Holy Ghost, St. Helen churches recommended for June closure
Two Catholic churches in the Town of Gates, Holy Ghost and St. Helen, may close in June 2020.
A recommedation for the churches' closure was announced by Father Michael Schramel, pastor of Parish of the Holy Family, in a Dec. 29 bulletin article. If the recommendation is approved, the parish’s lone remaining worship site would be at St. Jude the Apostle, also in Gates.
Father Schramel noted in his article that the recommendation to close Holy Ghost and St. Helen was the result of several meetings beginning in September 2019 involving parish and finance councils from Parish of the Holy Family as well as officials from the Diocese of Rochester.
The article stated that on Dec. 8, the parish and finance councils formally decided to recommend to Bishop Salvatore R. Matano “to consolidate our worship and ministry at the St. Jude location, and to close and pursue the sale of St. Helen and Holy Ghost.”
According to the article, this transition is planned to take place June 30, 2020, at the end of the current fiscal year. Father Schramel explained in the article that the recommended closing of Holy Ghost and St. Helen was prompted by such factors as declining attendance, unused and underused buildings, and an aging community in Gates.
Holy Ghost, located at 250 Coldwater Road, is the oldest of the parish’s churches, having been founded in 1875. St. Helen, located at 310 Hinchey Road, has been in existence since 1940; and St. Jude, located at 4100 Lyell Road, was established in 1968. In 2010, the three churches became a cluster known as the Gates Catholic Community. In 2016, the churches became one parish — Parish of the Holy Family — with all councils, staffs and ministries being combined.