New parishes being created for Spring Valley, Fairbury region

Two new parishes are being created in the Diocese of Peoria on July 1.

In Spring Valley, the parishes of Immaculate Conception, St. Anthony’s, and Sts. Peter and Paul are merging to form a new Parish of the Nativity of Our Lord.

Meanwhile, the faith communities of St. John’s in Fairbury, St. Rose in Strawn, Sts. Peter and Paul in Chatsworth, and St. James in Forrest will merge to form a new parish to be called St. Andrew’s.

The new parishes are being established after lengthy consultative processes through the “Growing in Faith Together” diocese-wide pastoral planning effort launched in 2011.

In clergy appointments announced in this issue, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, has named Father Robert Spilman as founding pastor of the Parish of the Nativity of Our Lord in Spring Valley. He has been pastor of St. Anthony’s Parish since 2004, adding duties at Immaculate Conception in 2008 and Sts. Peter and Paul the following year.

Father Scott Archer will become founding pastor of St. Andrew’s Parish. Already pastor of the parishes in Fairbury and Strawn, he will become temporary administrator of the Chatsworth and Forrest churches on June 12 when present pastor Father B. K. Tran leaves on sabbatical.

While none of the existing churches will close, each parish will have a primary location for worship. In Spring Valley, it will be the present St. Anthony’s Church, while St. John’s Church in Fairbury will be the primary gathering place for the new St. Andrew’s Parish.

Further information on these mergers, as well as other changes in parish configurations scheduled to take effect on July 1 as a result of the GIFT process, will be provided in a future issue of The Catholic Post.

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