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The Sound of Ideas

The Painful Process of Parish Closings

Posted Monday, March 16, 2009

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The Painful Process of Parish Closings The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is closing parishes. It's a wrenching process church leaders say is necessary. Most of the churches are in the city but most Catholics now live in the suburbs. A number of parishes are having trouble paying their bills. Plus, there's a priest shortage. These problems are not unique to Northeast Ohio. In fact, Cleveland’s Bishop Lennon was the architect of a contentious church closing process in Boston about five years ago. He oversaw the shuttering of his own childhood church. But the Cleveland diocese says closing some parishes is necessary to remain vibrant. Dan Moulthrop returns to lead a conversation about the churches slated to close what it will mean for parishioners. Monday morning at 9 on the Sound of Ideas®.

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Members of Historic St. Peter's parish say they will appeal the Bishop's decision to close it. Parishioners at St. James in Lakewood were stunned to learn that their church will close. St. George, a Lithuanian parish on the East Side, will also close. Members of St. Procop said they expected their church to close, but will still appeal. St. Colman on West 65th is merging with nearby St. Stephen's.

Additional Audio

Sister Annette Amendolia, Parish Life Coordinator at St. Procop on the West Side, speaks about what the church means to the community. Among other things, the parish runs a homeless shelter for men.


Economy, Other, Community/Human Interest, Ethics/Religion


John J. Grabowski, Krieger-Mueller Historian The Western Reserve Historical Society Editor, Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
Doris K. Donnelly, Professor of Religious Studies, John Carroll University
David C. Barnett, ideastream® Reporter/Producer
Michael Paulson Religion Reporter, the Boston Globe

Additional Information

Parish closing and merger list (PDF)
WCPN: New Uses for God’s Property
Diocese of Cleveland
The Boston Globe: Articles of Faith
Cleveland Sacred Landmarks
Parishioners of Catholic churches targeted for closings left wondering, 'Why us?'

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