Archdiocese of Chicago to merge 6 churches in southeast suburbs

The Archdiocese of Chicago on Wednesday announced another round of parish consolidations, which will impact six churches in the southeast suburbs.

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The Archdiocese of Chicago on Wednesday announced another round of parish consolidations, which will impact six churches in the southeast suburbs.

Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

The Archdiocese of Chicago on Wednesday announced another round of parish consolidations, which will impact six churches in the southeast suburbs.

St. Ann parish and school in Lansing, St. James parish in Sauk Village and St. John parish in Glenwood will unite to form a new parish, with two worship sites this summer, the archdiocese said.

Once the consolidation happens, St. Ann and St. James will continue to celebrate Mass, though St. Ann will be designated the parish church, where the business office and sacramental records are kept.

Both St. Ann and St. James will under go annual reviews of the churches’ sustainability starting in 2024, giving the parish’s pastor and leadership team time to focus on the unification of the parish over the next three years before it’s reviewed.

Also, three churches in Chicago Heights — St. Agnes parish and school, St. Kieran parish and St. Paul parish — will merge this summer to create a new parish, with two worship spots, the archdiocese said.

St. Kieran and St. Agnes will continue to host Mass, and St. Kieran will be the designated parish church.

The changes are expected to happen by July 1, and the names of the newly unified parishes will be announced at a later date. Parishioners will have an opportunity give their input on the new name with parish officials, who will present a proposal to Cardinal Blase Cupich in the coming months.

The archdiocese said it will provide support for the communities of the six parishes as they begin the transition.

“All parishes will embark on the next phase of renewal to become stronger, more sustainable and capable of reaching more people in their work of making disciples of Jesus Christ, building communities and inspiring witness,” the archdiocese said.

The merger is the latest under the archdiocese’s “Renew My Church” initiative, which has focused on churches with shrinking congregations and school enrollments among its 97 parish groupings as the result of decreasing attendance, rising financial costs and the declining number of priests.

Meanwhile, the archdiocese said it will continue to discern the fate of the St. Irenaeus parish in Park Forest and St. Lawrence O’Toole parish in Matteson which could possibly be grouped with parishes in Flossmoor, Country Club Hills, Homewood and Hazel Crest.

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