December 06, 2015
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday that a pair of worship sites in Bucks and Montgomery counties will be closed due to apparent financial constraints and maintenance costs.
According to a release from the Archdiocese, Immaculate Conception B.V.M. Church in Levittown will no longer serve as a worship site of Queen of the Universe Parish and will close as a Roman Catholic Church. The church merged with Queen of the Universe Parish in 2014 as part of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative.
The merger made the worship site available to parishioners for celebration of Mass, funerals and weddings, but on Sunday Archbishop Charles Chaput relegated the Immaculate Conception B.V.M. building to profane but not sordid use, a canonical designation that invalidates the site for worship and closes it as a Roman Catholic Church.
In Montgomery County, Saint Gertrude Church in West Conshohocken will no longer serve as a worship site of Saint Matthew Parish and will close on January 1.
The Archdiocese cited annual maintenance costs of approximately $68,000 and noted the need for an additional $40,000 to maintain the vacant Saint Gertrude parish rectory, which is physically attached to the church.
Although these expenses have been met by the parish, the need to renovate space adjacent to the Saint Matthew Parish for pastoral, educational and administrative purposes led to the decision to close Saint Gertrude Church, which has not generated many requests for worship.
The information was shared with parishioners at Masses during the course of the weekend.