From the AP:
With millions of people having stayed home from places of worship during the coronavirus pandemic, struggling congregations have one key question: How many of them will return?
As the pandemic recedes in the United States and in-person services resume, worries of a deepening slide in attendance are universal.
Some houses of worship won’t make it.
The story looks at several denominations and mentions one historic Catholic parish in particular:
In San Francisco, the historic Old St. Mary’s Cathedral survived when members rebuilt after a fire following the 1906 earthquake but it has struggled mightily during the pandemic to stay open.
The 160-year-old Roman Catholic church, which is heavily dependent on older worshippers and tourists, lost most of its revenue after parishes closed during the pandemic. During those “dark hours,” the Rev. John Ardis had to dismiss most of the lay staff, cut the salary of a priest and close the parish preschool.
The plaster is crumbling, the paint is peeling off the walls and dozens of its stained-glass windows need to be replaced.
“But those are secondary at the moment,” Ardis said. “Because I’m just basically trying to trying to keep the doors open.”