Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

How Did St John the Martyr Survive?

New York Times article (with list of parishes in sidebar) available here.

My question: how is it possible that my father's home parish, St. John the Martyr on 71st St, managed to escape the axe (pun intended)?

It's a small parish, not attached to a school or any substantial charitable or outreach activities. There are lots of nearby parishes its current population could be transferred to (to wit: St. Elizabeth of Hungary on 83rd St, St. Catherine of Sienna on 68th St, St. Jean Baptiste on 76th St, St. John Nepomucene on 66th St, St. Monica on 79th St, St. Stephen of Hungary on 81st St, and St. Vincent Ferrer on 65th St). Its pastor recently stepped down amidst scandal (but not the kind you're thinking of). The building isn't some kind of beautiful artistic treasure; there's nothing of historical significance that would be lost if it were closed (as opposed to, say, Dorothy Day's home parish). It's a classic example of one of the old ethnic parishes that lost its purpose as the relevant ethnic group (the Czechs) assimilated.

I thought (and I think everyone in the parish thought) that it was going to be closed. I think, frankly, that it should be closed, if there have to be parish closings. I won't venture any guesses as to why it won't be. Just surprised, is all.