Easter, at least, for St. Ann flock

New York Daily News, NY
March 29 2004

Easter, at least, for St. Ann flock


A 157-year-old Manhattan church in danger of closing will be open for
at least one more Easter celebration.
The 50 faithful who attend the sole Sunday Mass at St. Ann’s on E.
12th St. learned yesterday that Palm Sunday and Easter services would
still be held in their beloved church.

Ushers distributed flyers directing them to other churches for all
other Holy Week Masses.

It was a welcome reprieve for those who fear the worst as the
Archdiocese of New York mulls whether to sell the aging church.
Everyone except St. Ann’s English-speaking worshipers were relocated
to other churches last month.

“We’ll be praying that it continues to stay open,” said Michael
Krzyzanowski, 61, who kissed the sooty facade of the Gothic church as
he walked inside.

St. Ann’s is the latest Catholic church to face closure. Two others
have shut their doors since Edward Cardinal Egan took over in 2001
and began work that eliminated a $20 million annual operating

Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said St. Ann’s fate will be
determined as part of a “realignment” effort to close and consolidate
churches based on usage. “Selling the building is a possibility,”
Zwilling said.

St. Ann’s has not had enough congregants to be considered a parish
for more than 20 years. Still, Masses have been celebrated there in
English, Latin and Spanish. It also has allowed a rite of Armenian
Catholics to use the church as its North American headquarters since

There are signs that church leaders are preparing for a final
celebration. A statue of Our Lady of Quinche, an image of the Virgin
Mary honored by Ecuadorans, was removed when the Spanish Masses

“This is a surprise,” said Taco Guillermo, a painter who was born in
Ecuador and lives in Jamaica, Queens. “We never expected not to find
her here.”