While this article has taken you a long time to read (and taken me an extraordinarily long time to write,) I hope having come to its end that you now understand the basic facts surrounding the closure of Roman Catholic parishes and churches, how orders to close them can be contested, and what alternatives that would allow churches to remain Catholic sacred spaces exist. I also hope you understand why there is more to contesting a decision to eliminate a parish or church than simply filing a canonical appeal (i.e. attempts to reach a compromise) and why compromise when it can be had in these cases is preferable to spending the time and potentially money associated with multiple petitions for hierarchical recourse (though in some cases where all attempts at canonically valid compromise are rejected by church leaders out of hand filing these appeals will sadly be unavoidable.) Since May of 2004 I have been involved with dozens of efforts to prevent the loss of Roman Catholic churches. Since September of 2012 I have with God’s help worked with 17 groups of Catholics who have successfully reached various compromises with diocesan and archdiocesan leaders which have allowed Roman Catholic churches to remain Catholic sacred spaces available for private prayer and varying levels of public worship.
I do not charge for this work though I accept donations from those who feel my work in this arena (including preparing articles like this one) is a worthwhile endeavor. If you would like to speak with me personally regarding the situation your Catholic parish or church is facing, I would be glad to speak with you. Please use the email address in the “Contact” section of this website and I will get back to you promptly. If you are reading this article facing the loss of your parish or church, I pray this information will be useful to you as you determine how to proceed. If you are a diocesan or archdiocesan leader contemplating negative consequences which have arisen as a result of past parish and church closures or considering future elimination of parishes or relegation of churches to profane but not sordid use, I encourage you to reach out to me as well. A discussion about the issues you are facing could do much to ensure that needless heartache does not descend upon all involved in a potentially unnecessary future closing. Above all else, I hope this article has pleased God; it is for him alone that I take the time to undertake all of the work in this arena in which I am involved.