Parishioners at Saint Helena's Church petition against transfer of longtime priest, Father Thomas Derivan

Members of Saint Helena's Church are voicing their disapproval over the decision to transfer Father Thomas Derivan. (6/8/14)

THE BRONX - Parishioners with a local church are petitioning to keep one of their priests, who they say is an icon.

Members of Saint Helena's Church are voicing their disapproval over the decision to transfer Father Thomas Derivan. They say three other priests from the church are also being moved elsewhere.

The parishioners say the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York decided to transfer priests with 12 years of experience or more to other churches. They say Derivan has been with Saint Helena's for more than 40 years.

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A petition was sent out to the Archdiocese, requesting that Derivan be allowed to stay at the church and comparing his loss to a parent being removed from the home of their child.

News 12 reached out to the Archdiocese for comment, but no response has been given. Leaders with the church have refused to comment on the situation.

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