Two parishes in Minersville are merging to create a stronger, more unified Catholic presence in the community.
The Parish Advisory Council and the Parish Financial Committee of both Saint Matthew the Evangelist Parish and Saint Michael the Archangel Parish have voted unanimously to support the merger.
Father Jason Stokes, pastor at both parishes, will be pastor of the newly created parish, which will be named Holy Family Parish of Minersville. Both the St. Matthew and the St. Michael church buildings will remain open, and the merged congregation will use both churches for worship.
“Our new name, Holy Family, stresses that we are coming together as one new, vibrant parish family with two churches,” said Father Stokes. “I’m pleased that the parishioners have taken such an active role in this positive step for our worship community.”
The merger recommendation of Father Stokes was reviewed by the Diocesan Council of Priests and the Diocesan Pastoral Planning Commission, which likewise recommended the action to Bishop Alfred Schlert.
In conjunction with the merger, the Finance and Advisory committees at St. Matthew the Evangelist have recommended unanimously that the underutilized St. Francis of Assisi church building be closed. The Church has been open in recent years only for one Mass per year, on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, and for funerals. However, there have been no funerals held there since 2008.
The building is expected to need major repairs in the near future, and is no longer needed to serve the pastoral needs of the Catholic community in Minersville, Father Stokes said.
The merger is effective July 1. Parishioners were notified at Masses this weekend (June 20-21.)