Statement from Msgr. Alfred LoPinto, CEO, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Regarding Our Lady of Loreto Church:
August 8, 2016 -- When Catholic Charities acquired Our Lady of Loreto Church, we had high hopes to preserve the property. This was my home parish, and the place where I was baptized, received First Communion and Confirmation, and where I worked as a youth coordinator prior to entering the seminary. It was a parish with a great history of serving Italian immigrants and their children and grandchildren.
However, after extensive review, we have found that there is no viable use for the structure due to its present condition. It would be irresponsible, neglectful and dangerous to leave the site abandoned and in disrepair. We are concerned for the safety of the residents in the neighborhood. The building has dangerous levels of asbestos and lead and there is no active heating. Therefore, we must move ahead with plans to demolish the structure of Our Lady of Loreto Church.
For all of its life, the beautiful Our Lady of Loreto has been so much more than just a building—it is a spirit of community, a spirit of reaching out, a spirit of offering assistance to those in need. That is the spirit that lives on in its former parishioners, a spirit that they have brought to the parishes and neighborhoods to which they have moved.
Therefore, the aim of the Diocese, in cooperation with Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corporation, is to keep that spirit alive by using the site that was once home to immigrants and their families as a site to provide housing for families in need. Affordable housing is very scarce in this city, and this plan will enable us to allow the spirit of Our Lady of Loreto to live on.