ShareThis Page

Pittsburgh diocese's new parish groupings, clergy assignments begin today

Tony LaRussa
| Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, 8:27 a.m.

The first round of changes in a process that will eventually result in the consolidation of parishes in the six-county Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh begin today.

The new parish groupings, clergy assignments and interim Mass schedule change announced in May are designed to address declining church attendance and financial struggles parishes are facing.

The proposed consolidation is the result of a five-year planning initiative called “On Mission for the Church Alive!,” which included input from more than 27,000 parishioners at 329 parish consultation meetings last fall.

The plan calls for the diocese’s 188 parishes to be placed in 57 groupings that will become new parishes between 2020 and 2023. Priests and deacons have been assigned to serve in parishes, as well as major hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, high schools and correctional institutions.

Each parish grouping is assigned a timeline for merging and a maximum number of Masses to be celebrated on weekends.

The proposed changes aim to bolster the vibrancy, effectiveness and financial strength of each parish by grouping clusters of existing parishes — many of which are struggling to make ends meet — into a single church community.

Bishop David Zubik has said too much of the money donated to the church is used to maintain buildings and pay for redundant staff positions in parishes instead of ministry.

The bishop said while the mergers will involve closing church buildings, the decisions about which ones will be shuttered. That, he said, will come from a list of recommendations for the total number of buildings and priests each grouping should share.

The proposed changes are aimed at bolstering the vibrancy, effectiveness and financial strength of each parish by grouping clusters of existing parishes — many of which are struggling to make ends meet — into a single church community, the bishop said.

The diocese has published lists of parish groupings and clergy assignments on its website .

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368 or or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me