YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown announced Monday the closing of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Canton.

The church is one of three church buildings for St. Francis Assisi Parish, which was established in July 2023 from the merger of St. Mary/ St. Benedict Parish and St. Anthony/All Saints Parish.

The closure is part of the 2019 regionalized pastoral plan, according to the Diocese.

The decision was announced October 7 and 8 at the parish Masses. The parish pastoral and finance councils said that the maintenance costs for St. Mary’s were “not financially feasible.”

The petition also noted that the global pandemic had a “grave” impact on both financial support and Mass attendance, adding that for the parish’s two priests to most effectively be present to the entire community, both at St. Francis of Assisi parish and Holy Family Parish in Navarre and Brewster, an adjusted Mass schedule became necessary.

While the closing of St. Marys would be “painful,’ church leaders said that new possibilities are emerging for providing more effective religious formation for adults and children for the entire parish.

Bishop Bonnar will celebrate a closing Mass at Saint Mary Church on Monday, November 6
at 6 p.m.