By David Madden and Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will decide the fate of 46 parishes this weekend. Whether they will merge with another parish, have no change in structure with a plan for future sustainability, or be tagged for further study. It’s the third, large round of evaluations under the Pastoral Planning Initiative.
Thirty-one parishes have closed since the process began in 2010, with 46 parishes being reviewed in this round of evaluations, which started in September. Kenneth Gavin is a spokesman for the Archdiocese, and he says the process is based on many factors.
“Every aspect of parish life. From sacramental activity, number of baptisms in a parish, number of funerals, number of marriages, looking at the number of registered parishoners, registered households. Looking at financial condition of parishes,” Gavin said.
That information is then run through consultantsbefore being sent to Archbishop Charles Chaput for a final decision. Parishoners will learn the fate of their parish at Saturday Night Mass, and a public announcement will follow on Sunday. Of the 46 parishes up for possible consolidation, the majority are in Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties.
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