Our Mother of Sorrows Church in West Philadelphia will close this fall, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday.
The church at 48th Street and Lancaster Avenue opened in 1852 but has not been home to its own parish since 2013, when it merged with nearby Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish as part of the archdiocese’s ongoing review and consolidation of parishes and properties.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola became the main church for the merged parish. Since last year, only one Mass a month was celebrated at Our Mother of Sorrows, which was designated as a worship site. That Mass was discontinued in February, the archdiocese said, because few attended it, and no funerals or weddings have been celebrated there.
Saint Ignatius spent more than $100,000 caring for the Our Mother of Sorrows property in the last fiscal year, the archdiocese said.
“The formal request to close this worship site originated from the parochial administrator of Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish together with his parish pastoral and finance councils,” the archdiocese said in a news release.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput approved relegating the church building to profane use, as of Oct. 9, at which time it will no longer be used as a Catholic church.
Parishioners learned of the closing at Masses this weekend.
The future of the church, school, and convent buildings remains uncertain. That will be determined by Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish, the archdiocese said.