A former parish church building in Bethlehem, used only occasionally for the past 12 years, will be closed and offered for sale, the Diocese of Allentown has announced.
The St. Joseph church building on East Fifth Street hosts only one regular Mass per year – on the Feast Day of St. Joseph — and is available for funerals for former parishioners.
The St. Joseph Parish was closed in 2008 because of a merger of several local parishes. A nearby parish, Incarnation of Our Lord Parish on Pierce Street, was given custody of the St. Joseph building.
The St. Joseph building has had scaffolding around it for many years because of structural issues and deterioration of the stone on the exterior. Paying for the maintenance of the building has become a significant financial hardship for Incarnation parish, and the parish sought permission from the Diocese to close and sell the St. Joseph building.
The closing of the St. Joseph church building will be delayed so that those interested may attend one final Mass, March 18, to mark the Feast Day of St. Joseph.