WNPR

Hartford Archdiocese To Close Or Merge 85 Parishes

May 8, 2017

The Hartford Archdiocese has announced big changes for its churches. 

In a letter read at masses on Sunday, Archbishop Leonard Blair shared plans to pare down the 212 parishes in the Archdiocese to 127 by the end of June. Of those, 26 churches will close and 59 will consolidate with other churches under a new name.

The Archbishop cited a steady decline in church attendance over the last five decades as the main factor.

WNPR spoke with Ben Peters, an associate professor of religious studies at The University of St. Joseph, about the merger, and what lies ahead for many Catholics in the region.

"Even for people who might not have been regular mass goers, I think the idea of losing that building -- or the fact that that building where these very special moments in their family history have taken place will no longer be there -- I think that's a real loss," said Peters.

The closures and consolidations are scheduled to take place by June 30.