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Archdiocese Of Philadelphia To Announce Fate Of 46 Parishes This Weekend

By David Madden and Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will decide the fate of 46 parishes this weekend. Whether they will merge with another parish, have no change in structure with a plan for future sustainability, or be tagged for further study. It's the third, large round of evaluations under the Pastoral Planning Initiative.

Thirty-one parishes have closed since the process began in 2010, with 46 parishes being reviewed in this round of evaluations, which started in September. Kenneth Gavin is a spokesman for the Archdiocese, and he says the process is based on many factors.

"Every aspect of parish life. From sacramental activity, number of baptisms in a parish, number of funerals, number of marriages, looking at the number of registered parishoners, registered households. Looking at financial condition of parishes," Gavin said.

That information is then run through consultants before being sent to Archbishop Charles Chaput for a final decision. Parishoners will learn the fate of their parish at Saturday Night Mass, and a public announcement will follow on Sunday. Of the 46 parishes up for possible consolidation, the majority are in Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties.

Gavin says he's knows parish mergers and closures can be a tough pill to swallow, but wanted parishoners to know that the Archdiocese will be there to help make the transition process as smooth as possible.

"And hopefully that people will realize that their Catholic faith is much bigger than any one church building could be. It's something bigger than all of us, and no matter what church you worship at, no matter which parish you're a member of, your faith stays the same," Gavin said.

Here is a full list of the parishes being reviewed:

Delaware County (13):

Holy Spirit, Sharon Hill

Sacred Heart, Clifton Heights

Saint Eugene, Collingdale

Saint Joseph, Collingdale

Our Lady of Fatima, Secane

Our Lady of Peace, Milmont Park

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton

Saint Gabriel, Norwood

Saint George, Glenolden

Saint Madeline, Ridley Park

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Tinicum

Saint Rose of Lima, Eddystone

Notre Dame de Lourdes, Swarthmore

Montgomery County (12):

Mother of Divine Providence, King of Prussia

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Bridgeport

Sacred Heart, Swedesburg

Saints Cosmas and Damian, Conshohocken

Saint Augustine, Bridgeport

Saint Gertrude, West Conshohocken

Saint Mary, Conshohocken

Saint Matthew, Conshohocken

Queen of Peace, Ardsley

Saint David, Willow Grove

Saint John of the Cross, Roslyn

Saint Luke the Evangelist, Glenside

Philadelphia (8):

Holy Spirit, South Philadelphia

Saint Charles Borromeo, South Philadelphia

Saint Edmond, South Philadelphia

Saint Gabriel, South Philadelphia

Saint Monica, South Philadelphia

Saint Richard, South Philadelphia

Saint Rita of Cascia, South Philadelphia

Saint Thomas Aquinas, South Philadelphia

Lower Bucks County (13):

Our Lady of Fatima, Bensalem

Saint Ann, Bristol

Saint Charles Borromeo, Bensalem

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Bensalem

Saint Ephrem, Bensalem

Saint Mark, Bristol

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Croydon

Immaculate Conception BVM, Levittown

Our Lady of Grace, Penndel

Queen of the Universe, Levittown

Saint Frances Cabrini, Fairless Hills

Saint Joseph the Worker, Fallsington

Saint Michael the Archangel, Levittown



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