attendance. Now, Hispanic and African-American Catholics come , as well as some of the original families or their children who commute into Mass from suburban areas.
But while once their pews were filled to the brim, only about 500 people in recent years have regularly attended Masses combined at all three churches. This shift is not unique to the Rochester community, but is happening in many urban areas, especially in the Northeast U.S. and other regions experiencing declining population and shifting dem