NORWICH – For over a year, parishioners of St. Bartholomew’s Church in Norwich have been praying their “little cathedral” might remain open – despite a landmark effort by the Diocese of Syracuse to consolidate its over 170 Catholic parishes.
“It’s not just a church – it’s a cathedral, a memorial. It’s something that was built with the blood and sweat of the people that came from Italy,” said life-long St. Bart’s parishioner and Norwich resident Tony Caezza. “If it were to close, it’s almost like you’d lose a part of yourself. Part of the people would be gone, never to return.”
Caezza, along with the parishioners in the seven other Catholic churches in Chenango County, will learn their churches’ future sometime between May 2 and May 11 as part of rolling announcements from the diocese, Bishop James Moynihan stated in an April 13 letter. It’s not expected that any changes in this area will be implemented until 2008.