Longueuil, Canada, Jun 6, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Parish reorganizations in Quebec’s third-largest diocese will see its number of parishes drop by almost 30 percent since 2002.
Bishop Jacques Berthelet of the Diocese of St-Jean-Longueuil, located just south of Montreal, announced that 14 parishes would be merged into three by the end of the summer.
The bishop said the closures were necessary because of a drop in church attendance and a shortage of priests. The number of priests in the diocese is 150, down from 250 just 20 years ago.
The decision to close parishes was made after a long period of study and consultation, the bishop said. Committees were set up to consult with and inform parishioners. The committees held about 14 meetings, which registered a total attendance of about 1,000 people.