BAYONNE - On a day when many Christian faithful go to church to worship, hundreds of Catholics from the Archdiocese of Newark gathered to protest a church closure.
They protested the impending closure of Our Lady of the Assumption in Bayonne.
Church officials say the Catholic population is dropping in Bayonne, causing Our Lady of the Assumption to have more than $1 million in debt.
Parishioners argue that the church is always full, is the only one in the area with a soup kitchen and is the only church to celebrate Mass in four languages.
"We have a true parish of love and of Christian involvement, and to close our parish at this time when it's growing and it's a vibrant community, is very much a sin," says church trustee Joseph Doria.
A spokesperson for the church says that despite what some people are claiming, the church members' ethnic and cultural traditions, including Mass in Spanish, Italian and Polish, will remain under the new configuration of churches.