Maybrook parishioners fight to keep their church open

By Connor Linskey
Posted 3/31/21

The Archdiocese of New York is considering closing the Catholic Church of The Assumption in Maybrook. Parishioner Joe Raiti noted that the potential closure is a matter of economics and manpower. …

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Maybrook parishioners fight to keep their church open

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The Archdiocese of New York is considering closing the Catholic Church of The Assumption in Maybrook. Parishioner Joe Raiti noted that the potential closure is a matter of economics and manpower.

The stone church, built in 1911, is in disrepair and is not handicap accessible. Due to this, masses are held in the church hall. The rectory is unoccupied, as Pastor Matthew Reiman also is the priest for the Holy Name of Mary Church in the Village of Montgomery and lives at that church’s rectory.

Eileen Mulcahy, Victims Assistance Coordinator for the Archdiocese of New York, met with a group of the church’s members. She said that it would take $1.4 million to put the church in good repair.

Raiti has launched a petition to keep the church open. As of Monday morning, approximately 100 people had signed the document. Raiti is one of many congregants who would be sad to see the church close.

“It’s my life,” Kathleen Muir of Campbell Hall said regarding the church. “I’ve been here for 50 years.”

“This church is my lifeline,” said Agnes Vigilante of Maybrook. “I’d be lost without it.”

The Maybrook Village Board also wants to keep the church open. They have written a letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, asking him to consider the effects of closing the church.

“We respectfully request that you seriously consider the negative impacts on our village and the parishioners of our community,” the letter states. “The Church of The Assumption has been a part of this community for many years and after years of neglect, is now being abandoned.”

The letter added that the Village of Maybrook has three significant new development residential projects currently being reviewed, which will provide future growth. The village has just moved into the final stages of revitalization of the old Maybrook rail yard, which after full build out is estimated to bring over 500 new jobs to Maybrook.

“The Village of Maybrook is moving forward in a positive direction and our churches are an integral part of what people look to be a part of any thriving community,” the letter states. “We are formally requesting that when you make your decision, you take into consideration the direction the village is heading and the potential of welcoming new parishioners to your church to build your congregation.”

Those interested in signing the petition can contact Raiti at 845-674-3437.

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