NEW YORK (AP) — Parishioners at a New York City chapel that sheltered 9/11 first responders are praying for a miracle to save it from falling victim itself to the prosperity of its resurgent neighborhood.
St. Joseph’s Chapel is living on archdiocese subsidies after the rent for the relatively small space tripled in 2014 to $264,000 a year.
“If it should disappear and become a Gap or something – nothing against Gap, but it’s really not OK,” said Justine Cuccia, 55, a leader of the effort to save the tiny Roman Catholic chapel, part of the oldest Catholic parish in the state.
St. Joseph’s occupies ground-floor space in an apartment complex in Battery Park City, a community fewer than two blocks from the World Trade Center. The chapel is a mission of St. Peter’s Church about a half-mile away, where worshippers will be expected to go if St. Joseph’s closes.
Patricia Baumann, who attended midday Mass at St. Joseph’s last week, called the chapel “a special, meaningful place” where her children were baptized and had their first Holy Communions.
“I still hope that it will be here for my family,” Baumann said. “But if not, then we’ll go to St. Peter’s.”
When the World Trade Center fell, modest St. Joseph’s sat undamaged just outside the rubble zone. read more