A sympathetic treatment from the weekly newspaper New York Observer on the news that The Last Daily Latin Mass in New York Is Facing Extinction. The archdiocese of New York plans to close Holy Innocents, a parish in a business district a few blocks from Times Square, well known not only for its Latin Masses but for its pro-life work, and as place for people working nearby and visitors to the city to pray.
The reasons cited for the potential closure were that the church is not considered by the advisory board to be “an active, vibrant community of faith,” according to a letter from Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, sent in response to concerned parishioner and Frick Institute employee Valeria Kondratiev. “A parish church is meant to be a center of worship and not a museum,” he went on to say, addressing her concerns for the enormous, exquisite and priceless Constantino Brumidi mural affixed above the altar that would, in her opinion, most likely be unsalvageable if the church were closed.
This comes right on the tails of an immense $700,000 renovation project undergone just last year with most of the money going to restore the Brumidi mural. The project was paid for in major part by donations from parishioners and partly overseen by the same Archdiocese that may have known far in advance of the church’s potential for consolidation. “Some people … gave until it hurt,” parishioner Ron Mirro said. “It’s just very upsetting.”