Some Roman Catholics in Cape Breton are upset the Diocese of Antigonish plans to close six more churches in Richmond County.
According to a document from the director of pastoral planning, the diocese wants to close: St. Dionysius in River Denys, St. Patrick in Whiteside, St. Margaret in West Bay, Immaculate Conception in West Arichat and St. Hyacinth in D'Escousse.
The proposal says Lady of Assumption in Arichat would close for the winters only and Immaculate Conception in Barra Head would close in 2015.
When all is said and done, Richmond County would have three Catholic parishes with eight churches.
Rosemary McLean attends St. Hyacinth in D'Escouse and doesn’t think it should close
“We do have declining enrolment, no question about that. But we are maintaining the status quo. We have eucharistic ministers and readers and cantors and sacristans. We have everything here that is needed to maintain a church,” she said.
McLean says St. Hyacinth is financially sound.
Father Donald MacGillivray, director of pastoral planning, says decisions are not based on individual churches.
“It's not just the financial viability of a particular parish, but rather the financial viability of parishes in close proximity. So it's about creating viable parishes that we can properly serve,” he said.
A representative of the diocese says they planned to make the final decisions in June, but the consultation period might be extended.