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St. Anthony’s Church in Batavia may close its doors.

The Ascension Parish Council determined that they will recommend to Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo that St. Anthony’s no longer be utilized.

The decision would take effect next year. The council cites financial difficulties in the decision.

Members of the Ascension Parish Council and finance council had a meeting Tuesday to brief parishioners on the financial situation of the parish. 150 people were in attendance.

Kevin Keenan -- a spokesperson for the Diocese of Buffalo – says that several factors contribute to economic problems for local Catholic Churches such as fewer priests, fewer baptisms, and a declining population.

Keenan says the decision will actually benefit the parish’s mission.

“What they do is, they put parishes in a position where they can put more of their resources into ministry and not so much into the maintenance of buildings that may be underutilized," Keenan said.

If Bishop Malone approves the recommendation, then all Ascension activities will take place at Sacred Heart.

Even when St. Anthony’s and Sacred Heart merged in 2008, Keenan said there was talk at the time that it wouldn’t be sustainable.

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