Parishioners at Our Lady of Peace Church gathered Thursday evening for an all-night vigil to mark the Upper East Side church’s closing as the New York Archdiocese undergoes a major reorganization.
The move will consolidate 143 parishes into 69 and will affect churches in Staten Island, the Bronx and Manhattan, as well as Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Dutchess Counties.
The restructuring is the second phase of a downsizing effort that began in November, when dozens of parishes were instructed to join other parishes.
Shrinking congregations and a lack of priests and resources prompted church officials to initiate the reorganization.
Churchgoers at Our Lady of Peace, one of 17 that will close Friday, said they are hoping for a miracle as they appeal to the Vatican to keep their church open.
"It's a beautfiful building; It's been here for almost 100 years," parishioner Ian Kurz said. "It's a community that's loved and well-known."
The church's last scheduled mass will be held at 12:10 p.m. Friday.