Parishioners In Harlem Prepare For Changes

st barths in harlemThe final decision to merge All Saints with St. Charles Borromeo parish in Harlem has the Catholic community there working on a plan to welcome parishioners.

And, in another Manhattan parish, parishioners on Roosevelt Island received news that a final decision on St. Frances Xavier Cabrini parish means that their long wait for a permanent church is over.

Cardinal Dolan’s final decision regarding the two parishes was announced earlier this month as part of an update to the archdiocese-wide parish reorganization plan Making All Things New.

In Harlem, Father Gregory Chisholm, S.J., pastor of St. Charles Borromeo and administrator at All Saints, acknowledged the pain that All Saints parishioners would feel at the closure of their beautiful Venetian Gothic building to regular liturgical activities. But he said it was important that they find a welcome at St. Charles Borromeo or whatever other Catholic parish they choose in Harlem.

“More than anything I want to be assured that the people who worship at All Saints understand that they are a part of the Catholic Church in Harlem,” he said. “The Church in Harlem is still quite robust and vibrant and thriving, so they continue to have a home. We have a long history of working together.”

He said all of the pastors in Harlem will attend a service at All Saints and will, as a group, extend a welcome.

“I’m optimistic that everyone who worships at All Saints will find a home at a church in Harlem,” he said, adding that since he’s already the administrator at All Saints he believes the actual merger, effective Aug. 1, will be seamless.

“The part that is more challenging,” he said, “is shepherding people through this period where they’re saying goodbye to their physical home and to try to position them in such a way that they would be welcoming of new homes.”

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