PROVIDENCE – A request by the administrator of St. Teresa of Avila Parish, 275 Manton Ave. to close the Church due to the need for extensive repairs and scarce financial resources has been approved with the support of the parish leadership and the Council of Priests.
Parishioners, Trustees, and Finance Council have been involved in the consultation process since last July. In January, parishioners of St. Teresa joined the Blessed Sacrament Parish community.
The parish ministry, which provides food and clothing to the needy, will continue an active presence in the neighborhood. Due to the significant safety concerns and the exorbitant renovation costs of $500,000 to $1 million, the building will be taken down.
Among its many needs and no financial resources, the Renaissance Revival church requires new paint, extensive repairs to the front steps and roof, upgraded electrical system, new heating system and much more. All pastoral activities of St. Teresa were relocated to Blessed Sacrament in January of this year while parish leaders discussed realistic future uses of the building.
In requesting that St. Teresa close, Father Angelo Carusi, administrator of St. Teresa and pastor of Blessed Sacrament shared that the Church building is in dilapidated condition and is unfit and unsafe as a worship site. He also provided details on the financial status of the parish that would make it impossible to fix or maintain the building as well as provide for a parish priest and staff.
The many critical charitable ministries of the parish will continue in St. Teresa’s parish hall. Parishioners were informed of the proposal during meetings and the final decision was announced in late October.
Following consultation with parishioners, plumbers, electricians, architects and contractors, Father Carusi requested that St. Teresa’s Church building temporarily close on December 31, “until a more permanent resolution can be found.”
Sacramental needs of St. Teresa’s parishioners have been provided at Blessed Sacrament Church since January. These include weddings, baptisms, religious education, faith formation and funerals.
The St. Teresa Food Pantry, which is housed in the basement of the church, is seeking a new location from which to carry out its ministry.
The parish is in discussion with neighbors in the area for a temporary location. Future plans call for building a smaller facility on the current site of the church to serve the needs of the neighborhood.