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They are a significant part of our cities’ history and beacons of faith to modern society.If that cannot be done, why not follow the example of medieval Rome, where the populace fled and many of the churches were unused for long periods of time?What if the people can come up with a financial plan to maintain the church?
In Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bishop Kevin Rhoades brought in a new order, the Franciscan Friars Minor, to reopen a shuttered parish church and serve the poor in the neighborhood.
The idea of recycling sounds very attractive today, especially if the historic church has a lot of detail work and precious art.
While a worthy goal, it should be pointed out that you will need experts in sacred architecture, preservation, and historic construction if you are to carefully dismantle and rebuild an old church.
The option most likely to succeed is to invite a religious order in to run the parish.
Opus Dei, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, and the Institute of Christ the King have a track record in reviving dying parishes and restoring beautiful buildings and artwork.