Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit are not only in a period of expectation during Advent for Christmas, they are in a period of expectation for news about their parishes.
Archbishop Vigneron has been faced with too few priests for the number of parishes and it's only going to get worse in the years to come given the average age of priests, which is 62. I believe it will get better with time as more young men are heading to seminaries around the country, but it's going to get worse before it gets better.
Like many dioceses we are not only facing a shortage of priests, but a financial crunch. The Archdiocese has been making an effort to help parishes become more financially stable and to pay-off debt with a capital campaign under the banner of Changing Lives Together. I was involved in this campaign at Grotto for the past half-year along with a team of other parishioners. It's happening all across Detroit and Archbishop Vigneron allowed parishes to keep 70% of what they raised, which is far more generous than what is happening in some other dioceses where the split is 50/50, 60/40, etc. This region has been hit much harder than other parts of the country due to the deep job losses. These things also impact donations to parishes, dioceses and apostolates.
At the same time teams have been meeting to study a number of things in the archdiocese, taking into consideration a everything from demographics to services provided. Tonight or tomorrow, the Archdiocese of Detroit will share with the public what kind of recommendations are being sent to Archbishop Vigneron. These are not final. The Archbishop will study it and share his decisions in February.
When I see the information on the AoD's website, I will share the link here. You can also check aodonline.org to watch for updates.
In the meanwhile, here is local press coverage and related items in the news recently...
- Plans to realign Detroit-area Catholic parishes due tonight (Detroit Free Press)
- Building sale closes Archdiocese of Detroit soup-kitchen/warming center (Detroit News)
- Friar in Detroit puts soup-kitchen on wheels (Detroit News)
For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog
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