Archdiocese Announces Parish Mergers - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Archdiocese Announces Parish Mergers

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ARCHDIOCESE ANNOUNCES PARISH MERGERS IN

PHILADELPHIA AS WELL AS DELAWARE, MONTGOMERY AND BUCKS COUNTIES RESULTING FROM PASTORAL PLANNING INITIATIVE

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has reviewed recommendations of the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee and made decisions to merge parishes in the City of Philadelphia as well as Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks Counties.

In the Fall of 2010, a pastoral letter was issued to parishioners throughout the Archdiocese. It outlined the necessity of an in-depth examination of all parishes in order to gauge whether they possessed the necessary resources to remain vibrant and sustainable faith communities.  This process, known as Parish Area Pastoral Planning, is designed to be as collaborative and consultative as possible. Its goal is to provide pastors, after consulting their parish leadership, with the opportunity to dialogue with members of the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee in providing joint recommendations for parish growth and sustainability within their respective geographic areas.

During the process additional steps are taken to be as inclusive as possible. In the majority of cases, the regional bishop and the dean meet with the pastors as well as their pastoral and finance councils to hear their concerns and receive their recommendations which are brought before the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee, the Council of Priests and the College of Consultors for their observations and recommendations. Input and consultation from all of these groups is provided to the Archbishop.

The mergers being announced today are due to a number of factors including a shift in Catholic population, a high density of parishes in a small area, as well as declines in Mass attendance, Sacramental activity, the availability of priests to staff parishes, and a review of facilities.

In each instance of a merger, parishioners will attend daily and Sunday Mass at the church of the newly formed parish. The church(es) of the former parish(es) will become a worship site(es). Worship sites will be utilized for weddings, funerals and feast days, as well as traditional and ethnic devotions. Sunday Mass may also be celebrated at worship sites at the discretion of the pastor and the newly formed pastoral council and depending upon the availability of clergy. 

Additionally, all parish property, assets and debts of any former parish will be assumed by the newly formed parish, which will also be responsible for the care of all sacramental records. The pastors from the merging parishes will form a transitional team made up of lay leaders from each of the merging parishes to assist in moving forward with forming the new parish community. The Archdiocese will provide ongoing guidance and support during the transition process.

When the mergers detailed below become effective there will be 219 parishes in the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  The pastors assigned to all of the newly formed parishes were publicly announced this weekend with the regular priest personnel assignments.  A complete list of those assignments can be found at www.CatholicPhilly.com.

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*It is important to note that the effective date listed for these mergers is set for Canonical (Church law) purposes. The actual work of the transition to a new parish community is an ongoing one that will take varying lengths of time dependent upon the unique circumstances of each merger and the needs of each parish. *

*The statistics presented below do not represent the whole of parish life. They were only one part of the larger picture when developing recommendations for parish mergers. They do, however, provide a snapshot of a parish’s sacramental activity and a gauge to project stability, growth or decline.*

Bucks County Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014:

Saint Mark and Saint Ann Parishes (PPA 100)

Saint Mark (Bristol) and Saint Ann (Bristol) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Mark Parish.  The two parishes are located .49 miles from each another.  The Saint Ann church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish. 

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 5,500 registered parishioners and approximately 1,300 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Saint Mark Parish:                                         2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         101                  100

Marriages                                                       23                    22                   

Weekend Mass attendance                             969                  775

Saint Ann Parish:                                           2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         39                    30

Marriages                                                       12                    6

Weekend Mass attendance                             602                  422

Saint Charles Borromeo and Our Lady of Fatima Parishes (PPA 100)

Saint Charles Borromeo (Bensalem) and Our Lady of Fatima (Bensalem) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Charles Borromeo Parish.  The two parishes are located 2.78 miles from each other.  The Our Lady of Fatima church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish. 

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 6,800 registered parishioners and approximately 1,900 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Saint Charles Borromeo Parish:                    2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         40                    27

Marriages                                                       20                    7                     

Weekend Mass attendance                             1279                1022

Our Lady of Fatima Parish:                          2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         60                    53

Marriages                                                       4                      14

Weekend Mass attendance                             962                  821

Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parishes (PPA 100)

Saint Thomas Aquinas (Croydon) and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (Bensalem) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish.  The two parishes are located 1.2 miles from each other.  The Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish. 

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 5,700 registered parishioners and approximately 1,280 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish:                       2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         42                    33

Marriages                                                       8                      10                   

Weekend Mass attendance                             602                  555

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish:                 2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         51                    37

Marriages                                                       19                    16

Weekend Mass attendance                             684                  584     

Saint Frances Cabrini and Saint Joseph the Worker Parishes (PPA 110)

Saint Frances Cabrini (Fairless Hills) and Saint Joseph the Worker (Fallsington) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Frances Cabrini Parish.  The two parishes are located 3 miles from each other.  The Saint Joseph the Worker church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish. 

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 7,700 registered parishioners and approximately 1,360 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Saint Frances Cabrini Parish:                        2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         43                    30       

Marriages                                                       20                    8                                             

Weekend Mass attendance                             1071                844                 

Saint Joseph the Worker Parish:                   2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         35                    21       

Marriages                                                       8                      3                                 

Weekend Mass attendance                             823                  646                 

Queen of the Universe and Immaculate Conception Parishes (PPA 110)

Queen of the Universe (Levittown) and Immaculate Conception (Levittown) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Queen of the Universe Parish.  The two parishes are located 3 miles from each other.  The Immaculate Conception church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish. 

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 10,000 registered parishioners and approximately 2,200 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Queen of the Universe Parish:                       2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         84                    70

Marriages                                                       20                    14                   

Weekend Mass attendance                             1438                1257

Immaculate Conception Parish:                     2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         46                    26

Marriages                                                       8                      4

Weekend Mass attendance                             1204                938

Free Standing Parishes in Bucks County:

As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning initiative, the following will remain free standing parishes in Bucks County at this time:

Our Lady of Grace (Penndel), Saint Michael the Archangel (Levittown) and Saint Ephrem (Bensalem).

Delaware County Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014:

Eastern Delaware County:

Saint George and Holy Spirit Parishes (PPA 310)

Saint George (Glenolden) and Holy Spirit (Sharon Hill) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint George Parish.  The two parishes are located 1.3 miles from each other.  The Holy Spirit church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish. 

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 4,000 registered parishioners and approximately 625 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Saint George Parish:                                      2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         24                    31

Marriages                                                       15                    5                     

Weekend Mass attendance                             532                  426

Holy Spirit Parish:                                         2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         12                    3

Marriages                                                       8                      6

Weekend Mass attendance                             244                  185

Free Standing Parishes in Eastern Delaware County:

As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning initiative, the following will remain free standing parishes in Eastern Delware County at this time:

Sacred Heart (Clifton Heights), Saint Eugene (Primos) and Saint Joseph (Collingdale).

Western Delaware County:

Saint Gabriel and Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque Parishes (PPA 300)

Saint Gabriel (Norwood) and Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (Essington) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Gabriel Parish.  The two parishes are located 2 miles from each other.  The Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish. 

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 7,500 registered parishioners and approximately 1,000 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Saint Gabriel Parish:                                      2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         105                  72

Marriages                                                       38                    27                   

Weekend Mass attendance                             1124                787

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish:        2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         12                    23

Marriages                                                       5                      3

Weekend Mass attendance                             375                  294

Our Lady of Peace and Notre Dame de Lourdes Parishes (PPA 300)

Our Lady of Peace (Milmont Park) and Notre Dame de Lourdes (Swarthmore) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Our Lady of Peace Parish.  The two parishes are located 1.4 miles from each other.  The Notre Dame de Lourdes church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish. 

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 7,300 registered parishioners and approximately 1,400 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Our Lady of Peace Parish:                            2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         21                    12

Marriages                                                       10                    12                   

Weekend Mass attendance                             726                  556

Notre Dame de Lourdes Parish:                    2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         48                    46

Marriages                                                       10                    13

Weekend Mass attendance                             994                  753

Free Standing Parishes in Western Delaware County:

As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning initiative, the following will remain free standing parishes in Western Delaware County at this time:

Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Morton), Our Lady of Fatima (Secane), Saint Rose of Lima (Eddystone) and Saint Madeline (Ridley Park).

Montgomery County Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014:

Sacred Heart, Saint Augustine and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parishes (PPA 460)

Sacred Heart (Swedesburg), Saint Augustine (Bridgeport) and Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Bridgeport) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Sacred Heart Parish.  Sacred Heart is located less than a half mile from the other two churches.  The Saint Augustine and Our Lady of Mount Carmel church buildings will become worship sites of the newly formed parish. When this merger becomes effective, Sacred Heart Parish will no longer be a personal parish but become territorial parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 4,500 registered parishioners and approximately 1,000 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Sacred Heart Parish:                                     2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         27                    14

Marriages                                                       4                      4                     

Weekend Mass attendance                             391                  300

Saint Augustine Parish:                                  2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         17                    16

Marriages                                                       1                      5

Weekend Mass attendance                             288                  263

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish:              2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         18                    18

Marriages                                                       9                      4

Weekend Mass attendance                             449                  466

Saint Matthew, Saint Gertrude, Saint Mary and Saints Cosmas and Damian Parishes (PPA 460)

Saint Matthew (Conshohocken), Saint Gertrude (West Conshohocken), Saint Mary (Conshohocken) and Saints Cosmas and Damian (Conshohocken) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Matthew Parish.  Saint Matthew is located less than 1 mile from the other three churches.  The Saint Gertrude, Saint Mary, and Saints Cosmas and Damian church buildings will become worship sites of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 8,000 registered parishioners and approximately 2,000 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Saint Matthew Parish:                                    2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         79                    102

Marriages                                                       31                    35                   

Weekend Mass attendance                             1109                1086

Saint Gertrude Parish:                                   2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         7                      1

Marriages                                                       3                      0

Weekend Mass attendance                             148                  120

Saint Mary Parish:                                         2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         8                      4

Marriages                                                       7                      8

Weekend Mass attendance                             330                  271

Saints Cosmas and Damian Parish:               2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         32                    33

Marriages                                                       14                    10

Weekend Mass attendance                             527                  482

Queen of Peace and Saint John of the Cross Parishes (PPA 480)

Queen of Peace (Ardsley) and Saint John of the Cross (Roslyn) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Queen of Peace Parish. The two parishes are located 1.6 miles from each other.  The Saint John of the Cross church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 8,600 registered parishioners and approximately 1,600 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Queen of Peace Parish:                                  2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         47                    45

Marriages                                                       15                    9                     

Weekend Mass attendance                             1315                890

Saint John of the Cross Parish:                     2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         29                    26

Marriages                                                       14                    4

Weekend Mass attendance                             717                  685

Free Standing Parishes in Montgomery County:

As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning initiative, the following will remain free standing parishes in Montgomery County at this time:

Saint David (Willow Grove), Saint Luke the Evangelist (Glenside) and Mother of Divine Providence (King of Prussia).

City of Philadelphia Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014

Saint Monica and Saint Edmond Parishes (PPA 630)

Saint Monica (South Philadelphia) and Saint Edmond (South Philadelphia) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Monica Parish.  The two parishes are located less than one mile from each other.  The Saint Edmond church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 9,100 registered parishioners and approximately 2,000 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Saint Monica Parish:                                      2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         114                  86

Marriages                                                       61                    47       

Weekend Mass attendance                             2304                2027

Saint Edmond Parish:                                     2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         7                      4                                 

Marriages                                                       1                      1

Weekend Mass attendance                             367                  259

Saint Richard and Holy Spirit Parishes (PPA 630)

Saint Richard (South Philadelphia) and Holy Spirit (South Philadelphia) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Richard Parish.  The two parishes are located one mile from each other.  The Holy Spirit church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 6,375 registered parishioners and approximately 1,400 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.

Saint Richard Parish:                                     2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         45                    45

Marriages                                                       10                    12       

Weekend Mass attendance                             813                  656

Holy Spirit Parish:                                         2008                2012

Baptisms                                                         30                    20                               

Marriages                                                       7                      6

Weekend Mass attendance                             525                  681

Free Standing Parishes in the City of Philadelphia:

As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning initiative, the following will remain free standing parishes in the City of Philadelphia at this time:

Saint Charles Borromeo (South Philadelphia), Saint Gabriel (South Philadelphia), Saint Rita of Cascia (South Philadelphia) and Saint Thomas Aquinas (South Philadelphia).

Previous Announcements:

In 2012 and 2013, the Archdiocese announced parish mergers resulting from the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative in the City of Philadelphia as well as the suburban counties. Additional information regarding those mergers can be found at http://archphila.org/conversion/conversion_index.php.  

Future Announcements:

It is expected that additional parishes will engage in the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative beginning in the Fall of 2015 with decisions expected in the Spring of 2016. Announcements will be made this September in those parishes that will take part in that round of study as well as to the general public.

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Editor’s Note: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is comprised of 44 Pastoral Planning Areas (PPAs). For more information on the Parish Area Pastoral Planning, please visit http://archphila.org/conversion/conversion_index.php.

The pastors assigned to all of the newly formed parishes resulting from this round of mergers were announced this weekend with the regular priest personnel assignments.  A complete list of those assignments can be found at www.CatholicPhilly.com.

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