Hispanic Community in Yonkers Rallies to Save Their Church

Photo Credit: William Lulow Photography





Urgent Action to save St. Mary’s Church!


YONKERS, NY,  June 25, 2024Parishioners and residents of the city of Yonkers are rallying this evening, at 6pm, to urge the elected officials of the city of Yonkers to take immediate action to accord landmark status to St. Mary’s (Church of the Immaculate Conception).

St. Mary’s Church (The Church of the Immaculate Conception) is the oldest Roman Catholic parish in the city of Yonkers. Built in 1848, St. Mary’s is often called the “Cathedral of the Hudson River Valley.”

An official application has been submitted to the Yonkers City Council to accord landmark status to St. Mary’s Church. The city of Yonkers Landmark Preservation Board unanimously accepted the application to landmark the church on April 3, 2024.

The application has been reviewed by the city of Yonkers Planning Board, who also unanimously approved it. Currently, the application has been in the process of review by the Real Estate Committee of the Yonkers City Council. The Yonkers City Council will hold its last meeting for the session on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, before adjourning for the summer.

  • The Archdiocese of NY has alleged that the church structure is in need of $10 million to repair the structure.
  • Private Engineers agree that the church structure is in need of repair, but the $10 million estimate is grossly exaggerated.
  • The Archdiocese of NY banned St. Mary’s Parish Council and its parishioners from engaging in fundraising activity to make repairs to the church.
  • The Archdiocese of New York has recently decreed that Mass in Spanish will no longer be said, thereby alienating its many Hispanic parishioners, who believe St. Mary’s Church is a sacred place.
  • Parishioners assert that the Archdiocese of NY, through its representatives, has been lobbying the Yonkers City Council and the Mayor of Yonkers to stall, delay, and ultimately deny giving landmark status to St. Mary’s Church.
  • The Archdiocese of New York has decreed that St. Mary’s Church will be merged with St.Peter’s/St.Denis, a parish already at capacity.
  • In the absence of a landmark decision, parishioners are concerned St. Mary’s Church will be sold by the Archdiocese of NY, and subsequently demolished.
  • St. Mary’s sits on .52 acres. If the Archdiocese were to sell the church site, they would fetch a good price from commercial real estate developers.
  • The Archdiocese of NY has recently suffered a financial setback. The New York state appeals court has found that its insurer for the Archdiocese of New York, Chubb Insurance entities, is not required to cover costs for settling hundreds of sex abuse claims.

St. Mary’s Church has been a major part of the Yonkers community for over 175 years. The church is a sanctuary for people of diverse backgrounds, united by their faith. Tonight the Yonkers catholic community, many of whom are Hispanic, will come together in solidarity to demand that the Mayor of Yonkers, Mike Spano, and the seven members of the Yonkers city council, vote in favor of designating St. Mary’s as a landmark, with no further delay.

WHO: Hundreds of members of the Yonkers catholic community will be rallying outside of the Yonkers city hall to demand city officials to vote in favor of saving their beloved church. This rally is the result of not having any of their calls, emails or petitions answered by city officials.  

WHEN: June 25th, 2024, at 6:00PM 

WHERE: Washington Park  1 NEPPERHAN AVE YONKERS, NY 10701 

CONTACT(s): MiguelAngel Lucas (914) 308-1153 Lizeth Romero (914) 885-6566 

NOTE to EDITORS and PRODUCERS: MiguelAngel Lucas - (914) 308-1153 is available for interview.

For background information, please see: https://www.prforpeople.com/news/philanthropy/st-mary%E2%80%99s-church-whom-bell-tolls




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