Southern Tier churches face configuration changes - Catholic Courier

Southern Tier churches face configuration changes

The closing of one Elmira church, the reconfiguration of three Elmira parishes and the anticipated closing of two Tioga County churches mark the most notable consolidation-related developments of late in the Southern Tier.

St. Anthony in Elmira held its final Mass on June 13. The church, founded a century ago by immigrant Italian families, had been one of three churches that in 2007 merged to form Blessed Sacrament Parish. At that point St. Anthony, along with St. Patrick and Ss. Peter and Paul, consolidated staffs, finances and parish pastoral councils. They previously had been clustered for a year, operating as separate parishes but sharing a single pastor.

Also in Elmira, the churches of St. Casimir, St. Charles Borromeo and Our Lady of Lourdes are in the process of incorporating as a single parish, moving from the cluster status under which they have operated since 2006. A decree by Bishop Matthew H. Clark confirming his approval of the move to become a single parish appeared in the May 25 bulletin. The bishop noted that “the name of the new parish shall be determined at a later date.”

In the Tioga County region, Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes announced that two of their six churches — St. Pius X in Van Etten and St. Francis of Assisi in Catatonk — will close whenever their priest availability drops to two from the current three. Although a specific timetable has not been determined, the Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parish pastoral council noted in a May 25 bulletin article that the next year will be marked by rituals and activities celebrating “the rich history and contributions of the St. Francis and St. Pius communities.” Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick’s other four churches are St. James, Waverly; St. John the Evangelist, Newark Valley; St. Margaret Mary, Apalachin; and St. Patrick, Owego. They have operated as a six-church entity since 2003.

All these changes stem from a diocesanwide pastoral-planning process, begun in the late 1990s, that calls parishes to share resources on a regional level in response to the declining number of available priests.

Copyright © 2024 Rochester Catholic Press Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Linking is encouraged, but republishing or redistributing, including by framing or similar means, without the publisher's prior written permission is prohibited.

Choose from news (Monday), leisure (Thursday) or worship (Saturday) — or get all three!

No, Thanks

Catholic Courier Newsletters