"It's also emotional, and here's the emotion I'm dealing with, and we are all dealing with sadness and grief. We're saying goodbye to what's been familiar for the last 50 years," said Pastor John Firpo.
With fewer people attending mass at Holy Name of Jesus and the financial stress that brings, the Diocese of Rochester decided a merger with nearby St. Charles Borromeo would be best for both churches.
"Well I guess the dynamics of the area have changed you know, and you have to go along with it. They can't keep the church opened. It was inevitable, we saw it coming. We'll still be going to church, just to a different one I guess," said Holy Name of Jesus parishioner Lucille Ventura "I hate to see something like this happen. It means that the dwindling of the church family is getting smaller and smaller," she added.
On the other hand, the merger means new life for St. Charles Borromeo. They're preparing to welcome new parishioners.
"I guess the big thing is the realization that we are one people. We're one people of God. Whether I'm at St. Charles Borromeo, or Holy Name of Jesus, we are a common people with the same Lord, same spirit, a same mission, and we just want to continue to do that in the best way. The smartest way of building the people and empowering them, to go out and do the work of God," Firpo said.
There will be a final mass at Holy Name of Jesus this fall. After that, the church will open only for special services.
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