2016 SOPC News

2016 Parish Closings, Mergers, and News

Catholic Diocese of Sioux City to close 41 parishes

The Catholic Diocese of Sioux City plans to begin consolidating 41 parishes during summer 2017.

The office unveiled a proposal Thursday that would reduce the number of the diocese’s parishes from 108 to 67, due to a shortage of priests and decreased Mass attendance.  Read more

Map of Church Closings in the Diocese of Springfield, MA

Dozens of Catholic churches in the Diocese of Springfield have shut down over the last 10 years due to a combination of factors, including declining church attendance, a shortage of priests, aging buildings, and movement of the Catholic population away from central cities. Read more

Massive Overhaul Slated for Chicago Diocese

A radical overhaul in the nation's third-largest Roman Catholic archdiocese could shutter many of the Chicago church's houses of worship by 2030 as it reckons with decaying buildings and an expected shortage of priests, the church's chief operating officer confirmed Friday.

Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich told priests and advisers in meetings in recent weeks that the shortage — an estimated 240 priests available in 2030 for the archdiocese's 351 parishes — could necessitate closings and consolidations. The archdiocese governs parishes in Cook and Lake counties.  Read more

Archdiocese May Close Nearly 100 Parishes in Next 15 Years

The Chicago Roman Catholic Archdiocese has given the city some of its greatest sacred landmarks: St. Mary of the Angels and St. Hedwig in Bucktown, Holy Name and Old St. Pat's downtown. Many neighborhoods in Chicago, particularly on the South Side, are known more by their local parish than their official name. But a new report from the weekend should have preservationists worried — the archdiocese is forecasting a perfect storm of a declining number of priests and a large bill for deferred maintenance. The solution could be to close up to 100 churches in the next 14 years. Read more

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announces mergers, closings involving 10 parishes

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh today announced three mergers involving 10 parishes to occur over the summer.

Two church buildings will be closed as a result of the mergers.

On July 1, St. Matthias Parish in Evans City will merge into St. Gregory Parish in Zelienople. Both buildings will remain open for worship but share a unified staff, ministries and administration.

On Aug. 1, Ascension in Ingram, Guardian Angels in the West End, and Holy Innocents in Sheraden will merge into St. Philip Parish in Crafton. As a result, the church buildings of Guardian Angels and Holy Innocents will close.  Read more

Hartford Archdiocese Planning To Close And Merge Churches

The Archdiocese of Hartford is considering closing or merging close to 100 parishes as it grapples with aging buildings, fewer Catholic households and a looming shortage of priests.

Rev. James A. Shanley, who is in charge of pastoral planning for the archdiocese, said no decisions have been made about which churches would be shuttered or consolidated. But he said major changes are needed to ensure the church's financial stability and strengthen the Catholic community in Connecticut.  Read more

Reviews imminent for struggling Roman Catholic parishes in Pittsburgh diocese

Mergers or closures could be proposed as soon as this year for 15 parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, while most will have to wait until early 2018 to learn their fate.

That's when Bishop David Zubik will review feedback from clergy, lay leaders and parishioners on how to reshape the church's presence and better deploy dwindling resources across the diocese's six-county region, as part of a five-year planning initiative called “On Mission for the Church Alive!” Read more

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia to Close Three Local Churches

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia will soon close three local churches, according to a Sunday announcement.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput will close the Saint John of the Cross Church building in Roslyn, the Mater Dolorosa Church building in Philadelphia and the Saint Cecilia Church building in Coatesville, effective September 16th. Each church is closing for financial reasons, including costly annual maintenance, according to the announcement.

As a result of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative, all of the effected churches have experienced mergers in the past few years that have prompted them to serve as worship sites for other nearby parishes.  Read more



Catholic Church's Financial Woes Are Not New

The Archdiocese of Chicago's financial pressures and its efforts to close or combine struggling parishes mark a difficult period in the church's history here—but certainly not an unprecedented one.

In January 1990, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin embarked on an 18-month plan that ultimately closed 33 parishes and 18 schools, or 6 percent of the total. The move was a drastic attempt to shore up the finances of the archdiocese, which posted a $28 million deficit in 1989.  Read more