CHICAGO (CBS)– Thousands in the Catholic community are just hours away from finding out the fate of their churches and their schools.

The Archdiocese is set to make a decision on the futures for three northwest side parishes tonight.

St. Thecla Parish will merge with St. Cornelius and St. Tarcissus by next July, but what that means is still up in the air.

Parents and students worry they’ll have to merge with Pope Francis Global Academy’s North Campus, even though this school has a parking lot, green space and is handicap accessible.

At St. Thecla, around 7 p.m. Friday, the community will gather for the Archdiocese of Chicago’s decision on whether or not they’re church and school will close.

Several think this school’s closure is imminent after an email from 41st Ward Alderman Anthony Napolitano’s office leaked.

In the email, one of the alderman’s staff members asks the Archdiocese of Chicago if they can tour St. Thecla due to growing interest from Chicago Public Schools to buy the property for a new pre-k center.

Thursday night, hundreds of people attended a vigil, with candles lit and hope alive, praying their efforts would help save this school.

Alderman Napolitano says it was never his intention to play a part in St. Thecla’s closure, but many believe the damage has already been done.

“The whole objective of the Renew My Church was about saving these parishes and renewing them and they shifted it to being about money,” said Jean Sekera, a St. Thecla School parent.

Eric Cox