30 Catholic Parishes to Close in Detroit
In the biggest retrenchment in U.S. Catholic history, a total of 30 city churches will close and 25 others have been given one year to improve their status.
About a dozen churches holding Masses on Saturday learned early that they would close, and the total of 30 churches emerged as announcements were made at Masses on Sunday.
Cardinal Edmund Szoka’s decision to close the churches slightly softened a task force recommendation in September that 43 churches be closed and a handful of others merged into parishes with more members and greater resources.
The decision concludes more than five years of study begun to shore up parishes in neighborhoods that lost large numbers of Catholics to the suburbs over the last 20 years and to deal with the shortage of priests and cost of maintaining under-used buildings.
The closings, most of which are scheduled to take place by July, and mergers leave 82 parishes in the city, including the 25 whose survivability is in question, Szoka said.