St. Mary of the Assumption in Manayunk to close

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St. Mary of the Assumption in Manayunk

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced plans Sunday to close a church in Manayunk in its latest round of downsizing.

Effective Nov. 1, St. Mary of the Assumption will no longer serve as a worship site and close as a Roman Catholic church.

Parishioners were informed about the closing during Masses this weekend. The decision was made by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput at the request of the pastor of St. John the Baptist parish, of which St. Mary is a part.

The archdiocese cited financial problems and "few requests to use [St. Mary] for public worship" for the closing.

In July 2012, the St. Mary parish and the St. Josaphat parish merged into the St. John the Baptist parish in the Manayunk neighborhood. At the time, the archdiocese said both St. Mary and St. Josaphat had sharp declines in membership, Mass attendance, and baptisms.

Despite the merger, the St. Mary building remained an infrequent worship site of the newly formed parish, and the church, founded as an ethnic German parish in 1849, was used for only a few funerals and weddings, the church said.

Most of the parish's activities, the church said, take place at the nearby St. John the Baptist site.

So, after considering the costs of anticipated repairs and ongoing annual maintenance to the building, the parish pastor and councils requested the St. Mary closing.

The church said the entire St. John the Baptist parish ended the last fiscal year with an income loss of $142,714.

mburney@phillynews.com

856-779-3814 @mlburney

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