Published on August 28, 2014
OUR TOWN, the local paper for the Upper East Side
by Megan Bungeroth
Our Lady of Peace on East 62nd Street may face closure,
to the dismay of its loyal parishioners
Many of the congregants at Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic church have attended the parish their whole lives. Baptisms, first communions, weddings, funerals have all been held at the small church on East 62nd Street, between Second and Third Avenues, and parishioners speak of the close community. Congregants recognize one another at Mass every Sunday, help their elderly neighbors get to services and pitch in financially when their church needs repairs.
But the congregation of Our Lady of Peace, committed but small at only about 350 people, is in danger of losing its spiritual home. Facing a crisis of low attendance throughout Manhattan, the Catholic archdiocese needs to consolidate parishes, and it has targeted Our Lady of Peace for potential closure and merger with nearby St. Vincent Ferrer, on Lexington near East 66th Street. It may be close by, but members of Our Lady of Peace have no desire to leave their church for another.
“This is what they call a personal church in the sense that we have no geographical boundaries,” said Bruno Cappellini, a longtime member at Our Lady of Peace who is fervently working to prevent its closure. He lives in Queens now but still comes to his Upper East Side church every week to celebrate Mass.
To read the enire article, download the PDF, A Church Hoping for A Miracle.