Margaret Krzeminski has pretty a lot spent her whole lifestyles residing in West Haven’s Allingtown segment and going to church at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church on First Avenue.
Now, in any case, these years, Krzeminski — like parishioners at church buildings across the vicinity because the Archdiocese of Hartford consolidates parishes from 212 to 127 — is going through big changes.
For years, St. Paul’s — which celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary in September 2016 — has been at the center of the Krzeminski’s’ lives.
“I turned into baptized there. I made my First Communion. I made my confirmation there, and I became married there,” stated Krzeminski, who has been married to retired New Haven Police Officer Anthony Krzeminski for fifty-three years.
Separately, St. Brendan Church in New Haven merged with St. Aedan Church and has been brought to a Jewish rabbinic college.
“We’ve been a long term in West Haven — and it’s sad, what’s happening, due to what the archdiocese is doing,” Krzeminski stated.
Like many parishioners at St. Paul’s, which were related to St. Lawrence Church — and now will be part of with St. Lawrence and St. Louis Church as St. John XXIII Parish — they’ll additionally miss their beloved pastor, the Rev. Mark Jette, who turned into reassigned at the time the modifications went into impact.
But whilst she recognized a few humans from St. Paul’s whilst she went to Mass at St. Lawrence after the closure, “it’s constantly going to be St. Paul for me,” she said.
The accurate news, at least for now, is that Thursday night bingo will hold at St. Paul’s — one of the few matters the building will be used for till it’s far bought.
Georgiana Meyer, 73, went to church at St. Paul’s for about 60 years.
“I grew up a half a block from the church. My grandfather became a caretaker of the church at the time — we moved there when I became 10 or 12,” she stated. “My grandmother ended up carrying the keys of the church around her neck” because she was always anticipating it to open while people started out arriving for Mass.
“It becomes a completely near-knit parish, but what happened become, the older people exceeded on, and the younger human beings moved away,” stated Meyer, who, together with her husband, Frank, become a member of the parish’s Finance Committee. Frank Meyer also changed into a trustee.
“I’m lost. I’m misplaced now,” Georgiana Meyer said. “That becomes my church. I grew up there, got my sacraments there. I got married there. I buried my dad and mum and my grandparents there.
“It might be neglected. There’s absolute confidence approximately it,” she said.
John Panza and his circle of relatives have been associated with St. Paul for many years — and in fact, constructed an addition to its chapel approximately 25 years ago. While they did it because of the contractor, they donated lots of the paintings, he stated.
“Actually, there’s a bell in that tower” and “that bell was in dad’s yard … For fifty years” after a Catholic monastery that once was on Charles Island in Milford became destroyed by using the typhoon of 1938, Panza said.
Patty Gigola has ties to three West Haven church buildings, two of which can be ultimate.
She’s a former 18-yr member of St. Paul’s who later spent twenty years with her family at St. John Vianney and Our Lady of Victory Church. St. John Vianney and Our Lady of Victory, which had been linked, are now merged. She said she has gravitated to Our Lady of Victory over time because that’s where her grandchildren went to on secular college.
St. Paul’s former pastor, the Rev. Biagio Cretella, baptised after which showed Gigola’s late husband, then helped them renew their vows many years later, she stated. They have been married at the former Sacred Heart Church in New Haven, she stated.
Even although she didn’t go to St. Paul’s when the stop came, “I’m mourning,” she said. “It’s like a loss of life whilst a church closes … It’s simply precise memories.”
Last Sunday, “Our Lady of Victory changed into loaded with quite a few St. John Vianney and a lot of St. Paul’s people,” Gigolo said. “People attempted to be as welcoming as they will be … It’s going to take a while.
Bob Guthrie, an established St. John Vianney parishioner who remained a member till it closed, is in his 2nd year as co-chairman of Our Lady of Victory’s annual carnival.
“The people I sense sorry for are the human beings at Surfside,” the close-by house for the elderly and disabled.
“The people who don’t have transportation, the humans who have mobility troubles. Those are the those who are going to have a good deal extra trouble,” he said, “and you’re talking about an age institution this is certainly extra dedicated about going to church every week.”
The choir director additionally left, and “before everything, they were going to disband the choir, and the choir stated no and kept going until the last Sunday.”
Armand Lemieux stated, “I think we’re the most effective family that took up a whole pew” at St. Joan of Arc. At one time, he, his wife, Barbara, his sons, two daughters, their spouses and 5 grandchildren have been “there almost every Sunday.”
“The entire church became like a family get-collectively after which we went out afterward for breakfast.”
Now, Lemieux said, family participants will, in all likelihood, pick out special parishes to sign up for.
“We pass over it, Lemieux said. “My daughters and my son got married there. … I’ve been making ‘coffee and on account that day one,” supporting his daughter-in-regulation, who ran the ministry.
Lemieux’s son, David Lemieux, stated, “It’s a form of a nightmare for us to go to any other parish as it changed into the sort of family.” Mount Carmel is “going to attract from such a much-reaching population that it’s now not going to be this sort of tight-knit network.”
ST. ANN CHURCH, HAMDEN, AND ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, NEW HAVEN
The close-by church buildings were connected. Now they’ve merged with Church of the Ascension and Blessed Sacrament Church in Hamden, both to continue to be open. The new parish is referred to as Christ the Bread of Life Church.
Theresa Pierce had been a member of St. John the Baptist but transferred to St. Ann’s when she moved to Hamden within the Nineteen Fifties. “In my coronary heart, they’re both my parishes. People knew [each other] via sight if now not by the call,” she said. “My son was an altar boy there.”
Pierce said St. John the Baptist had been frequently Irish-American and St. Ann often Italian-American until later years. “They have been community churches, so people walked and that they were simplest more than one blocks from each other.”
Pierce stated she identified the reality of declining numbers within the Dixwell Avenue church buildings. “Because there weren’t as many humans going, obviously the greenbacks weren’t there … however, there’s additionally the human element that you have to examine too.”
Lyn Cusano runs a soup kitchen at St. Ann’s, continuing to operate, even though the church is closed. “We get fantastic, awesome donations from normal working people,” she stated.
“The joy of St. Ann’s is your religion and the way you feel when you go to your church. You play as a unit. It’s all approximately own family,” Cusano stated. “It’s the joy of the human beings you’re near celebrating the Mass with.”
Lorrie Mikolinski stated she had been a member of St. John the Baptist “nearly my whole existence, which become probably an excellent 60 years. It turned into the entirety a church will be, and it’s tough, unfortunate.”
She said she changed into in rate of adorning the church for the distinctive liturgical seasons “to make all of them extra significant to the people.” Carol Pasqualini has been a member of St. John the Baptist for 28 years. “I joined the church because once I moved to New Haven, I changed into looking for a church nearby wherein I lived on Shelton Avenue. I saw a fantastic act of kindness, and I knew in my coronary heart that this became my parish.”
Pasqualini said there was a lady on the altar rail who changed into upset, and “the lector that Sunday came from the altar and placed her fingers around her.” She stated the parish lived as much as her first impact.
The ultimate pastor of St. Ann’s and St. John the Baptist, the Rev. George Vellaplackil, driver, held a closing ceremony at each church. Pasqualini said that at St. John the Baptist, whilst everybody stood outside, he “put his palms on the door adroit closed and said, ‘St. John the Baptist is closed,’ and that’s it. … Everybody become outdoor, I suppose a touch past disappointment; I’m now not certain of the phrase. Even though we knew it changed into going to manifest, it changed into devastating to pay attention those phrases; it’s nevertheless devastating.”
She said the humans at the merged parish have been “very welcoming, very beautiful. It’s difficult to be ripped from a place that you’ve been to for 28 years, but it’s performed and you need to go on from there.”