Three Cowra district Catholic churches are closing.
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St Raphael's Parish Administrator Fr Dong Nguyen announced the closures on Friday afternoon.
"It is with heavy heart that I share some important news regarding our churches in Wyangala, Gooloogong, and Woodstock," Fr Nguyen said.
"After much prayerful contemplation and consultation, the decision has been made to close these churches for worship.
"This difficult decision has been prompted particularly by the low and declining church attendance, as well as the ever-increasing maintenance costs associated with these beloved places of worship.
"I understand that these churches hold a special place in the hearts of many, and the prospect of their closure is undoubtedly met with mixed emotions."
Fr Nguyen went on to assure members of the Parish the decision was not made lightly and was done with the long-term sustainability and well-being of the entire St Raphael's parish community in mind.
"I acknowledge the memories, traditions and spiritual significance associated with these places, and I am committed to providing support and guidance as we navigate this transition," Fr Nguyen said.
"Bishop Michael McKenna will celebrate the final Masses at each of the churches,to bid a proper farewell to these cherished sanctuaries, and to honour the history and memories they hold," he said.
The dates for these Masses are:
- St Malachy's Gooloogong: 2.30pm, Sunday, December 3, 2023, followed by afternoon tea.
- St Brigid's Woodstock: 9am, Saturday, December 9, 2023, followed by morning tea.
- St Vincent's Wyangala: 9am, Saturday, December 16, 2023, followed by morning tea.
Everyone who has had a connection with these churches are most warmly invited to these Masses.
"The spirit of our parish will endure, and I encourage everyone to stay connected and active within our broader faith community.," Fr Nguyen said.
"Your presence and participation in our other churches remain crucial to our shared spiritual journey, and I look forward to strengthening the bonds that unite us.
"Thank you for your understanding and your continued commitment to our parish family," he said to the St Raphael's parishioners.
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