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April 12, 1999


In a letter dated March 22, 1999, sent to Rev. Msgr. John C. Marine, Regional Vicar for Montgomery County, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, accepted the Cluster Pastoral Plan for Cluster 70, and commended the pastors and all who served on the Cluster Pastoral Planning Committee.

The seven parishes of Cluster 70 are:

Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish
Saint Margaret Parish
Saint Matthias Parish
Saint Justin Martyr Parish
Presentation B.V.M. Parish
Saint Colman Parish
Saint John Vianney Parish

Cluster 70's plan centers on these objectives:

1) Allocate the clergy and laity in regard to pastoral care of parishes and pastoral care of the sick. The goal of maintaining the presence of the Church in Cluster 70 will be accomplished by "twinning" Saint John Vianney and Saint Justin Martyr in June of 2000. This means one pastor will oversee both parishes. Saint Margaret and Saint Matthias will no longer have an assistant pastor assigned as of June of 2000.

2) Foster a cohesive Christian community within the parish. This will be accomplished by establishing an ad-hoc committee to identify unmet religious needs. There will also be a working group to identify resources for lay ministry training.

3) Provide programs for Catholic education and ministry. This will be accomplished by bringing together the ministry leaders of Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD), Youth Ministry and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults to evaluate the possibility of cluster cooperation.

4) Initiate steps to establish viable schools within the Cluster. This will be accomplished by the establishment of a program for the promotion of Catholic education. St. Matthias School will be closed in June 1999, as previously approved and announced.

5) Coordinate and consolidate parish social outreach programs. This will be accomplished by an examination of the possibilities for cluster coordination or consolidation of parish social outreach programs.


Media inquiries should be directed to Rev. Msgr. John C. Marine at 610-896-0567.

Cathy Rossi

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