Churches closing, merging as Archdiocese of Detroit continues to downsize

(WXYZ) - In response to declining membership and a shortage of priests, the Archdiocese of Detroit is continuing to downsize. 

As part of the restructuring plan, some churches in the area are closing, others are merging.

Parishioners at one Highland Park church came together  for one last mass Sunday morning. St. Benedict is the only Catholic Church in Highland Park- it's been a part of the neighborhood for almost 100 years.

But the church simply can no longer afford to keep the doors open. The final mass was bittersweet for a lot of the parishioners. Many people returned to snap pictures and share stories. 

It was October 2, 1948 when Catherine Ishioka was married at St. Benedict. The church is part of her family history.

"I have very beautiful memories here I will treasure forever," said Catherine. 

St. Benedict is merging with two other catholic churches as part of a downsizing effort by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

It will still be available for weddings and funerals, but because church membership and revenue is declining, it can no longer operate on its own.

To check the churches that will close and merge, go to  www.aod.org .

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