New Jersey church fighting to keep doors open

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MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- Parishioners at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Montclair, New Jersey are fighting to keep the doors open after a recent proposal from the Archdiocese of Newark to merge their church with another one nearby.

“We found out in May with two weeks’ notice that they want to close Our Lady of Mount Carmel church and the reason was lack of faith and lack of parishioners,” Raffaele Marzullo explained to PIX11 News.

The Archdiocese of Newark told PIX11 Tuesday weekly mass attendance at Our Lady of Mount Carmel has dropped by two thirds over the last 20 years, which prompted their decision to merge the church.

Frank Cardell, a former business manager for the church, says they have the funds to continue operations.

“We have an $80,000 reserve right now,” he said.

A dedicated group of parishioners are now vowing to fight the decision of the Archdiocese. They hired an attorney and had petitions delivered on their behalf to the Pope in Rome.