Barre area parishes to merge in July
St. Francis of Assisi Parish to be established July 6 June 21, 2013, WORCESTER, MA –At this weekend’s Masses at St. Joseph Parish, Barre and St. Thomas-A-Becket Parish, South Barre, a decree will be read which officially establishes St. Francis of Assisi Parish, a merged territorial parish serving Catholics in Barre and South Barre.
The announcement concludes a period of planning between the two parishes which was called for by Bishop Robert McManus in his letter to the two parishes in early September 2012. At that time he noted that St. Thomas-a-Becket and St. Joseph Parishes had begun on a pastoral planning process a few years prior, and discussion between pastoral leaders ensued to begin to understand better the pastoral needs of the two parish communities. The goal was to “develop stronger communities of faith to further the mission of Christ’s Church” in the area.
The rectory at South Barre, which is on the same parcel of land as the church, will serve as the rectory and parish office for the new St. Francis of Assisi parish. The decree notes that the two church buildings will retain their respective titles, or names, in accordance with Canon law and that St. Thomas A Becket Church in South Barre will be the primary place for the celebration of Mass and other liturgical services, with St. Joseph Church in Barre designated a chapel. The newly established parish will assume the goods, assets, including property and patrimonial rights, as well as the burdens and liabilities of St. Joseph and St. Thomas-A-Becket Parishes. The new parish is also directed to accommodate to the extent possible the spiritual traditions of the former parishes.
The new name of the parish was one of three recommendations made by the planning committee which was comprised of members of each parish.
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