UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan – They've appealed to the Pope not to close their beloved church where nearly 100 years of memories have been made.
But at noon Friday, the Archdiocese of New York is expected to come change the locks and close it for good.
Our Lady of Peace is one of 31 being closed to regular services by tomorrow.
In all, 112 parishes are being merged to create 55 new ones.
This is just one piece of the bigger picture affecting Catholics across New York.
Beginning Thursday and until the last mass at noon Friday, parishioners are keeping vigil and effectively giving last rites to this historic place where generations have worshiped.
It's a plan that has been years in the making, after declining revenues, fewer priests and the number of Catholics going to church.
Parishioners protesting the move say it should be about faith, not finances.
"There's so many nationalities and all walks of life here," Nancy O'Donnell, a parishioner said. "It's welcoming and financially sound. It does so much for the community, none of us can understand why a church like this has to close."
"We must keep the church open," Christina Fontanelli, a singer said. "There's no other way."
Our Lady of Peace recently had a $300,000 renovation funded in part by parishioners so you can imagine their anger with this decision. But there could be a reprieve if the Vatican answers their prayers and overturns it, when a decision is expected in September.
If not– it will probably sold off, for millions of dollars.