42 ways to restructure archdiocese

St Louis restructure archdiocese

The Archdiocese of St Louis in the US state of Missouri is in the beginning stages of restructuring and is considering 42 options.

Catholic officials have gathered and analysed data on the archdiocese which claims 400,000 members across 10 Missouri counties.

Feedback from the data suggests Roman Catholics from throughout the St Louis region are reluctant to cross highways and rivers to worship God in different places than they are accustomed to.

As the population has been moving west from the city of St Louis toward St Charles County, there has been a path of costly buildings with fewer people in the pews left behind.

Rev Christopher Martin said the archdiocese doesn’t want priests to be circuit riders that serve multiple churches.

As a result of the St Louis archdiocese restructure, some churches will need to close.

However, Martin emphasised a working master plan hasn’t been finalised.

The draft models include two to five possible restructuring scenarios for the parishes in each planning area, or group of neighbouring parishes.

The territory of the archdiocese is divided into 15 planning areas.

These models are the next step in discerning how best to ensure a vibrant future for the archdiocese where the Gospel message reaches people in every square mile, Archbishop Mitchell T Rozanski said.

“Our goal is to implement a vision for evangelisation that is accessible to all and empowers every Catholic to spread the Gospel message — today and for generations to come,” Rozanski said.

“It was a great first round of conversation,” Martin told the Post-Dispatch on Thursday after a five-hour meeting where feedback was received from a group of about 220 priests.

Martin is helping to oversee the “All Things New” initiative, a project to understand the diocese’s current makeup and plan for the future.

According to the project’s website, “All Things New will evaluate the effectiveness of the Church in St Louis in proclaiming the Gospel and will identify opportunities for improvement and renewal within all parishes, schools, curia offices and agencies.”


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