Roman Catholic church in Bayonne will now serve Syriac Catholics

9170518-large1.jpgA Roman Catholic church in Bayonne is changing hands and will now serve Syriac Catholics, according to today’s Jersey Journal.
After serving parishioners for more than 120 years, St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Bayonne held its final Mass on Dec. 26., reports said.

The church, located at 317 Avenue E, will now serve the Syriac Catholic Church community, according to the Journal.

The Syriac Catholic Church uses the West Syrian liturgical Rite as opposed to the Roman liturgical Rite.

Parishioners who attended St. Joseph’s are being directed to the services at the merged St. Michael and St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church at 21 E. 23rd St.

In 2004, the Archdiocese began to consolidate parishes because Roman Catholics were moving out of traditional neighborhoods, said Archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness.

“Traditionally we had a very strong Catholic community in the City of Bayonne,” Goodness said.

“We had a lot of ethnic neighborhoods and had a lot of churches to serve those neighborhoods. In certain parishes there are not as many Catholics or Christians in the same number.”

The Archdiocese now leases the newly named St. Joseph Syriac Catholic Cathedral and rectory to Our Lady of Deliverance Syriac Catholic Diocese of the United States and Canada.

Two years ago, the Syriac Catholic Diocese had to move out of its church at 502 Palisade Ave. in Union City because of problems with the building, church officials said.

The Rev. Khalid Karomi, pastor for St. Joseph Syriac Catholic Cathedral, said his congregation has roughly 150 families drawn from Bayonne and surrounding towns.

Karomi said although some people would have “strong ties” and be unhappy to lose the use of their church he hoped that “time would be the great healer.”