Carbondale, PA‘s largest employer and the last remaining Catholic-affiliated hospital in the region will close by Feb. 28, a move officials said was unavoidable as the number of patients dwindled and financial struggles multiplied.
Marian Community Hospital will have an operating loss of $2.6 million this year and projected an operating loss of more than $4 million in 2012, according to Mary Theresa Vautrinot, president and CEO of parent company Maxis Health System.
The hospital is licensed for 70 beds but scaled back to 35 in January 2010, according to hospital officials. For the past six months, the hospital has had an average daily census of 20 patients.
After Robert H. Schuller retired in 2006, his son (Robert A.) tried to follow in his famous father’s footsteps as Senior Pastor. However, in 2008 Robert A. Schuller was removed as Senior Pastor by his father. Robert H. then made his daughter Sheila Interim Senior Pastor in 2009. Sheila became the permanent Senior Pastor in 2010. Three months after her elevation to permanent Senior Pastor the church filed for bankruptcy. During this transition period the church lost thousands of members and millions of dollars in revenue, causing layoffs, salary cuts and finally bankruptcy.
Chapman University had offered to buy the 40-acre complex and allow the congregants to continue worshipping in the cathedral. However, selling to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange will guarantee that the Crystal Cathedral will continue to be used as a house of worship. The diocese has plans to make the Crystal Cathedral the center for the Catholic community in Orange County.
In three years, the congregation at the Crystal Cathedral will need to move. There are some who fear the move will be too much for the remaining congregation. There is also concern that the Hour of Power television program viewers might disappear if the show is no longer broadcast from the Crystal Cathedral. 70% of the revenue for the Crystal Cathedral comes from Hour of Power viewers.
At one time, the Crystal Cathedral had 10,000 local members. Coincidentally, there are 10,000 panes of glass that make up the famous church, which was dedicated in 1980.