Several churches in the Archdiocese of Detroit will close or merge

Archbishop announces parish closures, consolidations

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

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.