It’s a sad weekend for parishioners at two Roman Catholic churches in Sydney, N.S., with final mass being held before the places of worship are closed for good.

St. Anthony Daniel and Sacred Heart are two of more than a dozen churches the Diocese of Antigonish has shuttered in recent years in Cape Breton.

"It's hard to leave behind what you've loved and certainly this has been a loving, caring community for us," said Marie Oake, who joined St. Anthony Daniel 33 years ago.

A final mass is being held at each church on Sunday. But some parishioners say the diocese’s decision to close the churches comes too soon.

"We all knew that the number of parishioners are dwindling, church attendance, the number of clergy is dwindling," said Joe Gillis, a parishioner at Sacred Heart.

"But I think here in these churches we were able to hold our own, we were doing OK."

The diocese has said it needs to close churches because of dwindling populations and the financial problems faced by some parishes.