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Thousands Affected By List Of Church Mergers Released By Archdiocese Of Philadelphia

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Mark Abrams Mark Abrams
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By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In one of the most sweeping announcements in its long history, the Philadelphia Archdiocese has announced mergers or consolidations of parishes that will affect thousands of Catholics in the region.

Ken Gavin, a spokesman for the Philadelphia archdiocese, says the announcements made this weekend should not surprise parishioners who learned as early as fall of 2012 that change might be coming.

READ: Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Announces Parish Mergers In Philadelphia And Delaware County

“There are over 35 parishes that are going to be receiving word as to whether or not they are going to be part of a merger or whether they will remain a free-standing parish,” he explains.

Gavin acknowledges some long-established parishes that were founded to serve the immigrant populations coming to Philadelphia in the early 20th century are on the list.

“This round of announcements will affect parishes located not only in Delaware County, but in various sections of the city, including lower Northeast Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, and Northwest Philadelphia,” he says.

Gavin says the mergers are effective July 1, but the Archdiocese recognizes there will be a longer transition period.

He says most of the churches that are being closed will remain available for special occasions such as weddings and funerals, or feast day celebrations.

The following mergers were included in the announcement:

  • Saint Laurence (Upper Darby) and Saint Alice (Upper Darby) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Laurence Parish.
  • Saint Philomena (Lansdowne) and Saint Cyril of Alexandria (East Lansdowne) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Philomena Parish.
  • Blessed Virgin Mary (Darby) and Saint Louis (Yeadon) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Blessed Virgin Mary Parish.
  • Saint John Fisher (Boothwyn), Holy Saviour (Linwood) and Immaculate Conception (Marcus Hook) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint John Fisher Parish.
  • Saint Athanasius (West Oak Lane) and Saint Benedict (Ogontz/Belfield) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Athanasius Parishes.
  • Holy Cross (East Mount Airy) Saint Madeleine Sophie (West Mount Airy) and Saint Therese of the Child Jesus (East Mount Airy) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Holy Cross Parish.
  • Our Lady of Consolation (Tacony/Wissinoming) and Saint Leo the Great (Tacony/Wissinoming) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Our Lady of Consolation Parish.
  • Holy Innocents (Juniata Park/Feltonville), Saint Joan of Arc (Harrowgate), Mater Dolorosa (Frankford) and Saint Joachim (Frankford) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Holy Innocents Parish.
  • Saint Barbara (Wynnefield) and Saint Rose of Lima (Haddington/Carroll Park) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Barbara Parish.
  • Holy Name of Jesus (Fishtown/Northern Liberties) and Saint Laurentius (Fishtown/Northern Liberties) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Holy Name of Jesus.
  • Incarnation of Our Lord Parish (Olney) will be divided and merge with Saint Helena (Olney) and Saint Veronica (Hunting Park) Parishes.

St. Leo Roman Catholic Church in Tacony and St. Laurentius Parish in Fishtown held rallies Sunday morning after their masses to fight the decision.

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