SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Like many Bay Area businesses and nonprofits, California’s oldest cathedral is now struggling to keep its doors open.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the old Saint Mary’s Cathedral near San Francisco’s Chinatown has closed its pre-school, bookstore and gift shop.READ MORE: UPDATE: Victim, Suspect Identified In Fatal Oakland Park Shooting in Front of Children
“Things right now are very, very difficult right now,” said Father John Ardis.
On top of that, the 167-year-old church is facing heavy maintenance costs. It also owes $250,000 in insurance payments.READ MORE: COVID: Youth, Adult Multi-Team Sports Can Resume In Alameda Co., Berkeley
Father Ardis says donations have dried up since services moved online.
“We’re a parish that’s also always served the tourists, and on any given weekend probably half of the people that worship at mass are visiting,” said Father Ardis. “Since March 14, there really haven’t been any tourists in town.”
Father Ardis says he hopes someone will step forward who has a passion for history and worship to help Saint Mary’s hang on.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Missing San Francisco Girl Found Safe In Pittsburg With Michigan Runaway
One glimmer of hope: the cathedral is now open for in-person worship, and will be holding mass in person on Sunday for the first time in six weeks.