'It means everything to me.' Parishioners fight to keep nearly 100-year-old Carle Place church open

Saint Mary's Episcopal Church opened in 1926 and has become a second home for some

News 12 Staff

Mar 24, 2022, 2:44 AM

Updated 752 days ago

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A Carle Place church nearly a century old is about to close, but parishioners are fighting to keep it open.
Saint Mary's Episcopal Church opened in 1926 and has become a second home for some.
"It means everything to me," says Marge Kogler, who has been worshiping at the church since 1941. "My children got married here, I was baptized here. I made my holy communion, my confirmation. It's been my whole life."
In February, Bishop Lawrence Provenzano announced that St. Mary's Esiscopal Church and two other churches would be closing due to low attendance.
Parishioners believe there could be another reason.
Rene Costello believes it's about money for the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.
Costello says St. Mary's has over $1 million in the bank and the diocese owns a home in the neighborhood worth around $800,000
"You're talking close to $2 million that the diocese came in and said, 'We want the money,'" Costello says.
Provenzano disputes the claim, writing in a statement Wednesday, "The Diocesan Council made its decision to close St. Mary's based on the fact that St. Mary's no longer meets the minimum number of parishioners to sustain congregational life and serve the wider community...Our intention is not to sell the St. Mary's property but to reimagine how it might be used more effectively to serve the ongoing ministry of the church."
If St. Mary’s closes, some parishioners are considering going to a nearby Catholic church instead.
There is no word yet on what the diocese has planned for the church property.


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