MOUNT VERNON - A group of parishioners are fighting to save a Mount Vernon church that has been a cornerstone of the community for more than 100 years.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, located on South 10th Avenue and First Street on the city's South Side, has been a welcome refuge for the faithful over the years.

As the New York Archdiocese looks to cut costs and consolidate parishes, some residents worry that the church will close its doors for good.

A diocese spokesman said the process of looking at which churches to possibly close began last September, and parishioners have had the opportunity to make their case

A petition effort is now underway with nearly 2,000 parishioners writing to Cardinal Timothy Dolan urging him to save their church.

An advisory board will make recommendations to the cardinal within the next week or so about which churches across the Hudson Valley will be closed. Cardinal Dolan is expected to make his decision in September.