It cited a number of contributing factors, including demographic shifts in Catholic populations, concentrated density of parishes, history of declining Mass attendance and sacramental activity, economic challenges, and a decrease in the availability of clergy to staff parishes.
Chaput’s decision was announced at Masses over the weekend and in letters sent to parishioners’ homes.
The mechanics of the mergers, as provided by the archdiocese, are:
Holy Trinity will merge into Saint Mary of the Assumption, situated across from it on Dayton Street. The new parish will be known as Saint Mary of the Assumption. The two parishes’ combined weekend Mass attendance has dropped from 959 in 2006 to 884 in 2010, according to the archdiocese.
Sacred Heart and Saint Ann, which are less than a mile apart, will merge at the Saint Ann location. The new parish will go by the name Saint Ann. Combined weekend Mass attendance has dropped from 1,924 in 2006 to 1,811 in 2010.
Holy Trinity and Sacred Heart churches will remain as worship sites.
The pastor of each newly formed parish will be announced in coming weeks, the archdiocese said.
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