Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Augusta, GA
I grew up in Augusta, Georgia and remember how devastated Catholics were there when Bishop Gerald Fry decided to merge three downtown parishes into one in 1970. Little did I know at the time and in high school that in 1991 I would become pastor of that merged parish. The church chosen for the merged parishes was the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Georgia's oldest Catholic Church, with its start on the same property it still owns in 1810. The "new church" was completed in 1863 and we restored it completely in 1998.
The exterior of Most Holy Trinity:
Sacred Heart Church/now Sacred Heart Cultural Center:
Bishop Raymond Lessard, Bishop Fry's successor, knew that Catholics were devastated that the symbol of Catholicism in Augusta and been closed and a for sale sign planted in front of it. Sacred Heart was considered Augusta's Catholic "Cathedral" because of its style and location, not Most Holy Trinity, even though the latter was older but less imposing than Sacred Heart and thus not considered Augusta's "Cathedral".
Prior to selling the property, Bishop Lessard was open to Augustans raising money to preserve it and maintain it as a sort of downtown shrine connected to Most Holy Trinity--but of course no one in the Catholic community formed any sort of board of trustees to make fund raising and restoration of this building possible to keep it as a Catholic shrine. Thus it was sold. Although Catholics are sad it no longer is a Catholic Church we are grateful to the Knox family for restoring and preserving it for new uses, although profane.
This brings me to Holy Innocents in Manhattan. One has to ask why in the name of God and all that is holy would the archdiocese even consider closing a vibrant parish there? It is not in decline and has more parishioners and resources than most parished in the USA. It makes no sense whatsoever and shows why bishops make so many mistakes in closing these kinds of churches. Why not simply turn them over to a "board of trustees" to preserve and maintain and allow it to continue. It makes no sense at all!