One door closes, another opens

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:28

    St. Ignatius Orthodox Church closes on purchase of former St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Florida Florida — On Tuesday Nov. 22, St. Ignatius Orthodox Church became the owners of the church, hall, and property that formerly housed St. Edward’s Catholic Church at 75 North Main Street in the Village of Florida. The purchase price was not disclosed. On June 24, 2007, a Mass of Farewell was celebrated at St. Edward’s Mission Chapel. It had been selected as one of the churches that would close as part of the Archdiocese of New York’s realignment program due to changes in demographics and other practical reasons. St. Ignatius has been renting the facility for the past four years and during that time experienced a twofold increase in its congregation with many worshipers traveling from nearby Orange County and New Jersey communities. The closing took place at the Florida offices of Provident Bank and was attended by Father Michael McLoughlin, pastor of R.C. Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr in Warwick; Father George Kevorkian, pastor of St. Ignatius Church in Florida; Leo Kaytes Sr., chairman of the Council of St. Ignatius, and Damiane Doyle of Provident Bank. “The purchase of the church by St. Ignatius Orthodox Church,” said Kevorkian, “insures that this beautiful and historic building will remain a house of worship for many years.” Although there will be some cosmetic changes to have the church conform to traditional Orthodox Christian worship, the basic interior of the church will remain unchanged, including the stained glass windows, which will remain in place. In addition, the Knights of Columbus will continue to occupy their hall under a long-term lease agreement. “Our parish,” said McLoughlin, “is delighted that the former St. Edward’s church building will continue to be used as a house of worship. The St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church has already had a positive impact on the Florida community. We pray that it continues for many years to come. And at the same time, the Warwick Valley Knights of Columbus have signed a five-year lease with St. Ignatius for use of the former St. Edward’s Hall. The Knights are well known for their extensive charitable works. Their presence in our community is a blessing.” Kevorkian added: “We are truly blessed to have this opportunity to continue our worship in the Village of Florida and for the partnership that made this possible. In particular we would like to thank Father McLoughlin, Mr. Al Sanza, Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and Damiane Doyle, vice president at Provident Bank. The cooperation of all of these people and their organizations truly made this possible. We look forward to the day in the near future when we can welcome the entire community to come and visit the church and help us celebrate this joyous occasion.”