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April 17, 2000


In a letter dated April 3, 2000, sent to Reverend Monsignor John C. Marine, Regional Vicar for Montgomery County,Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, accepted the Cluster Pastoral Plan for Cluster 76, and commended the pastors and all who served on the Cluster Pastoral Planning Committee.

The five parishes of Cluster 76 are:

St. Clare
Sacred Heart
St. Eleanor
St. Mary
St. Philip Neri

Cluster 76's plan centers on these objectives:

1) To provide adequate facilities for all parishes in the Cluster. This will be accomplished through the following objectives:
--The Cluster will continue to maintain five parishes.
--St. Clare Parish relocate to a new site in order to provide for projected population growth in the area.
Registered Catholic population in Cluster 76 area 24,504 as of December 1998
Registered Catholic population in Cluster 76 area projected to be between 35,000 and 45,000 by 2010
--Existing parish boundaries of St. Eleanor, St. Mary, St. Clare and Sacred Heart be redefined in order to insure an adequate number of families to support the construction and maintenance of a new parish campus for St. Clare and to address the imbalance in parish population in the neighboring parishes and schools. (effective July 1, 2000) (Revised boundaries available upon request)
--The Archdiocese of Philadelphia purchase a suitable site for the relocation of St. Clare Parish.
--St. Clare Parish is to begin procedures to establish a Capital Building Campaign for the construction of a parish elementary school with an auditorium that can be used as a temporary church.
--The present Sacred Heart Area Consolidated School become solely the parish school for Sacred Heart effective June 2002.
--St. Mary, St. Eleanor, Sacred Heart and St. Philip Neri continue to (a) study the respective challenges faced by their individual schools,( b) develop parish plans and (c) submit the appropriate plans to the Archdiocese for approval.

2) To establish a training program for all lay ministers in the Cluster. This will be accomplished with the establishment of inter-parish lay ministry committees beginning in June 2000. These committees will review and evaluate current training programs; coordinate ministry leaders to organize and implement training programs; create a Web site for Cluster training, information and recruiting; contact the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to request Church ministry training programs within the Cluster and consider the use of local Catholic high school facilities and faculties to implement these programs.

3) To bring back non-participating parishioners. This will be accomplished through the establishment of a sub-committee to share existing programs within the Cluster and to develop new evangelization programs within the Cluster beginning in January 2001.

4) To establish outreach programs to benefit the parishes of the Cluster. This will be accomplished through the establishment of a sub-committee to evaluate all existing outreach programs currently in the Cluster as they pertain to the Christian life of the Church in this area beginning in June 2000. This will also be accomplished by determining which programs and resources can be shared on a Cluster-wide basis beginning in June 2000.

5) To seek sufficient priests to meet the needs of the people. This will be accomplished by forming a sub-committee to develop a Cluster program to educate the parishioners regarding the promotion of vocations, the duties of priests and the impact of fewer available priests.


* Statistics provided by the Archdiocesan Office for Research and Planning

Editor's Note: .Media inquiries should be directed to Reverend Monsignor John C. Marine, Vicar for Montgomery County at 610-896-0567.

Donna Crilley
Communications Specialist

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