Hartford, Conn., Jun 15, 2017 / 05:13 am
Important decisions loom ahead as the Archdiocese of Hartford preps its reorganization plan, a reconstruction and consolidation of parishes throughout much of Connecticut.
Under the new plan, 144 parishes in the archdiocese will be merged into 59 new parishes. Each new church community will be made up of two to six old parishes.
The reorganization, which will officially begin on June 29, will cut the number of parishes nearly in half, from 212 to 127.
Only 68 parishes will go untouched in the reorganization.
Saint Margaret of Scotland in Waterbury is the only church scheduled to be deconsecrated thus far, with no announcement from the archdiocese as to what will happen with the building itself. Additionally, 26 church buildings will close, and will not hold regularly scheduled Mass times.
The archdiocese has developed a 200-page manual to help ease the process, which includes 26 sections offering suggestions on the transition of employment, cemeteries, parish records, and a check list for merging parishes.
Questions have been raised about what to do with some of the items donated to specific churches. The manual mentions that any sacred objects, like tabernacles, monstrances, and chalices, are not to be become an individual’s property.
The manual suggests establishing sub-committees, with representatives from each merging parish, to aid the transition, including the turnover of objects and parish archives. Developing a strategic plan is also encouraged to help create a guiding mission statement, and an assessment of the risks and goals surrounding the transition.