Maine Churches Sell Property as Attendance Falls

Jul 24, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Maine's Catholic churches are selling off properties as the Diocese of Portland grapples with declining church attendance and a surplus of under-utilized buildings.

Parishes in the diocese have more than 20 churches, convents, rectories and schools on the market. Church leaders say a dozen properties in the diocese have sold for a total of more than $2.4 million since the beginning of 2013.

The sales come at a time when Catholic church attendance in the state is falling. The diocese says there are 193,392 Catholics in Maine, a decline of nearly 30 percent from 30 years ago.

Two Lewiston properties that sold date to the 19th century. They are St. Joseph's Church, which sold for $125,000, and St. Patrick's Church, which sold for $120,000.