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Holy Angels Church in Buffalo set to close in July 2020

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Posted at 8:59 PM, Oct 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-20 18:02:32-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's a sad weekend for members of a local Roman Catholic Church here in Buffalo.

"This morning when I walked into church, my heart kind of dropped to my toes," said Deborah Werner, parishioner for 40 years.

Holy Angels Church on Porter Avenue will be closing its doors for good in July.

"I should've known by the lack of people in church...I'm surprised to see that they would close it," said Kathleen Eagan, parishioner for 65 years.

The building has been around for more than 150 years. Church officials say the reasons are primarily financial.

"Maintenance is too expensive and we don't have so many parishioners," said Deacon Alex Manunta.

The announcement was made on the church's Facebook page Saturday.

Many people have been posting comments, sharing their fond memories of growing up in that parish, which is located right near the campus of D'Youville College.

"It's my second home. Sometimes I consider it my first home, but our faith and our God is about people, not about buildings," said Deacon Manunta.

The Diocese of Buffalo released this statement to 7 Eyewitness News Sunday:

The religious order of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) have owned and operated Holy Angels Parish in Buffalo since 1852. As an OMI Parish, Holy Angels has greatly contributed to the life of the of City of Buffalo and the Church in Western New York.

The OMI made the decision that they can no longer staff Holy Angels Parish. Bishop Malone and the Diocese of Buffalo did not make this decision and were informed of it recently. The OMI decided to no longer house its pre-novitiate program in Buffalo and they determined that Holy Angels Parish is no longer viable. The OMI, who owns the property, determined the church, rectory and convent need major structural repair and the repair costs would be excessive.

The OMI will continue to minister at Holy Cross and Our Lady of Hope Parishes in Buffalo. Bishop Malone and the Diocesan Offices of Research and Planning and also Parish Life will work with parishioners from Holy Angels to encourage them to share their faith, ministries and experience of church by becoming part of and worshiping at either of these two parishes or another parish.