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Local Catholic Churches Part of Next Merger Phase

Parishes in Wilmerding, Duquesne among 61 churches affected

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
May 29, 2020
Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News

Roman Catholic churches in Duquesne and Wilmerding are among more than 60 in Western Pennsylvania that will merge into new parishes on July 1, Bishop David Zubik announced this week.

The mergers, which affect every part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, will create 15 new parishes, the diocese said in a press release.

They are among the latest changes that began in 2015 under the program the diocese calls “On Mission for The Church Alive.”

In a letter to parishioners released Wednesday, Zubik said the parishes to be merged had already been working closely together since October 2018 in regional church groupings to share clergy and resources.

Officials in the diocese have said the “On Mission” program is designed to respond to a dwindling number of available clergy, the shifting population of Western Pennsylvania, a decline in church attendance, and the increasing age of many existing church buildings.

“This is a pivotal time for our diocese as we plan for the future of the church of Pittsburgh,” Zubik said in a preapred statement. “Southwestern Pennsylvania is radically different than it was 100, 50, 20, even 10 years ago, yet the work of the church and our call from God to bring His love to everyone continues as strong as ever.”

In the Mon Valley, new parishes will include:

St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, serving Duquesne, Homestead, Munhall, West Mifflin and Whitaker. The new parish will consolidate Christ the Light of the World and St. Joseph in Duquesne, St. Agnes, Holy Trinity and Resurrection in West Mifflin, St. Maximillian Kolbe in Homestead, St. Rita in Whitaker and St. Therese of Lisieux in Munhall.

The Rev. E. Daniel Sweeney, who has been serving as administrator for the current grouping of churches, will serve as pastor of the new parish, Zubik said. Other clergy include the Revs. Michael Conway, Mark Glasgow, Stan Gregory and Nicholas Mastrangelo and Deacon Ronald Demblowski.

St. Joseph the Worker Parish, serving Braddock, Churchill, Forest Hills, Swissvale, Turtle Creek and Wilmerding. The new parish will consolidate St. Jude the Apostle in Wilmerding, St. Colman in Turtle Creek, Good Shepherd in Braddock, and churches in Rankin, Swissvale, Churchill and Forest Hills.

The Rev. Frank Almade will serve as pastor, Zubik said.

Triumph of the Holy Cross Parish, serving Clairton, Jefferson Hills, Pleasant Hills and West Mifflin. The new parish will consolidate St. Clare of Assisi Church in Clairton and Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin with churches in Pleasant Hills and Jefferson Hills. The Rev. Paul Zywan will serve as pastor, Zubik said.

In his letter to parishioners, Zubik said the clergy and lay leaders of the 15 new parishes have “inspired” him through their work over the past few years.

“Their collective efforts have gone beyond the practical matters related to merging parishes,” he wrote. “They have encouraged their parishioners to deepen their relationship with Jesus and with each other.”

The other new parishes being created July 1 are:

• Blessed Trinity (Brentwood, Hays and South Pittsburgh)
• Guardian Angels (Tarentum and Natrona Heights)
• Holy Family (Oakmont, Plum and Verona)
• Our Lady of the Lakes (West Deer Twp.)
• Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Perrysville, Ross and West View)
• St. Aiden (Wexford)
• St. Isidore the Farmer (Avella, Burgettstown, McDonald and North Fayette Twp.)
• St. James (Washington, Pa.)
• St. John XXIII (Finleyville, Jefferson Hills and Peters Twp.)
• St. Michael the Archangel (Dormont, Mt. Lebanon and Scott Twp.)
• St. Oscar Romero (Canonsburg and Cecil Twp.)

In addition, parishes in Oakland, Greenfield and Hazelwood will be merged into St. Paul Cathedral, the diocese said.

Originally published May 29, 2020.

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