HARTFORD - In an effort to increase awareness and understanding about the process behind determining the fate of Roman Catholic parishes in central Connecticut, the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office of Pastoral Planning has started producing a monthly podcast.
The archdiocese is working on plans to close some parishes and merge others to cope with aging buildings, changing demographics and a shortage of priests.
Pastoral Associate David Elliott is the host of the podcasts, and the first one is already up. It focuses on the St. Justin-St. Michael merger in Hartford, according to statement from Maria Zone, archdiocese director of communications.
Zone describes the merger as follows: “After meeting regularly for about a year, both parish congregations agreed that consolidating the two parishes would ensure that the North End of Hartford would have a vibrant and sustainable future in regards to their Catholic faith. A final Mass was celebrated at St. Michael on Palm Sunday, April 9. Afterward, Rev. Emmanuel Ihemedu, along with parishioners, processed one and one-half miles from St. Michael Church to St. Justin-St. Michael Church, the newly formed parish, where they took part in prayer and Adoration.”
In addition to the podcast, the Office of Pastoral Planning has a website at stewardsfortomorrow.org that provides information and data on all 212 parishes in the archdiocese.
“Surveys, newsletters, consultative meetings between priests and their parishioners and the Office of Pastoral Planning, and archdiocesan social media messages have also been utilized to disseminate important information,” said Zone.
Zone has said no decisions have been made for parish in the Bristol Deanery, which covers Bristol/Forestville, Plymouth/Terryville and Plainville. The final decrees will likely be issued sometime in May, she said.
The first podcast is available at bit.ly/2pC3T2Y.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.