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June 1, 2014

ARCHDIOCESE ANNOUNCES PARISH MERGERS IN
PHILADELPHIA AS WELL AS DELAWARE, MONTGOMERY AND
BUCKS COUNTIES RESULTING FROM PASTORAL PLANNING INITIATIVE


The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has reviewed recommendations of the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee and made decisions to merge parishes in the City of Philadelphia as well as Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks Counties.

In the Fall of 2010, a pastoral letter was issued to parishioners throughout the Archdiocese. It outlined the necessity of an in-depth examination of all parishes in order to gauge whether they possessed the necessary resources to remain vibrant and sustainable faith communities. This process, known as Parish Area Pastoral Planning, is designed to be as collaborative and consultative as possible. Its goal is to provide pastors, after consulting their parish leadership, with the opportunity to dialogue with members of the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee in providing joint recommendations for parish growth and sustainability within their respective geographic areas.

During the process additional steps are taken to be as inclusive as possible. In the majority of cases, the regional bishop and the dean meet with the pastors as well as their pastoral and finance councils to hear their concerns and receive their recommendations which are brought before the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee, the Council of Priests and the College of Consultors for their observations and recommendations. Input and consultation from all of these groups is provided to the Archbishop.

The mergers being announced today are due to a number of factors including a shift in Catholic population, a high density of parishes in a small area, as well as declines in Mass attendance, Sacramental activity, the availability of priests to staff parishes, and a review of facilities.

In each instance of a merger, parishioners will attend daily and Sunday Mass at the church of the newly formed parish. The church(es) of the former parish(es) will become a worship site(es). Worship sites will be utilized for weddings, funerals and feast days, as well as traditional and ethnic devotions. Sunday Mass may also be celebrated at worship sites at the discretion of the pastor and the newly formed pastoral council and depending upon the availability of clergy.

Additionally, all parish property, assets and debts of any former parish will be assumed by the newly formed parish, which will also be responsible for the care of all sacramental records. The pastors from the merging parishes will form a transitional team made up of lay leaders from each of the merging parishes to assist in moving forward with forming the new parish community. The Archdiocese will provide ongoing guidance and support during the transition process.

When the mergers detailed below become effective there will be 219 parishes in the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The pastors assigned to all of the newly formed parishes were publicly announced this weekend with the regular priest personnel assignments. A complete list of those assignments can be found at www.CatholicPhilly.com.

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*It is important to note that the effective date listed for these mergers is set for Canonical (Church law) purposes. The actual work of the transition to a new parish community is an ongoing one that will take varying lengths of time dependent upon the unique circumstances of each merger and the needs of each parish. *

*The statistics presented below do not represent the whole of parish life. They were only one part of the larger picture when developing recommendations for parish mergers. They do, however, provide a snapshot of a parish's sacramental activity and a gauge to project stability, growth or decline.*




Bucks County Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014:


Saint Mark and Saint Ann Parishes (PPA 100)
Saint Mark (Bristol) and Saint Ann (Bristol) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Mark Parish. The two parishes are located .49 miles from each another. The Saint Ann church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 5,500 registered parishioners and approximately 1,300 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Saint Mark Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 101 100
Marriages 23 22
Weekend Mass attendance 969 775

Saint Ann Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 39 30
Marriages 12 6
Weekend Mass attendance 602 422



Saint Charles Borromeo and Our Lady of Fatima Parishes (PPA 100)
Saint Charles Borromeo (Bensalem) and Our Lady of Fatima (Bensalem) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Charles Borromeo Parish. The two parishes are located 2.78 miles from each other. The Our Lady of Fatima church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 6,800 registered parishioners and approximately 1,900 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Saint Charles Borromeo Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 40 27
Marriages 20 7
Weekend Mass attendance 1279 1022

Our Lady of Fatima Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 60 53
Marriages 4 14
Weekend Mass attendance 962 821



Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parishes (PPA 100)
Saint Thomas Aquinas (Croydon) and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (Bensalem) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish. The two parishes are located 1.2 miles from each other. The Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 5,700 registered parishioners and approximately 1,280 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 42 33
Marriages 8 10
Weekend Mass attendance 602 555

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 51 37
Marriages 19 16
Weekend Mass attendance 684 584



Saint Frances Cabrini and Saint Joseph the Worker Parishes (PPA 110)
Saint Frances Cabrini (Fairless Hills) and Saint Joseph the Worker (Fallsington) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Frances Cabrini Parish. The two parishes are located 3 miles from each other. The Saint Joseph the Worker church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 7,700 registered parishioners and approximately 1,360 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Saint Frances Cabrini Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 43 30
Marriages 20 8
Weekend Mass attendance 1071 844

Saint Joseph the Worker Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 35 21
Marriages 8 3
Weekend Mass attendance 823 646



Queen of the Universe and Immaculate Conception Parishes (PPA 110)
Queen of the Universe (Levittown) and Immaculate Conception (Levittown) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Queen of the Universe Parish. The two parishes are located 3 miles from each other. The Immaculate Conception church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 10,000 registered parishioners and approximately 2,200 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Queen of the Universe Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 84 70
Marriages 20 14
Weekend Mass attendance 1438 1257

Immaculate Conception Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 46 26
Marriages 8 4
Weekend Mass attendance 1204 938



Free Standing Parishes in Bucks County:


As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning initiative, the following will remain free standing parishes in Bucks County at this time:

Our Lady of Grace (Penndel), Saint Michael the Archangel (Levittown) and Saint Ephrem (Bensalem).



Delaware County Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014:


Eastern Delaware County:

Saint George and Holy Spirit Parishes (PPA 310)
Saint George (Glenolden) and Holy Spirit (Sharon Hill) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint George Parish. The two parishes are located 1.3 miles from each other. The Holy Spirit church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 4,000 registered parishioners and approximately 625 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Saint George Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 24 31
Marriages 15 5
Weekend Mass attendance 532 426

Holy Spirit Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 12 3
Marriages 8 6
Weekend Mass attendance 244 185



Free Standing Parishes in Eastern Delaware County:


As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning initiative, the following will remain free standing parishes in Eastern Delware County at this time:

Sacred Heart (Clifton Heights), Saint Eugene (Primos) and Saint Joseph (Collingdale).


Western Delaware County:

Saint Gabriel and Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque Parishes (PPA 300)
Saint Gabriel (Norwood) and Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (Essington) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Gabriel Parish. The two parishes are located 2 miles from each other. The Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 7,500 registered parishioners and approximately 1,000 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Saint Gabriel Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 105 72
Marriages 38 27
Weekend Mass attendance 1124 787

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 12 23
Marriages 5 3
Weekend Mass attendance 375 294



Our Lady of Peace and Notre Dame de Lourdes Parishes (PPA 300)
Our Lady of Peace (Milmont Park) and Notre Dame de Lourdes (Swarthmore) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Our Lady of Peace Parish. The two parishes are located 1.4 miles from each other. The Notre Dame de Lourdes church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 7,300 registered parishioners and approximately 1,400 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Our Lady of Peace Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 21 12
Marriages 10 12
Weekend Mass attendance 726 556

Notre Dame de Lourdes Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 48 46
Marriages 10 13
Weekend Mass attendance 994 753




Free Standing Parishes in Western Delaware County:


As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning initiative, the following will remain free standing parishes in Western Delaware County at this time:

Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Morton), Our Lady of Fatima (Secane), Saint Rose of Lima (Eddystone) and Saint Madeline (Ridley Park).



Montgomery County Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014:


Sacred Heart, Saint Augustine and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parishes (PPA 460)
Sacred Heart (Swedesburg), Saint Augustine (Bridgeport) and Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Bridgeport) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Sacred Heart Parish. Sacred Heart is located less than a half mile from the other two churches. The Saint Augustine and Our Lady of Mount Carmel church buildings will become worship sites of the newly formed parish. When this merger becomes effective, Sacred Heart Parish will change from a personal parish to a territorial parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 4,500 registered parishioners and approximately 1,000 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Sacred Heart Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 27 14
Marriages 4 4
Weekend Mass attendance 391 300

Saint Augustine Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 17 16
Marriages 1 5
Weekend Mass attendance 288 263

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 18 18
Marriages 9 4
Weekend Mass attendance 449 466



Saint Matthew, Saint Gertrude, Saint Mary and Saints Cosmas and Damian Parishes (PPA 460)
Saint Matthew (Conshohocken), Saint Gertrude (West Conshohocken), Saint Mary (Conshohocken) and Saints Cosmas and Damian (Conshohocken) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Matthew Parish. Saint Matthew is located less than 1 mile from the other three churches. The Saint Gertrude, Saint Mary, and Saints Cosmas and Damian church buildings will become worship sites of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 8,000 registered parishioners and approximately 2,000 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Saint Matthew Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 79 102
Marriages 31 35
Weekend Mass attendance 1109 1086

Saint Gertrude Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 7 1
Marriages 3 0
Weekend Mass attendance 148 120

Saint Mary Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 8 4
Marriages 7 8
Weekend Mass attendance 330 271

Saints Cosmas and Damian Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 32 33
Marriages 14 10
Weekend Mass attendance 527 482



Queen of Peace and Saint John of the Cross Parishes (PPA 480)
Queen of Peace (Ardsley) and Saint John of the Cross (Roslyn) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Queen of Peace Parish. The two parishes are located 1.6 miles from each other. For the time being, the Saint John of the Cross church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 8,600 registered parishioners and approximately 1,600 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Queen of Peace Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 47 45
Marriages 15 9
Weekend Mass attendance 1315 890

Saint John of the Cross Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 29 26
Marriages 14 4
Weekend Mass attendance 717 685



Free Standing Parishes in Montgomery County:


As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning initiative, the following will remain free standing parishes in Montgomery County at this time:

Saint David (Willow Grove), Saint Luke the Evangelist (Glenside) and Mother of Divine Providence (King of Prussia).



City of Philadelphia Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014


Saint Monica and Saint Edmond Parishes (PPA 630)
Saint Monica (South Philadelphia) and Saint Edmond (South Philadelphia) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Monica Parish. The two parishes are located less than one mile from each other. The Saint Edmond church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 9,100 registered parishioners and approximately 2,000 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Saint Monica Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 114 86
Marriages 61 47
Weekend Mass attendance 2304 2027

Saint Edmond Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 7 4
Marriages 1 1
Weekend Mass attendance 367 259



Saint Richard and Holy Spirit Parishes (PPA 630)
Saint Richard (South Philadelphia) and Holy Spirit (South Philadelphia) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Richard Parish. The two parishes are located one mile from each other. The Holy Spirit church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

As a result of the merger, the newly formed parish is projected to have over 6,375 registered parishioners and approximately 1,400 regular attendees at Sunday Mass.
Saint Richard Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 45 45
Marriages 10 12
Weekend Mass attendance 813 656

Holy Spirit Parish: 2008 2012
Baptisms 30 20
Marriages 7 6
Weekend Mass attendance 525 681



Free Standing Parishes in the City of Philadelphia:


As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning initiative, the following will remain free standing parishes in the City of Philadelphia at this time:

Saint Charles Borromeo (South Philadelphia), Saint Gabriel (South Philadelphia), Saint Rita of Cascia (South Philadelphia) and Saint Thomas Aquinas (South Philadelphia).


Previous Announcements:


In 2012 and 2013, the Archdiocese announced parish mergers resulting from the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative in the City of Philadelphia as well as the suburban counties. Additional information regarding those mergers can be found at http://archphila.org/conversion/conversion_index.php.

Future Announcements:


It is expected that additional parishes will engage in the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative beginning in the Fall of 2014 with decisions expected in the Spring of 2015. Announcements will be made this September in those parishes that will take part in that round of study as well as to the general public.



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Editor's Note: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is comprised of 44 Pastoral Planning Areas (PPAs). For more information on the Parish Area Pastoral Planning, please visit http://archphila.org/conversion/conversion_index.php.

The pastors assigned to all of the newly formed parishes resulting from this round of mergers were announced this week with the regular priest personnel assignments. A complete list of those assignments can be found at www.CatholicPhilly.com.


Contact
Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications
215-587-3747

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