As result of petitions, combined parish community in northeast Minneapolis to be named Holy Cross; St. Thomas to merge with St. Anne in LeSueur
In response to petitions sent by parishioners to reconsider parish merger decisions, Archbishop Nienstedt modified the merger of Holy Cross, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Clement and St. Hedwig in Minneapolis.
A new decree of merger for the four parishes includes making the name of the combined parish Holy Cross.
Second, the effective date of the merger will take place upon the retirement of Father Earl Simonson as pastor of St. Clement parish, no later than July 1, 2013.
Third, the archbishop reaffirmed the Polish nature of the combined parish community, including the continued offering of Mass in Polish. He added that Mass will continue to be offered onsite to residents of Catholic Eldercare facilities, which are adjacent to the church buildings of St. Anthony of Padua and St. Hedwig.
In the New Prague area merger involving St. Benedict, St. John the Evangelist, St. Joseph, St. Scholastica, St. Thomas and St. Wenceslaus, St. Thomas is removed from the merger and will, instead, merge with St. Anne in LeSueur. The other details of the St. Wenceslaus merger remain the same: the remaining four parishes will merge into St. Wenceslaus, and the St. John the Evangelist, St. Scholastica, and St. Wenceslaus buildings are identified to remain open. New decrees for the New Prague area merger and the new merger of St. Thomas and St. Anne were issued.
With these revisions to parish mergers, 21 parishes are scheduled to merge into 15 receiving parishes, bringing the total number of parishes to 192, compared to the current 213 parishes.
A merger does not necessarily mean that the merging parish’s church building will close. Decisions regarding the church buildings of the newly combined parish community will be made by local leaders in consultation with Archbishop Nienstedt and the presbyteral council, a representative body of priests.
Parishioners at parishes affected by the new decrees of merger who believe they are negatively impacted by a decision have until Monday, Nov. 29, to request in writing that the archbishop reconsider the decision.
Parishioners affected by the 12 mergers confirmed by the archbishop may appeal the archbishop’s appeal response to the Vatican.
More information about the appeal of a parish merger may be found at http://planning.archspm.org/wp-content/uploads/Appendix-A.pdf
Pending appeals, the first round of mergers will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2011, with further changes continuing over the following months and years.
The archdiocesan strategic plan is the result of 20 months of study and consultation, which includes the input of pastors and other clergy, parish and Catholic school leaders and staff, parishioners and Catholic school families.