Archdiocese to announce parish consolidation plans

Posted: June 01, 2013

Members of 37 Catholic parishes in Delaware County and Philadelphia will hear this weekend whether the Archdiocese of Philadelphia plans to merge them with neighboring parishes or leave them independent.

No schools will be affected.

Registered parishioners could begin receiving letters as early as Saturday, and the news will also be announced during services on Sunday, said Kenneth Gavin, a spokesman for the archdiocese. The archdiocese will release details of the changes to news media early Sunday afternoon.

The effective date is July 1, but the transition will take longer.

Gavin said the announcements are part of the archdiocese's pastoral planning initiative, which began in 2011. At that time, the archdiocese had 266 parishes. It now has 251.

He declined to name the specific parishes that will be affected this weekend, but said they are in Delaware County; North, Northwest, and Northeast Philadelphia; and Old City.

In the planning process, Gavin said, archdiocesan and parish leaders have been looking at all parish resources with an eye toward long-term sustainability. The review was necessary primarily because of demographic changes, he said.

A merger does not necessarily mean that church buildings will close, he said.

Contact Stacey Burling at 215-854-4944 or

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