Philadelphia archdiocese announces 24 parishes to merge
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

.- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Sunday announced the merger of 24 parishes into 10, saying the changes will “ultimately strengthen parish communities.”

“It is hoped that the result will be revitalized parishes throughout the archdiocese that are better equipped to meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of future generations,” the archdiocese said June 2.

Parishioners at the merging parishes were told about the changes at weekend Masses and in mailed letters. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput approved of the changes, which were recommended by the archdiocese’s strategic planning committee.

The archdiocese said the mergers were driven by factors including demographic change, a decrease in Mass attendance, a lack of priests to staff the parishes, and “increasing economic challenges.”

The merged parishes are in a dense urban environment and most are under three miles from each other. Some parish churches are one mile or less from each other. Mergers affecting five other parishes were announced last week.

Father Thomas M. Higgins, a pastor at Holy Innocents Church in northeast Philadelphia, commented about the changes in remarks to CatholicPhilly.com.

“As painful as it is, it needs to be done,” he said. “We're doing something today that should have been done 20 years ago.”

Holy Innocents Church, with a weekend Mass attendance of about 1,200 people, will merge with three other parishes. Two of the parishes have weekend Mass attendance of about 200 each, while the parish has weekend Mass attendance of about 100.

Across the archdiocese, the mergers mean parishioners will attend daily and Sunday Mass at the church of the newly formed parish. The former parish church will remain open and maintained as a worship site. The pastor and the newly formed parish council may decide to use the former parish church for Sunday Mass.

Parish pastors may choose to use the sites for weddings, funerals, feast days, religious devotions and ethnic celebrations “for the time being,” the archdiocese said.

The newly created parish will assume all parish property, assets and debts of the former parish. The new parish will also have responsibility for all parish sacramental records.

Merging parishes must form a transitional team to assist in the process. The mergers will take effect July 1 and signify that the number of parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will decline to 236.

The archdiocese’s pastoral planning initiative will consider the future of more parishes in fall 2013.

Several dozen Philadelphia Catholic schools have closed in recent years due to factors that include declining enrollment.

Tags: Archbishop Chaput, Parish Closures

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 21, 2014

Monday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 2:14, 22-33
Gospel:: Mt 28:8-15

Saint of the Day

Holy Thursday »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: