Residents come together to rally after a historic church is shut down without explanation

August 28, 2018 10:49 AM

HOOSICK FALLS -- "I was baptized here, had first communion here, confirmation here, I was an alter boy here for ten years and I was married in the church" said Kevin O'Malley, a parishioner at the Church of Immaculate Conception in Hoosick Falls.

Memories similar to those of what O'Malley described could be heard over and over again tonight on the steps of the church. 

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"We were married here, four kids were baptized here, three married here," said parishioner Herb Loretan. 

Those types of special moments will now be a thing of the past for members of this historic church and community. After more than 150 years the Diocese of Albany shut the doors without explanation. 

"This is a church that's got beautiful stained glass, it was built in 1870, it's a magnificent structure," said O'Malley.

The church basement was heavily damaged by severe flooding last July and in the last few months several portions of the ceiling collapsed. Members are now saying Bishop Edward Scharfenberger moved services to another location without giving a reason to the congregation.

"This is just another way the diocese is trying to save money, taking something away from the community. Why not give the people a chance?" said Helen Carlone of Hoosick Falls.

Those attending say they were never asked what they could do to prevent this from happening.

"We'd like to hire an independent architect to look at and give us some answers," said O'Malley.

While some in the community say although they are not members at this parish the loss has become a life lesson for their children.

"I know how important church is to a community. I know how important it is to generations of families who have a deep-rooted faith." said  Carlone.


Brooke Selby

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