Some St. Paul, Minneapolis parishes to merge, form clusters

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) — Before pastors had an opportunity to explain during Masses Oct. 16-17 how a strategic plan for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis would affect their parishes, local media mistakenly announced the closure of some churches in northeast Minneapolis.

Although the strategic plan will reduce the number of parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 213 to 192 during the next several years, the decision about which church buildings will eventually close in some cases is yet to be determined, with approval from Archbishop John C. Nienstedt and the presbyteral council.

Before the 4:30 p.m. Mass Oct. 16 at Holy Cross in northeast Minneapolis, Sandra Westfall heard from a neighbor who read the newspaper that morning that she was going to lose her church. But Westfall closed her mind to the news. If she had to hear that message, she wanted to hear it from her own pastor, she said.

Parishioners applauded after hearing during the homily that Holy Cross was not in imminent danger of closing its doors.

“You, my brothers and sisters, can take a huge sigh of relief,” said Father Glen Jenson, pastor of Holy Cross, St. Hedwig and the newly added St. Clement parish, all of which are merging into St. Anthony of Padua, which was designated the receiving parish in Minneapolis. “You will determine what goes on in these four parishes.”

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