Catholic World News

New York archdiocese announces plans for parish mergers

November 03, 2014

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has announced plans to merge 112 parishes: nearly one-third of the parishes in the New York archdiocese.

In the reorganization plan—which the archdiocese is undertaking under the theme “Making All Things News”—the 112 parishes will be merged into 55 consolidates parishes. In many cases, services will be spread among the churches in the new groupings; but 31 parish churches will no longer be used.

Cardinal Dolan acknowledged “the frustration, the anger, the confusion” that will arise from the parish closings. “But this is about the future,” he said, “this is about strength and renewal, and we will get through this.”

Although the New York archdiocese had already closed 42 parishes in the past 50 years, the cardinal said that the changes were necessary because of the mounting costs involved in staffing and maintaining churches that do not have an adequate number of regular parishioners.

The New York archdiocese had told the faithful to expect severe cutbacks. But the announcement contained a few surprises, such as the news that the Church of the Holy Innocents in Manhattan, where the Mass is regularly celebrated in the extraordinary form, would not be closed. Earlier, that parish had been listed by an advisory board among the candidates for mergers.

The archdiocese has not yet indicated whether the churches slated for closing will be sold.


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  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Nov. 04, 2014 3:32 PM ET USA

    The NY Archdiocese's reaction has become almost universal in the past half-century. If a church's congregation dwindles, the automatic move is to shut it down as fast as possible, and sell it. Never have I heard a bishop say, "The pews are 3/4 empty? Great! Now we have room to welcome all the new converts we're going to make!"

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Nov. 03, 2014 7:35 PM ET USA

    Your quote “Making All Things News” while incorrect does aptly apply to the situation in that the announcement of parish mergers and closings is generating a lot of News stories.

  • Posted by: Deo Vindice - Nov. 03, 2014 1:43 PM ET USA

    Pardon me if i do not agree with the good Cardinal, but shouldn't "strength and renewal" actually mean the opening or building of new parishes, more young men in the seminaries and an abundance of priest to serve these growing parishes? This is more like "neglect or weakened and loss" We all must pray for our church!