Fifteen groupings of parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will merge on July 1, 2020, to create fifteen new parishes, Bishop David Zubik announced today. Sixty-one parishes are part of the mergers.
“Since 2018, you have journeyed together on a road that is intended to unite you on the mission to bring the Good News of Jesus to your neighbors and to strengthen all of you in faith,” Bishop Zubik said.
In a letter to parishioners Bishop Zubik wrote, “This has not been a simple task. Jesus never promised that it would be easy to carry his message of love and mercy to others. He was clear that sacrifice would be necessary. However, you are positioning your new parish for more effective ministry by addressing financial needs, sharing resources and allowing your clergy to focus on the spiritual work for which they were ordained. With your faith in Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, I invite you to warmly welcome and serve each other as you become one parish family.”
The fifteen new parishes are:
- Blessed Trinity (Brentwood/Hays/South Pittsburgh), which brings together the parishes of Holy Angels (Hays), Holy Apostles (South Pittsburgh) and Saint Sylvester (Brentwood);
- Guardian Angels (Upper Allegheny Valley), which brings together the parishes of Saint Alphonsus (Springdale), Holy Family (Creighton), Holy Martyrs (Tarentum), Saint Joseph (Natrona), Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament (Natrona Heights) and Our Lady of Victory (Harwick);
- Holy Family (Oakmont/Plum/Verona), which brings together the parishes of Saint Irenaeus (Oakmont), Saint Januarius (Plum), Saint John the Baptist (Plum), Saint Joseph (Verona) and Our Lady of Joy (Holiday Park);
- Our Lady of the Lakes (Bairdford/Russellton), which brings together the parishes of Transfiguration (Russellton) and Saint Victor (Bairdford);
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Observatory Hill/Perrysville/Ross/West View), which brings together the parishes of Saint Athanasius (West View), Incarnation of the Lord (Observatory Hill/Perry North), Saint Sebastian (Ross Township) and Saint Teresa of Avila (Perrysville);
- Saint Aiden (Wexford), which brings together the parishes of Saint Alexis (Wexford) and Saint Alphonsus (Wexford);
- Saint Isidore the Farmer (Avella/Burgettstown/Fort Cherry Area/West Allegheny Area), which brings together the parishes of Saint Alphonsus (McDonald), Saint Ann (Bulger), Saint Columbkille (Imperial), Saint Michael (Avella), Our Lady of Lourdes (Burgettstown) and Saint Patrick (North Fayette Township);
- Saint James (Western Washington County), which brings together the parishes of Saint Hilary (Washington) and Immaculate Conception (Washington);
- Saint John XXIII (Finleyville/Jefferson Hills/Peters), which brings together the parishes of Saint Benedict the Abbot (Peters Township), Saint Francis of Assisi (Finleyville) and Saint Isaac Jogues (Jefferson Hills);
- Saint Joseph the Worker (Braddock/Churchill/Forest Hills/Swissvale/Turtle Creek/Wilmerding), which brings together the parishes of Saint Colman (Turtle Creek), Good Shepherd (Braddock/Braddock Hills/East Pittsburgh), Saint John Fisher (Churchill), Saint Jude the Apostle (Wilmerding), Madonna del Castello (Swissvale), Saint Maurice (Forest Hills) and Word of God (Rankin/Swissvale);
- Saint Michael the Archangel (Dormont/Mount Lebanon/Scott), which brings together the parishes of Saint Bernard (Mount Lebanon) and Our Lady of Grace (Scott Township);
- Saint Oscar Romero (Canonsburg/Meadow Lands/Muse), which brings together the parishes of Holy Rosary (Muse), Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (Meadow Lands) and Saint Patrick (Canonsburg);
- Saint Paul Cathedral (Greenfield/Hazelwood/Oakland), which brings together the parishes of Saint Paul Cathedral (Oakland), Saint Regis (Oakland), Saint Rosalia (Greenfield) and Saint Stephen (Hazelwood);
- Saint Thomas the Apostle (Duquesne/Homestead/Munhall/West Mifflin/Whitaker), which brings together the parishes of Saint Agnes (West Mifflin), Christ the Light of the World (Duquesne), Holy Trinity (West Mifflin), Saint Joseph (Duquesne), Saint Maximilian Kolbe (Homestead/Munhall), Resurrection (West Mifflin), Saint Rita (Munhall Gardens/Whitaker) and Saint Therese of Lisieux (Munhall);
- Triumph of the Holy Cross (Clairton/Jefferson Hills/Pleasant Hills/West Mifflin), which brings together the parishes of Saint Clare of Assisi (Clairton), Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (Pleasant Hills), Holy Spirit (West Mifflin) and Saint Thomas à Becket (Jefferson Hills).
Each of the mergers was requested by the priest-administrator of the grouping, after extensive consultation with parishioners. Bishop Zubik consulted with and received consent from the diocesan Priest Council and Vicars General before approving each request.
The mergers are part of the ongoing On Mission for The Church Alive! strategic planning initiative, which is designed to help parishes mobilize their resources to prioritize mission over maintenance. Its goal is to help Catholics have a deeper relationship with Jesus and empower them to reach out to others with His love and mercy.
“This is a pivotal time for our diocese as we plan for the future of the Church of Pittsburgh,” Bishop Zubik said. “Southwestern Pennsylvania is radically different than it was 100, 50, 20, even 10 years ago, yet the work of the Church and our call from God to bring His love to everyone continues as strong as ever. As we address the challenges we face in the Church today, the witness of working and growing together reflects the unity of the Body of Christ that is essential to our mission.”
The mergers of July 1, 2020 will bring the number of parishes in the Diocese of Pittsburgh from 152 to 106.
In addition, effective July 1, 2020 is the reorganization of our four regional vicariates into two regional vicariates: a North Vicariate and South Vicariate. The vicariate structure has been in place since 2009, and the diocese is grateful to the Regional Vicars who have served Vicariates I-IV during that time. Now, with the On Mission for The Church Alive! realignment of parishes, the new North and South Vicariates will assist the parishes and groupings moving forward. Father John B. Gizler, III, has been appointed Regional Vicar for the 29 parishes/groupings of the North Vicariate. The North Vicariate office will be located at Saint Peter in Butler. Father Joseph E. Sioli will be Regional Vicar for the 27 parishes/groupings of the South Vicariate. The South Vicariate office will be located at Saint Germaine in Bethel Park. More information on the location of parishes and groupings within each vicariate is available on the diocesan website www.diopitt.org.