DETROIT - The leader of 1.3 million Roman Catholics in southeastern Michigan says the archdiocese will have 53 changes to parishes by year's end through a mixture of mergers and closures made necessary by population shifts and a shortage of priests.
The churches face reorganization, merger or closure between 2012 and 2016.
Archbishop Allen Vigneron announced the plan Monday afternoon following an intense months-long study called "Together in Faith." It involved 1,500 lay people as well as clergy.
VIEW: Parish Action Plans
The plan follows the announcement Dec. 1 of a proposal to close nine parishes and merge 60 others into 21. Vigneron has been reviewing the plan. He cited the shortage of priests, financial issues, decreased church participation and changing demographics for the review's need.
"Half of the people in my diocese who claim to be Catholic register in their parishes. Of those half, only 30 percent come to mass every Sunday," Vigneron said. "So, that's 15 percent of the people who are members of the Catholic church attending church, according to what we understand to be a baseline of participation. That's having an impact on our lives."
The archdiocese now has 267 parishes and will have 214 by the end of 2012. Vigneron says two parishes will close outright, while others will merge, reorganize or go through financial reviews to determine their future.
Ordered to close in 2012:
Our Lady Queen of Peace - Harper Woods
St. Donald - Roseville
Ordered to merge in 2012:
St. Clement and St. Theresa of Avila
St. Frances Xavier and Our Lady of Lourdes
St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth
St. Genevieve and St. Maurice
Ordered to submit debit repayment plans:
SS. Simon and Jude - Westland
St. Alexander - Farmington Hills
St. Clare of Assisi - Farmington Hills
St. Florian - Hamtramck
St. Mel - Dearborn Heights
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