After announcing the merger of 55 parishes earlier this fall, Cardinal Timothy Dolan is proposing to consolidate another 38 to create 16 new parishes.
The merging would effectively close 11 churches, the New York Times reported, leaving the remaining 27 churches open for mass after the parishes merge.
All mergers and closings are expected to take place on August 15, unless the cardinal changes his plans. The reorganization of the parishes was triggered by financial trouble, a shortage of priests and a decline in weekly church attendance.
The parishes have until March 1 to respond with concerns. While Dolan already said additional parishes could be consolidated, the new proposal has come as a shock to many parishioners, the newspaper reported. [NYT] — Claire Moses