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Grand Rapids Diocese Announces Major Changes

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Grand Rapids Diocese announced major changes on Thursday.  The Diocese will close, cluster, and merge many local Catholic churches in both the near and distant future.

The changes are part of a strategic plan launched in 2009 to “establish a well-defined direction for future decisions and facilitate change to assure a strong and vibrant Church in the 11-county diocese”.

What is a parish cluster?

A parish cluster is two or more parishes designated by the bishop to share a pastor while remaining separate entities. The parishes in a cluster will plan to share staff, programs and ministries as well as faun a regional or cluster pastoral council. Each parish must retain a separate finance council but these groups may meet and plan together.
What is a parish merger?

When parishes merge, there is one pastor, one staff, one parish pastoral council and one finance council. The parish could maintain one or multiple church sites. The assets and liabilities become the responsibility of the new parish entity and savings and endowments for specific purposes can be restricted. The new parish community may or may not take on a new name, but the name of an individual church, once it has been dedicated, cannot be changed.

The Diocese of Grand Rapids report gives specific details on how each parish will be effected by the changes.

Mlive.com has a summary of those changes:

Ada
• St. Robert of Newminster, 6477 Ada Dr.: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
Belmont
• Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 6390 Belmont Ave. NE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
Byron Center
• St. Sebastian, 9408 Wilson Ave. SW: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
Caledonia
• Holy Family, 9669 Kraft Ave.: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
Cedar Springs
• St. Margaret of Scotland (Harvard), 10195 – 16 Mile Road NE: Will serve as chapel assigned to Mary Queen of Apostles of Sand Lake, but Mass will eventually be moved to a location in Cedar Springs.
Comstock Park
• Holy Trinity, 1200 Alpine Church Road NW:  Will cluster with Holy Family of Sparta.
Grand Rapids
• Cathedral of Saint Andrew, 301 Sheldon Blvd. SE.: Will remain open.
• Our Lady of Sorrows, 101 Hall St. SE: Will close, merge with St. Andrews or St. Francis Xavier/Our Lady of Guadalupe.
• Holy Spirit, 2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW: Will cluster with St. Anthony of Padua.
• St. Anthony of Padua, 2510 Richmond St. NW: Will cluster with Holy Spirit.
• Basilica of St. Adalbert, 701 Fourth St. NW: By July 2, will merge with St. James Parish. When St. Adalbert’s pastor retires, it will merge with St. Mary and SS Peter and Paul parishes.
• Sacred Heart of Jesus, 156 Valley Ave. SW: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
• SS Peter and Paul, 520 Myrtle St. NW: Church will remain a worship site but will merge with St. Adalbert.
• St. James, 733 Bridge St. NW: Already clustered with St. Adalbert, the two will merge but retain two worship sites.
• St. Mary, 423 First St. NW: To merge with St. Adalbert. Mass to be reduced to three a weekend.
• Blessed Sacrament, 2275 Diamond Ave. NE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
• St. Alphonsus, 224 Carrier St. NE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
• St. Isidore, 628 Diamond Ave. NE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
• St. Jude, 1120 Four Mile NE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
• Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1935 Plymouth Ave. SE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
• St. Paul the Apostle, 2750 Burton St. SE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
• St. Thomas the Apostle, 1449 Wilcox Park Dr. SE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
• St. Stephen, 745 Rosewood SE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
Grandville
• St. Pius X, 3937 Wilson Ave. SW: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
Jenison
• Holy Redeemer, 2700 Baldwin St.: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
Kentwood
• St. Mary Magdalen, 1213 52nd St. SE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
Lowell
• St. Mary, 402 Amity St.: Will cluster with St. Mary Parish on May 30.
Parnell
• St. Patrick, 4351 Parnell Ave. NE: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
Rockford
• Our Lady of Consolation, 4865 Eleven Mile Road: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
Sand Lake
• Mary Queen of Apostles, One W. Maple St.: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.
• Santa Clara Mission, Coral, 1 Maple St.: Will merge with Mary Queen of Apostles, serve as a summer chapel.
Sparta
• Holy Family, 425 S. State St.: Will cluster with Holy Trinity of Comstock Park.
Wyoming
• St. Dominic, 50 Bellevue St. SW: Will close, merging with St. John Vianney Parish.
• St. John Vianney Parish, 4101 Clyde Park Ave. SW: Will merge with St. Dominic.
• Our Lady of La Vang, 2019 Porter St. SW: Will remain open.
• Holy Name of Jesus, 1630 Godfrey Ave. SW: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner. Mass to be reduced to three a weekend.
• Shrine of St. Francis Xavier/Our Lady of Guadalupe, 250 Brown St. SE:  Asked to nominate parish cluster partner. Mass to be reduced to three a weekend.
• St. Joseph the Worker, 225 32nd St. SW: Asked to nominate parish cluster partner.

Bishop Walter Hurley discusses the changes with WZZM below.

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