To the editor:

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati under the direction of the consulting firm, Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI) began in July 2022, to implement the Beacons of Light. This program will reduce 208 Catholic parishes into 57 parishes by July 2027. Parishes that cease to exist and will become churches. For example, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish will be Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. By demoting a parish to a church, it will no longer have a pastor and according to canon law only has to have two Masses a year.

For our group of four churches, which includes St. Michael’s Parish, Fort Loramie, Holy Angels Parish, Sidney, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, McCartyville and St. Peter and St. Paul Parish, Newport one of these churches will be named the parish church under the new name of St. Joseph Pillar of Families Parish with over 3000 parishioners. Next the Archdiocese will tell our pastor one or two churches need to be closed and you have to build one mega church in our county. This may not happen immediately but this is the goal. If we do not fight this now, where they have used this same program in other dioceses, parishes have been closed, sold and demolished. Some bishops, pastors and priests have not been truthful about the difference between a Parish and a Church and the goal of eventual closing churches.

We can save our Parishes by using canon law! First pray and fast. Second please sign the diocesan mandate. Mark Pettus, a parishioner of Sacred of Jesus Parish, is the diocesan procurator for Save our Parishes in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Diocesan mandates give our diocesan procurator the right to represent parishioners and uses a petition prepared by our canon lawyer to ask Archbishop Schnurr to halt Beacons of Light. The more mandates we have the stronger our case. If the Archbishop says no or does not respond, the petition is sent to the Vatican. Next form a parish team to fight the closing of your parish. Mark Pettus can provide you with a parish packet which includes instructions on how to have an appeal ready when your parish is demoted to a church and how to form a nonprofit to support your parish. Lastly, write the Archbishop Schnurr ( sending priority mail) your pastor, Parish Council and Finance Committee (sending a copy of your letter and response to Mark Pettus) saying you oppose the closing of your parish.

To obtain diocesan mandates and more information email [email protected] or write Mark Pettus, 11550 County Road 25A, Sidney OH 45365.

For more information, please go to the website

Colleen Tebbe

Parishioner Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish