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January 15, 2017

Archdiocese eyes two Northeast Philly churches for merger

Churches Catholicism
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Resurrection of Our Lord Catholic Church, 2000 Shelmire Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, could be combined with the parish at Our Lady of Ransom Church, 6700 Roosevelt Boulevard also in Northeast Philly, according to a release from the archdiocese.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is considering merging two Northeast Philadelphia parishes as part of its regular "Pastoral Planning Initiative."

The churches are Our Lady of Ransom, 6700 Roosevelt Boulevard, and Resurrection of Our Lord, 2000 Shelmire Avenue, according to a Sunday news release from archdiocese. 

Parishioners at both churches were notified during weekend Masses that the two churches would be included in the pastoral planning process.

The archdioceses considers several factors before adding parishes to the to the pastoral planning initiative, including a church's membership numbers, its financial resources and the number of available priests and clergy to serve the parishes in question.

"It is hoped that by merging two or more parishes they will have the temporal resources and a sufficient number of parishioners to engage in evangelization and other activities that the parishes working alone may not be able to accomplish," the Archdiocese said in a January 2016 overview of the Pastoral Planning Initiative.

The next step in the process will involve a review by the pastor and three representatives from each parish to evaluate perceived negative and positive aspects of the options available under the initiative. The churches can either merge into one newly formed parish that assumes all assets and debts or form a partnership that keeps each parish open but places governance in the hands of one pastor, one Pastoral Council and one parish staff, but with separate finances.