Lansing Catholic Diocese to Unveil Reorganization Monday

By John Schneider
Lansing State Journal
September 12, 2008

Months of speculation will end this weekend when the 225,000 Catholics in the Lansing Diocese learn how a reorganization of the 97 churches in the diocese, in the works for three years, might affect the way they worship.

Diocese spokesman Michael Diebold said the pastor of each parish has received a "parish specific" letter from Bishop Earl Boyea explaining how the new plan will affect that individual church.

Those letters, Diebold said, will be read at all masses Saturday and Sunday.

The plan will be revealed to the general public at a news conference Monday morning at St. Mary Cathedral, in downtown Lansing.

Although details of the reorganization remain under wraps, rumors have circulated in recent weeks about a merger of the two East Lansing churches - St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John Student Parish.

The Rev. Mark Inglot, pastor of St. John, acknowledged today that there won't be 97 parishes in the 10-county Lansing Diocese when the dust settles.

"Some will close, some will cluster, some will merge," Inglot said, declining to reveal the fate of St. John.

Inglot pointed out that various forces - demographics, finances, a shortage of priests - have caused about 70 percent of dioceses in the country to consolidate.

"Our time has come," Inglot said, adding that rumors of the local plan - both true and false - have caused anxiety among local Cathoics.

"God - and the devil - are in the details," Inglot said.

Read Saturday's Lansing State Journal for more on this report.


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