With membership in many congregations shrinking, faith leaders increasingly are being faced with questions about what to do with their church buildings.

In Chicago, some old churches have been torn down, sold or converted to secular living spaces as membership shrank.

But how best to handle spaces that are considered sacred but no longer support a church community? An international conference is scheduled for later this year to address that question within the Catholic church.

The event, sponsored by the Vatican, aims in part to find appropriate ways to decommission unneeded churches so they don’t end up as discos, gymnasiums or gelato shops, the Associated Press reported.

The Religion Roundup is also featured on WBBM Newsradio (780 AM and 105.9 FM) on Sundays at 6:22 a.m., 9:22 a.m. and 9:22 p.m. For more religion coverage, check out suntimes.com. Email tips and comments to Robert Herguth at rherguth@suntimes.com.