Parish consolidations, collaborations among planning recommendations

Months in the making with input from parish and school leaders, pastoral plans for two rural deaneries include proposals for parish consolidation and regional clusters of parishes sharing personnel, resources and programs.

Nine rural parishes would consolidate with other parishes and their churches become chapels for special occasions – with one a mission church for Sunday Masses and other sacraments – under an initial proposal for 31 parishes in the rural southwest and rural central deaneries, archdiocesan officials said in reports June 13.

Churches that become chapels could be used for weddings, funerals, festivals and other events.

Driven by a desire to best use resources to meet the archdiocese’s pastoral vision and priority plan that has been summarized in the phrase, “One church: encountering Jesus, equipping disciples, living mercy,” the reports used demographic and other data to help draw conclusions.

The recommendations – and any subsequent changes – would be finalized by Archbishop George J. Lucas in November and implemented by early 2018.

The reports from the archdiocese’s Pastoral Planning Office and Wisconsin-based Meitler consulting group also recommended that schools in several areas – Columbus; Lindsay, Humphrey and Madison; Clarkson, Howells and Dodge – consider working with the archdiocese’s Catholic Schools Office to form regional school systems or networks.

Pastors began informing their congregations about the proposal early this month, and parish and deanery-level meetings will continue as feedback is sought and final recommendations prepared for the archbishop, said Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor.

The reports can found on the archdiocese’s website at Watch for the July 14 edition of the Catholic Voice for more details.

Parish consolidations proposed in the reports, by deanery:

Rural Southwest Deanery

  • St. Joseph Parish in Platte Center with St. Isidore Parish in Columbus; St. Joseph Church becomes a chapel.
  • St. Stanislaus Parish, Duncan, with St. Anthony Parish, Columbus; St. Stanislaus Church becomes a chapel.
  • Ss, Peter and Paul Parish, Krakow, with St. Rose of Lima Parish, Genoa; Ss. Peter and Paul Church becomes a chapel.
  • St. Peter Parish, Clarks, with St. Michael Parish, Central City; St. Peter Church becomes a chapel.
  • St. Michael Parish, Tarnov, with St. Francis Parish, Humphrey; St. Michael Church becomes a chapel.


Rural Central Deanery

  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Tilden, with St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Neligh; Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church becomes a chapel.
  • St. Bonaventure Church, Raeville, with St. Boniface Parish, Elgin; St. Bonaventure Church becomes a chapel.
  • St. Francis de Sales Parish, Schoolcraft, with St. Patrick Parish, Battle Creek; St. Francis de Sales Church becomes a chapel.
  • St. John the Baptist Parish, Petersburg, with St. Michael Parish, Albion; St. John the Baptist Church becomes a mission church, with Sunday Masses and other sacraments.
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