Move will align declining population of priests, parishioners and resources
By SUE SUCHYTA
Some local Catholic churches will start out 2021 grouped into families of parishes, to best utilize the declining population of priests, parishioners and resources, the Archdiocese of Detroit announced Dec. 9.
The archdiocese said its 216 parishes will form 51 groupings, but each church will retain its unique identity and worship space.
The groupings, which are geographically contiguous, will be mission-focused.
The first wave, which will begin preparation in January, will launch in July. The second wave will begin preparation in January 2022, and will launch in July 2022.
“Our mission hasn’t changed, but how we approach that mission must shift in response to our circumstances,” said Deacon Michael Houghton, missionary strategic planning director and Family of Parishes project manager. “We must move forward with greater collaboration and better stewardship of our resources.”
Archbishop Allen Vigneron said parishes have been sharing services, staff and faith formation programs for the past four decades, and the new plan will strength parish bonds by encouraging people to work together.
“Change can present stress, doubt and uncertainty about the future, but it is worthwhile to change for the sake of doing God’s will more effectively,” he said. “I ask each of you to pray for a new openness to this renewal and collaboration.”
The Western Wayne Vicariate Family 1, which is part of the first wave, launching in 2021, will include: Church of the Divine Child and Sacred Heart of Dearborn, and St. Anselm, St. Linus, and St. Sabina of Dearborn Heights.
The Western Wayne Vicariate Family 3, which is part of the second wave, launching in 2022, will include: St. Alphonsus-St. Clement, St. Barbara, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha, all of Dearborn, St. Sebastian (St. Maria Goretti) of Dearborn Heights, and St. Cunegunda of Detroit.
Downriver Vicariate Family 1, launching in 2021, will include: St. Frances Cabrini of Allen Park, Saints Andrew and Benedict of Detroit, St. Andre’ Bessette of Ecorse, St. Mary Magdalen of Melvindale, and Our Lady of the Angels, St. Alfred, and St. Constance of Taylor.
Downriver Vicariate Family 2, launching in 2021, will include: Christ the Good Shepherd of Lincoln Park, St. Pius X of Southgate, and Our Lady of the Scapular and St. Vincent Pallotti of Wyandotte.
Downriver Vicariate Family 3, launching in 2021, will include: St. Roch of Flat Rock, Sacred Heart of Grosse Ile Township, St. Cyprian of Riverview, St. Joseph and St. Timothy of Trenton, and Our Lady of the Woods of Woodhaven.