Gary Church at Risk of Closing Gets 1-year Reprieve

GARY, Ind. (AP) – Members of a Gary church at risk of closing have been given a year's reprieve. But the Diocese of Gary says they have to come up with a plan to keep the church viable.

Bishop Donald Hying notified parishioners of St. Mary of the Lake of the decision in a letter Sunday.

Hying tells The Times in Munster that he met with parishioners of the 86-year-old parish to discuss the church's viability. He says many talked about what the church meant to them and suggested ways to keep it open.

He's asked them to come up with a plan to grow the church that includes benchmarks that will be assessed over the next year.

The church is $100,000 in debt and has hosted few baptisms, confirmations and weddings.