Four Phoenixville parishes – Holy Trinity, Saint Mary of the Assumption, Sacred Heart and Saint Ann will merge into two effective July 1, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput approved the mergers, the recommendation of the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee, which has been studying restructuring issues throughout the 267-parish archdiocese since 2011.
"These mergers are the result of ongoing restructuring that will ultimately strengthen parish communities . . . positioning them for future growth and sustainability," the archdiocese said in a statement.
They were based on a number of factors, including demographic shifts in Catholic populations, concentrated density of parishes, history of declining Mass attendance and sacramental activity, economic challenges and a decrease in the availability of clergy to staff parishes.
Chaput's decision was announced at Masses over the weekend and communicated to parishioners in letters sent to their homes.
The details of the mergers, as provided by the archdiocese, are:
Holy Trinity will merge into Saint Mary of the Assumption, located across from it on Dayton Street. The new parish will retain the name of Saint Mary of the Assumption. Holy Trinity Church will remain as a worship site.
Sacred Heart and Saint Ann, less than a mile apart, will merge at the Saint Ann location and be known as Saint Ann Parish. Sacred Heart will remain as a worship site.
The pastor of each newly formed parish will be announced in the coming weeks, the archdiocese said.