I empathize with the parishioners of St. Anthony Church in Monongahela whose building closed its doors this past weekend (“Parishioners Stage Overnight Vigil to Protest Church’s Closing,” April 27). I know what it’s like to treasure the memories of life’s milestones that have occurred in a beloved church.
Although it’s not exactly the same situation, my own parish is among four in the South Hills that are currently experiencing changes. Instead of being managed by four separate pastors, the churches are now led by one new pastor and one assistant. Mass times and locations have changed, the number of weekend Masses has decreased by more than 50 percent, the priests we knew for years are gone, and some people are expressing displeasure.
It’s human nature to resist change but, as Catholics, it is essential that our emphasis be on the Gospel and the Eucharist. As a wise visiting priest told us a few weeks ago, it may be in a different building or at a different time, but that emphasis must remain the same. I am open to the new direction and challenges through which our priests will lead us. The church is the people, not the building.