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Monday, November 8, 2004

Resistance in St. Louis

In today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Catholic parishes fight draft closure list

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey. it's liz. in response to this article: my old parish (i no longer celebrate the catholic church) is most likely one of the one's that will be closed down. Holy Family in South St. Louis. http://www.archstl.org/parishes/106.shtml It's a shame that these beautiful architectural landmarks are most likely going to rust with the rest of the neighborhood or be torn down

Michael Allen said...

Indeed, it's totally irresponsible for the church to pull out of these neighborhoods. I realize that the Archdiocese's line is that it does not exist to preserve buildings, but to serve people. Yet it is serving people when it puts its substantial resources in maintaining large, beautiful old buildings that anchor some neighborhoods or at least provide stability to prominent intersections. The church can afford to retain these buildings. Closure will leave them empty for an indefinite period.

Many of the churches that the Archdiocese closed in the 1970's fell vacant, became vandalized (remember the St. Henry's fire in 1996?) and were demolished.

It's akin to the St. Louis Public Schools closures: The city has never recovered from the first two waves of school closures (1983 & 1994) and yet the district decided to close even more schools.

Institutions like these may have lost part of their base, but they are essential anchors to city neighborhoods in alls tates of repair.

I think that the most devastating results may come from closing churches in vibrant neighborhoods, like Pius V on Grand.