The former Saint Lawrence the Martyr church building in Catasauqua, now being maintained by Saint John Fisher Parish, Catasauqua, has been closed because of declining use and rising maintenance costs.
Since 2014, the building was used for Mass one day per year, and for funerals of former Saint Lawrence parishioners. However, deterioration of the building’s entrance has made it increasingly difficult to use the building for these purposes.
The costs of maintaining the building, and of repairing the entrance can no longer be borne by the parishioners of Saint John Fisher, nor is the parish able to raise sufficient funds to cover the costs, said Father Eric Gruber, parochial administrator.
The closing recommendation of Father Gruber, made in consultation with his Parish Council, was reviewed by the Diocesan Council of Priests, the Diocesan Pastoral Council, and the Diocesan Pastoral Planning Commission, which likewise recommended the action to Bishop Alfred Schlert.
The church building closed effective October 28. All sacred images, furnishings, vessels, and altars will be removed and preserved for use by Saint John Fisher Parish or another parish. All proceeds from the sale of the former church building, or of any items such as stained-glass windows, will benefit Saint John Fisher Parish.
Parishioners at Saint John Fisher Parish were told about the closure at this past weekend’s Masses.