St. John Church in northern Cayuga County closed in 2020 - Catholic Courier
St. John Church in Port Byron St. John Church in Port Byron (Courier file photo)

St. John Church in northern Cayuga County closed in 2020

St. John Church in Port Byron, part of Our Lady of the Snow Parish in northern Cayuga County, closed in July 2020.

In the spring of 2020, the late Father William Darling, then the pastor of Our Lady of the Snow, recommended closure of the church, which had been built in 1900 and was one of Our Lady of the Snow’s three worship sites.

The recommendation was prompted by several factors, according Father Frank Lioi, current pastor of the now-clustered parishes of Our Lady of the Snow and St. Mary and Ss. Mary and Martha in Auburn.

Those factors were declining Mass attendance as well as the parish’s assessment of its operating expenses, financial resources at its disposal and the physical condition of the buildings on its three campuses in Port Byron, Cato and Weedsport, he said.

Bishop Salvatore R. Matano accepted this recommendation at the June 22, 2020, meeting of the Presbyteral Council, according to Shannon Kilbridge, associate director of the Diocese of Rochester’s Department of Pastoral Services.

A final Mass was celebrated at St. John on June 27, 2020, and on July 1, 2020, the church was “relegated,” meaning it was reclassified as a space no longer dedicated to public worship.

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