As the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announces mergers, here’s what it means for parishioners and church buildings left behind

In September 2017, the diocese’s On Mission Commission announced initial recommendations for whittling the number of parishes down to 48. On Thursday, April 26, Zubik will share final plans for consolidations with priests and deacons before holding a press conference on April 28 to make the decisions public. Groupings will also be shared at weekend Masses and made available online. But how are parishioners affected when the diocese closes their home churches? And what happens to church buildings once their parishioners migrate and they’re left empty?

Tyrone Goodwin, 52, outside his apartment building in Homewood. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

Instead of preparing for an unwanted move, this Bethesda-Homewood resident prepared a federal lawsuit

Peering through glasses, 52-year-old Tyrone Goodwin reread the first lines of a letter from his apartment management company, Aishel Real Estate. “As you are aware, effective November 1, HUD is discontinuing subsidy to the property. This means that they are no longer paying the rent for your unit.”

The letter was dated Oct. 27, 2017, just four days before the subsidy for his one-bedroom apartment in Homewood was to end. And this was the first he’d heard from the landlord of his Bethesda-Homewood property about it.

A person walks along Hamilton Avenue in Homewood on Dec. 21, 2017. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

Pittsburgh is hoping to preserve many of the low-income Bethesda-Homewood housing units

After weeks of scrambling to assist the tenants, city officials and local community groups may have hashed out a plan to salvage the units that can be rehabilitated and to keep HUD’s funding eligible at the properties — or at least within the city of Pittsburgh. So it’s possible, though not certain, that tenants like Makeela and her dad could stay in their homes.