The Allentown Diocese presented the plan for restructuring to the congregations this past Sunday. Bishop Cullen's letter to the faithful was read from every pulpit from every Church in in the diocese. Sadly, a third of the 157 Churches will be closed or merged/consolidated into existing parishes. Anticipating the loss and sorrow many face from losing their Church "home", Bishop Cullen exhorted us to welcome and embrace the new members who are finding themselves in a new and different congregation. Over 75% of the priests will be re-assigned
to new parishes and this is a very difficult time for them as well. Our associate pastor will be re-assigned to be pastor over 6 Churches in the coal region that will be closed and merged.
This process has occurred nationally due to the decline in priestly vocations combined with the decline of parishioners and an over-abundance of properties that can no longer be maintained and supported.
Pope Benedict XVI said right before his election that the Catholic Church may have to become smaller. Lord willing, God will bring about a renewal among the faithful as a result of these difficult times of testing.
St John Vianney pray for our priests.
St Joseph, patron of the Church, pray for us.
Lord Jesus, let us accept your will and grant the grace to grow through these changes.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen