Changes to Twin Cities Catholic Churches

Fox 9
October 13, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - There's a massive restructuring in the works that could affect nearly every catholic in the Twin Cities. Parishioners are watching and waiting to see what it means for their church.

For several generations, St. Peter Claver has been the only predominantly African-American catholic church in the Twin Cities. But this and every other congregation in the archdiocese could soon see some big changes.

For the past year and a half, archdiocese has heard from thousands of pastors and parishioners for recommendations for a massive restructuring. The changes will be announced at masses this weekend and may include closing or merging some of archdioceses' 217 parishes and 90 or so catholic schools.

Earlier this year, Archbishop John Nienstadt posted a message on the archdiocese's website explaining why the changes are needed.

"First there is the growing number of Catholics in the archdiocese, coupled with the challenge of a declining number of priests,” said Nienstadt. “Second many parishes and schools are not located in areas where population growth is strongest."

For instance, in northeast Minneapolis, there are five catholic churches in a four block area, while some suburbs have only one parish to serve thousands of Catholics.

And with a quarter of all parishes having budget or debt problems and a third of churches less than a third full for weekend mass, the archbishop says some will have to close.

While members at St. Peter Claver understand the reasons behind the restructuring, they are praying their church will be saved.


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