A DWINDLING congregation has been the catalyst for the Karoonda Catholic Church to close its doors.
St Finian's church parishioner Don Anderson said the congregation had known the closure was inevitable.
"There was only three or four regular attendees to finish up with," he said.
"You're expecting it, but when it comes it's a different matter."
In recent months the handful of attendees had been travelling to Tailem Bend for Mass because there had been no priest available to cover the Karoonda parish.
The church was established in 1930 and built on a donated block of land with funds raised by the community over nine years.
And while the church was built for 872 pounds, it is likely to fetch a far higher price when it hits the real estate market later this year.
Father John Herd, who is based in Murray Bridge, said the church was not as strong as it had been in days gone by.
"We're in challenging times because we haven't got many priests available and I have to cover Murray Bridge to Pinnaroo so I don't get to go to Karoonda very often," he said.
"It's the same problem we're facing, not only throughout this area but throughout our country."
Mr Anderson, who has been attending the church since 1952, said although he was saddened by the loss, he was confident the congregation would find a way to meet.
"The survivors here aren't going to lose their faith for it all," he said.
- Details: The final mass at St Finian's will be held on this Sunday, April 21, at 11am, with former priest Michael Brennan in attendance. Former parishioners are invited to celebrate the life of the church and enjoy lunch after the service.