The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced a parish merger in Bridesburg on Sunday, and more closings and mergers are expected to come this weekend.
All Saints will close, with parishioners attending Mass at St. John Cantius, effective July 1. The parishes are three-tenths of a mile away from one another. That will leave 250 parishes in the five-county archdiocese.
On Feb. 3, Archbishop Charles Chaput called for further input and broader consultation on the futures of Frankford’s Mater Dolorosa and St. Joachim, Harrowgate’s St. Joan of Arc and Juniata’s Holy Innocents.
Back in 2003, the archdiocese closed the schools at Mater Dolorosa, St. Joachim and St. Joan of Arc, and students were sent to Holy Innocents. The schools at All Saints and St. John Cantius have also closed.
If form holds, meaning a church closing follows a school closing, the following Northeast churches could be in jeopardy: Tacony’s St. Leo and Our Lady of Consolation, East Mayfair’s St. Bernard and Wissinoming’s St. Bartholomew.
The churches’ futures are uncertain because of declining Mass attendance, marriages and baptisms, all factors that hurt a parish’s financial situation. ••