The Chicago Archdiocese is in the midst of a major overhaul that will leave it with 123 fewer parishes by July 1 of this year.
The archdiocese faces multiple challenges, including fewer Catholic priests, fewer people in the pews, old buildings that need repairs and financial shortages.
Renata Gryzk, a parishioner who has seen her parish close, said she is “very bitter about it, very hurt.”
Gryzk was raised in Our Lady of Victory on Chicago’s Northwest Side. She said watching her home parish close last November was “a struggle and a struggle for many, many people.”
Rev. Jason Malave, the spokesman for Cardinal Blase Cupich’s Renew My Church initiative, said “our culture has shifted so radically, so radically, and we are no longer the church of the 1970s, the 1960s.”
Rev. Malave said Pope Francis wants the church to look for “new methods and, when it’s necessary, to really evangelize well the community that we find ourselves in.”
Read more at NBC News