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Archdiocese forsakes Village church — but faithful want more Masses

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | To hear congregants tell it, the Archdiocese does next to nothing to promote the fact that there are still two Masses per year at St. Veronica’s Church. Nevertheless, the second one of 2024 — the St. Veronica’s Feast Day Mass — will be held Fri., July 12, at noon.

Advocates charge the Catholic Archdiocese of New York not only publicizes the Masses at the very last moment, but is letting the landmarked church, at 149 Christopher St., built by Irish dockworkers, fall into disrepair, and ultimately hopes to sell off the compromised property.

Water leaking from holes in the roof is damaging the historic church’s interior, advocates charge. (Committee to Save St. Veronica’s)

Despite the first Mass, on June 7, honoring the church’s dedication day, having also been scheduled on a Friday at noon — a generally inconvenient time for worshipers — an impressive number of people, nearly 30, were in attendance.

The Archdiocese’s reported response is that the services’ times are set based on “the availability of the priest who would be there.” In fact, despite the Church saying demographic changes no longer justify it, congregants want more Masses at St. Veronica’s on a regular basis.

Parishioners were grateful to be able to attend the church’s dedication Mass on June 7. (Committee to Save St. Brigid’s)
Cantor Cindy Boyle was glad to be back in her longtime spot at the podium on June 7 — even if just for one of the only two officially permitted Masses per year. (Committee to Save St. Veronica’s)

A retired priest from Immaculate Conception Church on E. 14th Street was assigned to lead the June 7 Mass.

Meanwhile, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission reportedly had “offered significant funding to cover the cost of repairs to St. Veronica’s roof leaks.” Yet, the Church’s response was that it would pay for it and take care of the problem on its own.

(Committee to Save St. Veronica’s)

“Nothing was ever done, which is clearly the intent of the Archdiocese, hoping eventually for enough damage to occur, resulting in the condemnation of the building and eventual sale,” accused Vinnie Orgo of the Save St Veronica’s Committee.

(Committee to Save St. Veronica’s)

However, according to Orgo, L.P.C. is now “in the process of taking legal action” after the committee sent the agency photos taken June 7 of the house of worship’s water-damaged interior. He thanked news outlets, like this one, for “exposing such anti-Christlike behavior by the Archdiocese.”

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