A day after the announcement of a mass reorganization of churches by the Archdiocese of Hartford some parishioners are left wondering where they'll go next.
The most churches that will be impacted by the reorganization are in Waterbury, where 17 churches will either close or merge with other parishes.
Regular Mass will end at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish on Willow Street at the end of June. Its parishioners have been worshiping for around 100 years
Rich Corrigan of Watertown is upset because St. Margaret is a place where he and his family have made memories.
“I was baptized in the old church Dec. 2, 1951. I made my first communion there, I made my confirmation there. My wife and I were married there,” said Corrigan.
St. Margaret is slated to close, along with Sacred Heart, St. Lucy, and St. Stanislaus Kostka. Those four will merge with St. Anne and our Lady of Lourdes to become a new parish, known as All Saints. It is the largest union under the reorganization.
"The feeling is it’s frustration because I don’t believe that we should have closed," said Corrigan.
Corrigan said when the official decree was announced at his church, he filed an action to suppress it, but it was rejected.
“I still have a strong faith but my faith in the Catholic Church in the administration and the hierarchy and the people that we are dealing with have really been troubling to me. I mean it’s not a place I want to be," he said.
A spokesperson with the archdiocese of Hartford said that 186 church buildings will remain open and a total of 26 will close.
A closure doesn’t mean the physical building won’t ever be used – a spokesperson with the archdiocese told NBC Connecticut there still may be weddings and funerals in the building, just not regular Mass.
And it’s up to the new parish whether they will repurpose the buildings.
NBC Connecticut reached out to St. Margaret of Scotland Parish and it’s administrator, Reverend Diego Jimenez multiple times today but haven’t heard back.
For more information, visit the Office of Pastoral Planning website.
The table below details the mergers. The names for newly created parishes were voted on by members of the archdiocese.
Note that some of the mergers have already taken place. Churches with an * are being closed, which means they will cease holding regular Mass by June 29.