Monday, October 06, 2008

In Northeast, "Grand Closing" Continues

Out in Western Pennsylvania, the coal-region church of Greensburg announced this morning that nearly half its 100 parishes will close or cluster within days:
Fourteen parishes will be closed, two parishes will merge into one new parish, and 26 parishes will become part of new or modified partnerships in which they will share a pastor.

The reorganization grew out of a three-year planning process that involved more than 9,000 parishioners and clergy, Bishop [Lawrence] Brandt said. The main reason for the reorganization is the declining number of priests, he said.

All changes will go into effect Oct. 30, at which point the number of parishes in the diocese will be reduced from 100 to 85. Free counseling will be available through Catholic Charities of the diocese for parishioners who have difficulty coping with the loss of their parishes.
In the recent years, over 1,000 parishes have been shuttered in at least 40 Stateside dioceses.