Armed with a new logo, three former parishes in Elmira have completed the process of becoming one.
Christ the Redeemer Parish unveiled its logo this spring. The symbol, designed by parishioner Mike Tamara, "depicts the action of three formerly separate entities merging together to form one seamless parish," according to a June 7 parish bulletin article.
The parish combines St. Charles Borromeo, St. Casimir and Our Lady of Lourdes churches, completing a process that began in 2006 when they entered cluster status — an arrangement under which one pastor oversees two or more churches. Last year, Bishop Matthew H. Clark decreed that the three faith communities should move toward becoming a single parish. In taking this step, Christ the Redeemer not only assumed a new name but also merged all three churches’ staffs, finances and parish pastoral councils.
In addition, scheduling changes for weekend Masses took effect the weekend of July 19. The new schedule offers liturgies at Our Lady of Lourdes at 4:30 p.m. Saturday; St. Charles Borromeo, 7:30 a.m. Sunday; and St. Casimir, 10 a.m. Sunday. Father Jeremiah Moynihan, who served as pastor of the three-parish cluster, continues as pastor of Christ the Redeemer.
The formation of Christ the Redeemer marks the second recent instance of three Elmira churches combining into one parish. In 2006 Ss. Peter and Paul, St. Anthony and St. Patrick formed a three-church cluster. One year later they became a parish, taking the name of Blessed Sacrament. St. Anthony Church ceased operation in June 2008.
Such changes are part of 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 availability of priests.