Thousands of Chicago-area families are reeling after learning that the Archdiocese of Chicago plans to close several more schools.
Hundreds of devout Catholics gathered at Saint Barbara's in Bridgeport Wednesday night to hear the Archdiocese's final decision on whether to close or consolidate eight schools and parishes due to lack of attendance.
Parishioners are taking it hard.
"To me, right now, it's very heartfelt and very sad,” said Paula Buckley. "it’s like losing a family, like we're burying somebody tonight.”
The schools up for consideration were in the Bridgeport, Canaryville and Chinatown neighborhoods – St. Anthony, St. Barbara, St. Gabriel, St. Jerome Croatian, Santa Lucia, Saint Mary of Perpetual Help, Nativity of Our Lord and St. Therese Chinese Catholic.
The Archdiocese calls the initiative "Renew My Church". But for these folks, they just want to keep going to the same church's they've always gone to.
"Terrible, very sad...been to St. Lucy's parish all my life. And for them to close it, it's very disheartening…I never thought I’d see this day coming,” said Rita Colismo.
Santa Lucia school and parish was the only one closed down.