Sunday Mass marked a poignant occasion for many area Catholics as dozens of churches prepared to close this week as part of a major reorganization of the New York Archdiocese.
The move will consolidate 143 parishes into 69.
The restructuring is the second phase of a downsizing effort that began in November, when dozens of parishes were instructed to join other parishes.
"It's very emotional," said Daisy Carrasco, who was attending Mass at the Church of the Holy Agony in East Harlem. "I have been in this church for 44 years. I have gone through baptisms, weddings, all kinds of sacraments."
Shrinking congregations and a lack of priests and resources prompted church officials to initiate the reorganization.