Catholic World News

Hartford archdiocese announces parish closings, mergers

May 08, 2017

The Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, has announced a sweeping reorganization plan, in which the number of active parishes will drop from 212 to 127.

As part of the restructuring—which is the result of a two-year planning process—59 parishes will be merged with other parishes, and 26 churches will be closed.

Archbishop Leonard Blair explained that the changes are necessary because of drops in Mass attendance and shortages of funds and clergy. He admitted that further retrenchment may soon be necessary. “I can’t stand before you here today and say that with this plan, the next ten years now we don’t have to do anything,” the archbishop said. “That would be irresponsible on my part and simply not the case.”

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 10, 2017 11:36 AM ET USA

    U.S. Catholics are among the first who should be subject to the "New Evangelization." The first problem is that the (orthodox) workers are few and the need is so great. The second problem is that the majority of competent workers have no official standing in the Church; they are mere lay parishioners with no commission except from God. Subject to local discipline and opinion, our hands are tied. We are permitted to ply our trade among small, select audiences but not among the region at large.

  • Posted by: unum - May. 08, 2017 7:14 PM ET USA

    "It's not just about trying to close buildings that we can't afford or buildings that are only half used, but to reinvigorate the community, to reinvigorate priests and people alike," (Bishop) Blair said. Corporate planning and directing parishes to do their own planning doesn't sound like a plan to "reinvigorate" the diocese! Is their no spiritual re-invigoration planned to put the Holy Spirit to work rebuilding Christ's diocese?