The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today another spate of parish mergers, this time in West Philadelphia.
A result of the diocese-wide Parish Pastoral Planning Area initiative that started in 2011, the mergers are based on demographic shifts in Catholic populations, neighborhoods’ density of parishes, the availability of clergy staff and parishes’ economic health, Mass attendance and sacramental figures.
Parishioners will attend daily and Sunday mass at their newly-formed parishes, but former parish churches will remain open as worship sites that can be used for special events and ethnic celebrations at the pastor’s discretion for at least one year during the transition, according to a release.
All property, assets and debts of the former parishes will be assumed by the parish designated as the site of the merger.
Effective Jan. 27, the following parishes will be merged:
– Saint Callistus Parish at 700 N. 67th Street in Cobbs Creek and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish at 1940 N. 63rd Street in Overbrook will merge at the location and keep the name of Our Lady of Lourdes.
– Our Mother of Sorrows Parish at 1008 N. 48th Street in Mill Creek and Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish at 636 N. 43rd Street in West Powelton will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
– Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish at 345 N. 63rd Street in Haddington and Saint Cyprian Parish at 525 S. 63rd Street in Cobbs Creek will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Cyprian.
Saint Barbara, Saint Donato and Saint Rose of Lima parishes were determined to need further study, which will begin later this month. Final decisions on those parishes are expected to be made by this spring.
The Archdiocese also expects to announce this spring the fate of selected parishes in North, Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Center City East and Delaware County.
The West Philadelphia mergers will be the second round – the Archdiocese last summer announced mergers of 12 parishes in Coatesville and Northwest Philadelphia.