Mass mutual! Two Slope Catholic churches to mergeBy Dan MacLeodfor The Brooklyn PaperCommunity Newspaper Group / Julie RosenbergSt. Francis Xavier Church on Sixth Avenue in Park Slope (above) will merge some operations with St. Augustine Church six blocks to the north.
Community Newspaper Group / Julie Rosenberg
Two Park Slope Catholic churches that are just six blocks away from each other will merge some operations by June, church officials confirmed on Monday.
St. Augustine’s and St. Francis Xavier, both on Sixth Avenue, are appointing committee members to oversee the combining of services of the two churches.
Neither church will be shuttered, Diocese officials claim, but some services and office hours will be consolidated so both churches aren’t running similar programs at the same time.
“The discussions have been in terms of administration — how the two parishes would work better together,” said Diocese spokesman Kieran Harrington.
The news comes during a time of general economic hardship for the Brooklyn Diocese, which is consolidating some of its 198 houses of worship in the so-called Borough of Churches.
Harrington said the Park Slope consolidation is more about location than financial hardship: Neither church is broke now, but running two similar churches blocks away is wasteful, he said.
“It seems to make better sense that if you have two churches six blocks away you would leverage your services to better serve the people of the community,” he said.
“The point of it is to find some efficiencies.”
The pastors are currently appointing parishioners to a “collaborative committee” that will guide the merging, Harrington said.
St. Francis Xavier pastor, Rev. William Reuger, made the stunning announcement to his congregation at services on Sunday at the gorgeous, 107-year-old Carroll Street cathedral.
The gothic St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church, at Sterling Place, dates back to 1886, and was originally a spiritual home to German and Irish immigrants.
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