Save Our Parish Community
New! Save Our Parish Community Organizing Packet

Order the "Save Our Parish Community" Organizing Packet

This comprehensive resource contains proactive strategies for promoting canonically approved ways of keeping parishes open with parish administrators, deacons and lay ministers.

It includes a 2003 national study conducted by the Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development showing that 40% of merged parishes lost parishioners, while parishes with parish directors were more likely to increase parishioners.

Our Do Not Stifle the Spirit! statement  lists eight “best practices” for preserving vibrant parishes in a time of fewer priests, and is a good way to stimulate discussion in parish councils and diocesan leadership organizations.Strategies for resisting unjust closure are also identified including how to seek canonical and civil redress; the experiences of parishes who resisted closure; a sample parish constitution; prayers to use for parish vigils; prayers to use if your parish is closed and other organizing and media tools. 

Order the Save Our Parish Community Organizing Packet


Essays, Studies and Statements

Boston: Must a Parish Perish?

Peter Borre

St. Louis: St. Stanislaus

Fr. Marek Bozek, Roger Krasnicki

Toledo:  St. James, Kansas

Ginny Hull

Some Key Findings about Parish Reconfiguration
2003 National Study of Parish Reorganization

Conference of Pastoral Planning and Council Development

Understanding the Ministry and Experience: Parish Life Coordinators in the United States

Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Georgetown University

Study of the Impact of Fewer Priests on the Pastoral Ministry

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Study

Letter from the Congregation of The Clergy

Cardinal Darios Castrillon Hoyos

Pursuing Civil Redress To Keep Your Viable Parish Open

Sharon M. Harrington, JD

A Parish Life Coordinator's Story

Carol Karnitsky, sscm

The Deacon in our Future Parish

Deacon Norman Carroll

Do Not Stifle the Spirit!
Best Practices for Preserving Vibrant Parishes in a Time of Fewer Priests

FutureChurch and Endorsing Organizations and Individuals

Discernment and Prayer Resources


Prayer-Uniting with the Spirit

Emily Holtel-Hoag

No One Ritual Size Fits All:  an Adequate Ritual Repertoire

Fr. Michael Weldon

Reconciliation Rite for Impasse

Fr. Michael Weldon

A Ritual of Group Grieving

Fr. Michael Weldon

Sample Prayer and Discernment Process

Fr. Michael Weldon



Lay Ecclesial Ministers in the Catholic Church 

Christine Schenk csj

Parish Rights and Obligations and
How to Claim Parish Rights

Summaries of Fr. James
Coriden’s writings in
The Parish in Catholic Tradition
(Paulist 1997)

Reflections On the Theology and Authority of the Parish

Christine Schenk csj

Organizing Materials


How To Preserve Vibrant Parishes in Your Diocese

Christine Schenk csj

Outline of a Parish Education Program

Christine Schenk csj

Sample Parish Constitution

Dr. Leonard Swindler

Crisis Kit: For Parishes Unexpectedly Faced with Closing or Merging
(Includes bibliography and where to get immediate assistance)


Media Kit  (Includes sample press release, talking points and media pointers)