CINCINNATI — The Families of Parishes for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati was announced Sunday by Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr. The new configurations of parishes is part of the pastoral planning initiative Beacons of Light.
The Catholic churches in the area fall into the northwest region of the archdiocese. Holy Angels, Sidney, St. Michael, Fort Loramie, Sts. Peter & Paul, Newport, and Sacred Heart of Jesus, McCartyville, are all in one Families of Parishes (NW-7). Three priests will be assigned to the parishes.
“I’m pleased that all the parishes are in Shelby County,” said the Rev. Jarred Kohn, Holy Angels Catholic Church pastor in Sidney. “They all have a common culture.”
Kohn said there will be one pastor and two parochial vicars overseeing the new configuration for the Families of Parishes. The priest assignments for all parishes will be announced in early 2022.
Once the priest assignments have been announced, each Families of Parishes will proceed with the steps provided by the archdiocese on the direction the family will take. This will include Mass schedules for each church; parish councils within each family; and collaborating with each other to make the transition successful.
In addition to the parish council for each individual church, there will be a council for each Families of Parishes that has representatives from each church in its parish. The parish council will be established in September 2022.
“They will consult with each other to bring things forward,” said Kohn. “As with any transition there will be an adjustment. We’ll look at what’s good (in the parish) and then focus on what’s good to bring the forth the Gospel of God.”
Kohn said he believes this will bring a lot of good to the parishes and strengthen the Catholic faith.
Two priests will serve St. Joseph, Wapakoneta, St. John, Fryburg, St. Lawrence, Rhine, and Immaculate Conception, Botkins (NW-4). Three priests (NW-8) will oversee St. Sebastian, St. Sebastian, Precious Blood, Chickasaw, St. John the Baptist, Maria Stein, St. Joseph, Egypt, St. Augustine, Minster, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Cassell, St. Rose, St. Rose, and Holy Redeemer, New Bremen.
The Rev. Sean Wilson has been with the St. Petersburg Parishes — Wapakoneta, Fryburg, Rhine and Botkins — since 2016 when he was named the associated pastor. In 2018, he was named the pastor of the parishes. With the new Families of Parishes, the four parishes remain together.
Once the archdiocese announces the priest assignments, said Wilson, each Families of Parishes will know who is in charge. At the dame time the parochial vicars will be announced.
“We’ve been told they will try to keep consistency in the parishes,” said Wilson. “But like the military, there is someone who sees the bigger picture (of what’s happening).”
The retirement of priests will also be taken into consideration, said Wilson, and “there will be some necessary movement” of priests from one parish to another.
“The church will always go the way of the faith of its people,” said Wilson.
If the faith of the people grows, then the Families of Parishes will bear fruit, he said.
“It’s my hope that we focus on what’s important — a renewal of faith … a renewal of Gospel. Only time will tell,” said Wilson.
Three priests will oversee St. Louis, North Star, St. Denis, Versailles, Holy Family, Frenchtown, St. Mary, Greenville, St. Nicholas, Osgood, St. Remy, Russia, and Immaculate Conception. They are in the NW-5 Families of Parishes. Two priests will serve NW-3, which is St. Wendelin, St. Wendelin, St. Henry, St. Henry, St. Aloysius, Carthagena, St. Francis, Cranberry Prairie, and St. Bernard, Burkettsville.
The parishes of St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus, Covington, St. Mary, Piqua, St. Boniface, Piqua, St. Patrick, Troy, and Transfiguration, West Milton, will be served by three priests. They are in the NW-6 region,
The parishes (NW-2) of St. Teresa, Rockford, Immaculate Conception, Celina, Holy Rosary, St. Marys, St. Patrick, Glynwood, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Montezuma, will be served by three priests. Four priests will serve NW-1, which includes St. Anthony, St. Anthony, Holy Trinity, Coldwater, St. Peter, St. Peter, St. Mary, Philothea, St. Joseph, St. Joseph, Mary Help of Christians, Fort Recovery, and St. Paul, Sharpsburg.
The implementation of the new Families of Parishes will be July 1, 2022.