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Pictures | Fri Dec 30, 2011 | 9:57am EST

Insight: Dark holiday in Detroit as Church downsizes

A woman walks by the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A woman walks by the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as...more

A woman walks by the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A man sits as he waits for Sunday mass to start at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.     REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A man sits as he waits for Sunday mass to start at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support....more

A man sits as he waits for Sunday mass to start at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Chris Mitchell walks up the stairs at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Chris Mitchell walks up the stairs at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than...more

Chris Mitchell walks up the stairs at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A woman walks down the stairs to the soup kitchen at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.         REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A woman walks down the stairs to the soup kitchen at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support....more

A woman walks down the stairs to the soup kitchen at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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People wait for the soup kitchen to open in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.     REUTERS/Mark Blinch

People wait for the soup kitchen to open in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life...more

People wait for the soup kitchen to open in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A painted portrait of the Virgin Mary hangs on the wall as a man walks through the soup kitchen in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A painted portrait of the Virgin Mary hangs on the wall as a man walks through the soup kitchen in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the...more

A painted portrait of the Virgin Mary hangs on the wall as a man walks through the soup kitchen in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Larry Finklea eats his lunch at the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.      REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Larry Finklea eats his lunch at the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on...more

Larry Finklea eats his lunch at the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A woman eats her lunch at the soup kitchen in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.        REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A woman eats her lunch at the soup kitchen in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life...more

A woman eats her lunch at the soup kitchen in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A man eats his lunch in the soup kitchen at St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.       REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A man eats his lunch in the soup kitchen at St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than...more

A man eats his lunch in the soup kitchen at St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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Children sit with Santa Claus in a series of photos placed on the table in the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.       REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Children sit with Santa Claus in a series of photos placed on the table in the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the...more

Children sit with Santa Claus in a series of photos placed on the table in the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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Calvin Lockridge Jr. looks on in the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Calvin Lockridge Jr. looks on in the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on...more

Calvin Lockridge Jr. looks on in the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A man looks through second hand clothing at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.      REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A man looks through second hand clothing at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more...more

A man looks through second hand clothing at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A decal reading "God Bless America" is seen on the wall of the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A decal reading "God Bless America" is seen on the wall of the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most...more

A decal reading "God Bless America" is seen on the wall of the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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Books are seen on a table at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.      REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Books are seen on a table at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years...more

Books are seen on a table at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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Father Theodore K. Parker leads the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.      REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Father Theodore K. Parker leads the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support....more

Father Theodore K. Parker leads the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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Timothy Ward kisses his sister Arym at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.      REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Timothy Ward kisses his sister Arym at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than...more

Timothy Ward kisses his sister Arym at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A man stands in front of a cross during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011.St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.     REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A man stands in front of a cross during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011.St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support....more

A man stands in front of a cross during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011.St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A woman prays during the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.     REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A woman prays during the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than...more

A woman prays during the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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Arym Ward kneels as she takes part in a re-enactment of the birth of Jesus following the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Arym Ward kneels as she takes part in a re-enactment of the birth of Jesus following the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's...more

Arym Ward kneels as she takes part in a re-enactment of the birth of Jesus following the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A statue of the Virgin Mary is seen at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.       REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A statue of the Virgin Mary is seen at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than...more

A statue of the Virgin Mary is seen at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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People stand as they take part in the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.     REUTERS/Mark Blinch

People stand as they take part in the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support....more

People stand as they take part in the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A man collects money from donations during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A man collects money from donations during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life...more

A man collects money from donations during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A woman cries during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.      REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A woman cries during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120...more

A woman cries during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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Charlene Ward and her daughter Arym sing in the choir during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.       REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Charlene Ward and her daughter Arym sing in the choir during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is...more

Charlene Ward and her daughter Arym sing in the choir during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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People wash the floors of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch

People wash the floors of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago...more

People wash the floors of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A man lights a candle before the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.     REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A man lights a candle before the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built...more

A man lights a candle before the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A sign is posted at the health clinic at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.      REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A sign is posted at the health clinic at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more...more

A sign is posted at the health clinic at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Jerry McCullough gets a check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (L), working in his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.       REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Jerry McCullough gets a check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (L), working in his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St....more

Jerry McCullough gets a check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (L), working in his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Jerry McCullough gets a check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (R), working on his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.        REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Jerry McCullough gets a check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (R), working on his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St....more

Jerry McCullough gets a check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (R), working on his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Don Paterson gets a rash looked at by Dr. Ed Jelonek (L), working on his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Don Paterson gets a rash looked at by Dr. Ed Jelonek (L), working on his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo...more

Don Paterson gets a rash looked at by Dr. Ed Jelonek (L), working on his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A nurse prepares free medication beside a cross on a necklace at a pharmacy at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.        REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A nurse prepares free medication beside a cross on a necklace at a pharmacy at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic...more

A nurse prepares free medication beside a cross on a necklace at a pharmacy at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Jerry McCullough leaves after getting his check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (R), working in his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America.     REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Jerry McCullough leaves after getting his check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (R), working in his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December...more

Jerry McCullough leaves after getting his check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (R), working in his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighbouring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda church in Detroit, closed by the Archdiocese in 2006, is an example of this decay.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighbouring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical...more

The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighbouring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda church in Detroit, closed by the Archdiocese in 2006, is an example of this decay. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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The inside of the abandoned Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighboring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda church in Detroit, closed by the Archdiocese in 2006, is an example of this decay. P  REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The inside of the abandoned Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighboring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or...more

The inside of the abandoned Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighboring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda church in Detroit, closed by the Archdiocese in 2006, is an example of this decay. P REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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The inside of the abandoned "Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighboring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda church in Detroit, closed by the Archdiocese in 2006, is an example of this decay.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The inside of the abandoned "Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighboring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or...more

The inside of the abandoned "Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighboring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda church in Detroit, closed by the Archdiocese in 2006, is an example of this decay. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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