Wayne County churches prepare to unite - Catholic Courier

Wayne County churches prepare to unite

The Catholic Community of St. Anne, St. Gregory and St. Patrick in Palmyra, Marion and Macedon likely will soon begin the process of becoming one canonical parish, according to the cluster’s pastor, Father William Laird.

"My hope is that this fall we will be presenting the appropriate materials to the bishop and the presbyteral council about moving the issues forward about amalgamating," Father Laird said.

The cluster belongs to the Catholic Community of Western Wayne County, which also includes St. Michael Parish in Newark and the newly formed St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Ontario, Sodus and Sodus Point.

In 2003 this planning group recommended that the Palmyra, Marion and Macedon cluster should scale back its weekend Mass schedule in order to accommodate a reduced number of full-time priests available. In 2003 two weekend Masses were celebrated at St. Patrick and one each at St. Anne and St. Gregory. The planning group recommended two Masses still be held at St. Patrick, but that one weekend liturgy take place at either St. Anne or St. Gregory, according to the group’s 2003 recommendation to Bishop Matthew H. Clark.

The cluster downsized its Mass schedule in June 2008, when St. Gregory Church celebrated its last weekend liturgy, Father Laird said. The closing was marked by a parish picnic. Later that month Father Laird, who had been parochial administrator of St. Patrick, became pastor of all three churches. Daily Mass continued to take place at St. Gregory once a week until February 2009, the priest said.

The three faith communities comprised by the cluster have shared one faith-formation program and have been working together in other capacities for several years. Representatives from each faith community also sit on the cluster’s pastoral and finance councils, Father Laird added.

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