The Catholic Diocese Of Pittsburgh announced more than 60 parishes will merge into 15 on July 1. These mergers will bring the number of parishes down from 152 to 106.
“This has not been a simple task,” Bishop David Zubik wrote in a letter to parishioners. “Jesus never promised that it would be easy to carry his message of love and mercy to others.”
Bishop Zubik goes on to say that the merger will position the new parishes for “more effective ministry by addressing financial needs” and “sharing resources.”
The statement from the diocese:
Fifteen groupings of parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will merge on July 1, 2020, to create fifteen new parishes, Bishop David Zubik announced today. Sixty-one parishes are part of the mergers.
“Since 2018, you have journeyed together on a road that is intended to unite you on the mission to bring the Good News of Jesus to your neighbors and to strengthen all of you in faith,” Bishop Zubik said.
In a letter to parishioners Bishop Zubik wrote, “This has not been a simple task. Jesus never promised that it would be easy to carry his message of love and mercy to others. He was clear that sacrifice would be necessary. However, you are positioning your new parish for more effective ministry by addressing financial needs, sharing resources and allowing your clergy to focus on the spiritual work for which they were ordained. With your faith in Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, I invite you to warmly welcome and serve each other as you become one parish family.”
Each of the mergers was requested by the priest-administrator of the grouping, after extensive consultation with parishioners. Bishop Zubik consulted with and received consent from the diocesan Priest Council and Vicars General before approving each request.
The mergers are part of the ongoing On Mission for The Church Alive! strategic planning initiative, which is designed to help parishes mobilize their resources to prioritize mission over maintenance. Its goal is to help Catholics have a deeper relationship with Jesus and empower them to reach out to others with His love and mercy.
“This is a pivotal time for our diocese as we plan for the future of the Church of Pittsburgh,” Bishop Zubik said. “Southwestern Pennsylvania is radically different than it was 100, 50, 20, even 10 years ago, yet the work of the Church and our call from God to bring His love to everyone continues as strong as ever. As we address the challenges we face in the Church today, the witness of working and growing together reflects the unity of the Body of Christ that is essential to our mission.”
The mergers of July 1, 2020 will bring the number of parishes in the Diocese of Pittsburgh from 152 to 106.