ST. LOUIS – St. Louis priests can make one last plea to keep their parish doors open. The deadline to make that request is Tuesday.

Parishioners are not happy about the changes, but the archdiocese says attendance is simply down and they also are seeing fewer priests.

In the archdiocese, along with decreasing priests keeping churches running, they shared that they are also short-staffed for the day-to-day operations. The archdiocese said they’ve been collecting data and talking with priests about restructuring the 178 parishes for more than a year and a half for the all things new plan.

They revealed data showed mass attendance is down, they’re seeing fewer baptisms, and they also have 74 priests that are eligible to retire in the next 10 years. These are some of the many reasons why the archdiocese explained that restructuring for the church is necessary.

The specifics about the parishes that are going to permanently close their doors are unknown at least until May, when the final plan comes out.