46 New Parishes Up for Review for Potential Closure, Merger

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dozens of parishes in the Philadelphia Archdiocese could be on the chopping block. NBC10's George Spencer has the names on the new list of possible cuts. (Published Monday, Sep 16, 2013)

    The Philadelphia Archdiocese has released the names of 46 more parishes that it will review and potentially merge or close. It’s all part of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative, a process that the Archdiocese says is “designed to allow groups of parishes known as Pastoral Planning Areas (PPAs) within the same geographic area to undertake a program of self-study.”

    The Archdiocese first announced the process back in 2010 and called on all parishes to determine if they had the resources necessary to “accomplish their roles in the mission of Christ while remaining sustainable and vibrant faith communities.”

    The first round of the Catholic Church’s review process ended with 30 parishes either merging or closing, bringing the total number of parishes in the Philly Archdiocese down to 236. The announcement of the new list has left some local parishioners with an uneasy feeling.

    “I have no faith in it,” said Carol Ann Houmeidan, who attends Holy Spirit Catholic Church, one of the parishes named in the new list. “I do believe it’s gonna be closed. It’s just a matter of time.”

    The iconic Saint Monica in South Philadelphia is also on the list. Yet with its standing-room only attendance, parishioners say a smaller parish would likely merge into theirs.

    “We’ve seen an influx of people coming into the parish within the last five years, with different parishes closing down,” said Perry Dimatteo, one of the parishioners.

    Archdiocese officials say the decision to close or merge a church is based on several factors, including demographic shifts, mass attendance, financial health and proximity to other parishes. The officials also say schools will not be impacted.

    “You always have that doubt in the back of your mind,” said Marie Hamilton, who attends Saint Richard, another parish on the list.

    Officials say the review process will take several months with the first round of announcements expected in the Spring.

    Here is the full list of parishes under review:

    Delaware County
    Holy Spirit, Sharon Hill
    Sacred Heart, Clifton Heights
    Saint Eugene, Primos
    Saint Joseph, Collingdale
    Our Lady of Fatima, Secane   
    Our Lady of Peace, Milmont Park   
    Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton   
    Saint Gabriel, Norwood   
    Saint George, Glenolden   
    Saint Madeline, Ridley Park   
    Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Tinicum   
    Saint Rose of Lima, Eddystone   
    Notre Dame de Lourdes, Swarthmore   

    Montgomery County
    Mother of Divine Providence, King of Prussia
    Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Bridgeport
    Sacred Heart, Swedesburg
    Saints Cosmas and Damian, Conshohocken
    Saint Augustine, Bridgeport
    Saint Gertrude, West Conshohocken
    Saint Mary, Conshohocken
    Saint Matthew, Conshohocken
    Queen of Peace, Ardsley
    Saint David, Willow Grove
    Saint John of the Cross, Roslyn
    Saint Luke the Evangelist, Glenside

    Philadelphia
    Holy Spirit, South Philadelphia
    Saint Charles Borromeo, South Philadelphia     
    Saint Edmond, South Philadelphia
    Saint Gabriel, South Philadelphia
    Saint Monica, South Philadelphia
    Saint Richard, South Philadelphia
    Saint Rita of Cascia, South Philadelphia
    Saint Thomas Aquinas, South Philadelphia

    Lower Bucks County
    Our Lady of Fatima, Bensalem
    Saint Ann, Bristol
    Saint Charles Borromeo, Bensalem
    Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Bensalem
    Saint Ephrem, Bensalem
    Saint Mark, Bristol
    Saint Thomas Aquinas, Croydon
    Immaculate Conception BVM, Levittown
    Our Lady of Grace, Penndel
    Queen of the Universe, Levittown
    Saint Frances Cabrini, Fairless Hills
    Saint Joseph the Worker, Fallsington
    Saint Michael the Archangel, Levittown