Huge parish restructure involves mergers and closures

A major parish restructure involving mergers and closures has been announced in Chicago as part of Cardinal Blase Cupich’s “Renew my Church” initiative.

Most of the mergers involve two or more parishes, many of which have schools associated with them. In two cases, four current parishes will be merged into one.

The investigation and decision-making process involved Feedback and Discernment Teams (which included representatives from each of the parishes and schools).

These Teams met to review and discern the future parish, school, and church structures for their respective areas and then submitted feedback reports to the Archdiocesan Standards and Recommendations Commission.

The Commission then met to review the feedback reports and other materials and information.

This included demographic data, financial summaries, and parish and grouping trends.

Cupich, his auxiliary bishops and the Presbyteral Council discussed the recommendations and ultimately made the decisions for the mergers.

The mergers will take effect July 1 and several schools will also close.

The mergers will reduce the number of parishes in the archdiocese to below 300. There were over 350 in 2016 and almost 450 in the mid-1980s.

One newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, has suggested that the Chicago archdiocese could be facing as much as $200 million in debts from clerical abuse settlements.

“Over the next few months, the archdiocese and the pastors of the current parishes will support the communities in their transition to the new parish and school structures,” the archdiocesan announcement concluded.

“All parishes will embark on the next phase of the renewal process to become a stronger, more sustainable presence for the future, capable of reaching more people in their work of making disciples of Jesus Christ, building communities with one another and inspiring witness in the world around us.”


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: ,