In less than two weeks, parishoners at St. Mark will attend the final mass at Gary’s oldest catholic church. After 95 years, the church is closing its doors after years of mounting debt and rising maintenance costs.
A church spokeswoman said the aging facility at 505 W. Ridge Road, needed costly repairs and Bishop Donald Hying told a church assembly last week that it would close.
According to the church’s Facebook page, St. Mark’s final mass will be June 26.
One church member is trying to launch a petition on Facebook to keep the facility open.
Most of St. Mark’s parishioners are Hispanic worshippers who normally hear Sunday Mass sermons in Spanish.
An official from the Diocese of Gary spokeswoman said the parish will merge with another Glen Park parish, St. Joseph the Worker, 330 E. 45th Ave.
Officials said the St. Joseph’s building is more structurally sound. Hying spoke with St. Joseph church members last week.
Last year, Hying announced the closing of St. Mary of the Lake Church in Gary’s Miller community. In an effort to keep the church open, parishioners held fundraisers and paid off more than a $100,000 debt. In April, church members learned that St. Mary will stay open.