Save Our Parish Community
Parishwatch California

Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Together in Mission: 'Parish helping parish'
The Tidings - Los Angeles,CA,USA
We'd be closing them or close to it." Msgr. Joseph Hernandez, vice chancellor for the archdiocese and a member of the Together in Mission board.... (1/18/08)

San Fernando pastoral region update on the viability study

Twinning – 46.8% / Twinning – 42.6%
Parish Life Director – 25.5% / Parish Life Director – 42.6%
Clustering – 8.5% / Clustering – 8.5%
Consolidation – 6.6% / Consolidation – 4.3%

Recommendations for the San Fernando Region were developed including possible clusters and twin partners. The results will be discussed in November at a conference with Cardinal Roger Mahony, the auxiliary bishops, deans and the archdiocesan leadership team.

It was noted that although each parish has its individual results, most Pastors have not shared that information with their parish community. This disclosure led to a lively discussion about communication and the need for leadership at each parish to begin preparing the parish community for a possible change. If the people in the pews do not see any change each Sunday, they do not feel that their parish will be affected. A suggestion was made that parish priests make an effort to include this information in an upcoming homily or sermon.

In the next five years, the San Fernando Region will have approximately 40% fewer Pastors. Currently there are eight Pastors in the 70’’s and nine in their mid-late 60’s. Most people today would like to retire between the age of 55 and 60. Priests are no different. In addition, all parishes are currently short priests. The bishop is getting calls from parishes looking for priests to help with their Sunday Masses.

Currently there are four parishes in the Los Angeles Archdiocese with Parish Life Directors. Msgr. Moran reminded us that Rev. James Forsen from the Office for Vocations, Archdiocese of Los Angeles has offered to speak at parishes. So far, however, only three parishes have invited him to speak. Kathleen mentioned that perhaps the answer to the Prayer for Priestly Vocations does not include more priests. It was suggested that Fr. James could also talk about change, including PLDs.

The discussion turned to priests from other countries. There are many challenges with importing priests from other parts of the world including adapting to a different culture, language issues, attitudes about money and working collaboratively with women. Inculturation (a term referring to the adaptation of the way the Gospel is presented for the specific cultures being evangelized) can also be difficult. It was noted that bringing in priests from other countries could cause a shortage in that part of the world. Fr. Paul suggested we might want to read International Priests in America: Challenges and Opportunities by Dean R. Hoge, Ph.D., professor, Department of Sociology, The Catholic University of America. This book tries to answer two questions: Should the Catholic Church in the United States bring in more international priests? And if so, how should this be accomplished? In the end, the consensus seemed to be that regular and open communication to the people in the pews about the shortage of priests and possible solutions near term and in the future should be developed.

Los Angeles Will Sell Chancery. On May 15 the archdiocese of Los Angeles announced a plan to sell some 50 properties, including the chancery, to settle what is estimated to be about $1 billion in clergy sex abuse settlements. The statement from Cardinal Roger Mahony said: “No parishes or parish schools will be closed to fund these settlements, nor will their essential ministries be affected by these sales. None of the properties being considered for sale are being used by the parishes of the Archdiocese.” (Spring 07) (Internet reports)

Will Los Angeles Be Boston, West? News that the Archdiocese of Lost Angeles will soon pay $60 million to settle 45 clergy sex abuse lawsuits, prompted widespread speculation that the archdiocese will be forced to sell land holdings to cover an estimated 500+ suits that are still pending. FutureChurch member Tom Honore was quoted in the LA Times article: “Before schools, parking lots should go,” he said. “I am very concerned. Families and communities are built around parishes.” While the archdiocesan officials insist insurers should cover most of the cost, the insurance companies are saying the church should bear the burden. Many LA parishioners believe archdiocesan programs are in jeopardy pointing to a 4.2 million budget deficit in 2002 that closed ministries to the disabled, students, and minorities. (Winter 07)

Diocese of Sacramento

Synod Pastoral Initiatives

Please send your parish consolidation/reconfiguration news to and we will update our information.

Sign up for our monthly FutureChurch update e-newsletter to receive regular reports on parish closings and the Save Our Parish Community project.