Sunday, March 19, 2006

Goodbye to PA's Oldest Catholic Church

The thing that surprised me the most when I moved to SE TX was the big Catholic community in this part of Texas. This is the first time in my life where I lived in a Catholic town, which is very cool.

We have many beautiful churches here. But for financial and hurricane reasons, the oldest Catholic church in Port Arthur is closing its doors very soon. The Beaumont Enterprise reports:

PORT ARTHUR - St. Mary Catholic Church, home to Port Arthur's oldest Catholic congregation, was quiet Friday afternoon.
Bishop Curtis Guillory of the Diocese of Beaumont announced this week the 180 families at St. Mary will be merged with the congregation at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the second-oldest Catholic congregation in the city.
"The population of Port Arthur is declining and so is the population of the parish," Guillory said by telephone Friday.

Before Hurricane Rita hit, the church needed expensive repairs, but after the hurricane the repairs escalated to "astronomical," Guillory said.


This must be sad for the parishioners.


Blogger Liam said...

They just announced a reorganization of the Archdiocese of New York that will involve a few parish closings. My parish is not in danger, but it must be heartbreaking for those who do lose their parish. On the other hand, a parish must be alive and vibrant and have something to offer people, and a parish with only a handful of parishioners does not allow for much of a sense of community.

3/20/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

The decline in church members doesn't surprise me. There isn't many jobs in Port Arthur for college graduates. So, most college graduate move to other cities with better job opportunities.

3/21/2006 08:59:00 PM  

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