New Clinton Parish to be Established
One single parish to serve Catholics in
in the future
December 6, 2009, WORCESTER, MA – In a letter read at parishes in the Clinton area this weekend, Bishop Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, announced that as of July 1, 2010 there will be one new parish serving the needs of Catholics in the town of Clinton. The three current parishes of St. John the Evangelist, Our Lady of Jasna Gora, and Our Lady of the Rosary will be merged into one parish to be located at St. John Church. The new parish will assume all assets and liabilities of the current three parishes.
The bishop announced that he made his decision following pastoral planning which has been focused on the potential merger of two parishes, namely Our Lady of Jasna Gora and Our Lady of the Rosary, which have been twinned with one pastor for the past few years. Discussion about that possibility raised broader questions about the total needs of Clinton’s Catholic community today and in the future. As the bishop wrote in his letter, “In my pastoral concern for these two parishes, I did not want to merge them today with the distinct probability of having to ask them to merge again in a matter of a few years. The more that discussion ensued, the more many came to realize that the solution for Clinton’s long range mission was to have one new, strong, vibrant parish to serve today’s diverse community.”
Bishop McManus has asked the current pastors, Fr. Tomasz Borkowski and Fr. Thomas Walsh, to form a subcommittee consisting of parish leadership from all three parishes to begin developing a transition plan. These transitions usually include possible names for the new parish as well as identifying ways to incorporate the various specific devotional traditions present in the larger community. Once the new parish is formed, it will also decide what it will do with the various facilities currently being used by the three parishes. Bishop McManus noted that members of the Diocesan Pastoral Planning committee will be available to assist that team, based on the experience of similar mergers in the city of Worcester over the past few years.
The announcement was also made at this weekend’s Masses at St. Joseph the Good Provider in Berlin and Immaculate Conception in Lancaster, which are part of the same parish cluster as the Clinton parishes. The bishop asked that those parishes begin to identify how they can be preparing to welcome new members who may decide to join one of their parishes as a result of the transition.
A copy of the
can be found online at www.worcesterdiocese.org.