It must be tough to survive in the religious marketplace out there, competing with other progressive chapels for the gay Catholic demographic; and especially so when you don’t have any other clientele. The Jesuits in Boston have announced the planned closure of their city church in the South End neighborhood, the Jesuit Urban Center.
Besides a general decline in the gay-Catholic market segment, credit for the Jesuits’ downtown defeat probably has to go to the Franciscans of Holy Name Province. St. Anthony Shrine moved into the gay-friendly market a few years ago, making for a three-way competition against the Jesuits and the Paulists who have catered to dissenting Catholics downtown for over 30 years. The Shrine’s broad-based weekday Mass attendance, heavily trafficked location, and extensive service hours probably give it a stronger position than either of its two competitors, so St. Anthony’s is probably best situated to endure for years to come. In contrast, the JUC had only one Mass per week, with a congregation of 150-200 confused souls.
|Jester Hat Tip:
|RC at Catholic Light
Predominately the headlines I have seen on this story say "Jesuits closing Boston church that serves many gays." Which seems rather odd for a parish with one Mass a week and less than 200 parishioners and even if every one of them had same-sex attraction it still isn’t very many.
"A lot of people are still in the church because of the Jesuits," Regan said. "We do not want to abandon these people. But there’s a spirit among this group, and I think that’s going to be lost, and that’s very sad."
I guess my definition of "a lot" varies from theirs.