Westchester church ticketed for noise complaints during mass

September 18, 2012 1:44:42 PM PDT
A church of all places, drawing the ire of neighbors who say Sunday celebrations are too loud.

Now, one Westchester county village could be forcing worshippers to pray a little more quietly.

Doug Lang is 68-years-old and has trouble getting around. "You can't get out of your own driveway when they go by," he said.

For him having his street shut down because of a parade is a real hardship.

Video has been posted on YouTube with the kind of events that closes down Rockledge Avenue in Buchanan.

In YouTube video, parishioners from nearby St. Christopher's Roman Catholic Church act out the passion of the Christ on Good Friday. On that very day, the group was slapped with a noise summons by the village.

"When they issued the summons, I was outraged," said Alfred Donahue.

Donahue is the former mayor of Buchanan and a parishioner at St. Christopher's.

The summons was ultimately dismissed but Donahue says Catholics specifically the village's growing Hispanic population are being targeted.

"We're all the same, it's all one church, but they are a target," he adds.

Several times a year dozens, sometimes hundreds of church goers process out of the parking lot, travel around the block before heading inside for Spanish mass.

The current mayor, and a former altar boy at St. Christopher's sees things differently. He says such events put a strain on Buchanan's tiny police department of six officers.

In addition, several residents have complained about loud music and the use of microphones.

The village is considering imposing a fee for parade permits which are now free.

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