Parishioners protest Monongahela church closing

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MONONGAHELA, Pa. —

Parishioners are protesting the closing of St. Anthony’s church in Monongahela. 

They took a bus to downtown Pittsburgh to confront diocese officials in person Monday.

The closure was announced last weekend, and that upset parishioners.

Joe Ravasio said his father and uncle helped build the church.

“They gave every last cent to build that church, and what are we doing? We want to knock it down and close it,” said Ravasio.

About two dozen parishioners delivered a petition to Bishop Zubik, pleading to keep the doors open. 

“We are chasing his sheep away.  We’re supposed to be gathering the sheep.  God commands us to gather the sheep,” said Ravasio.

The number of parishioners at St. Anthony’s has dwindled over the years.   Church funds had been running low. 

St. Anthony’s is merging with another parish and will be part of St. Damien’s of Molokai.

“We need to preserve the churches and no question, we need to do that, but there comes a point when the support isn’t there,” said a diocese spokesperson.

“They won’t tell us how much.  How much do we need to raise keep our church open?  We’ll do it.  Just tell us how much,” said parishioner Diane Anthony.