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Detroit Archdiocese takes next step in streamlining plans

A group advising the Detroit Archdiocese about reorganizing parishes will submit its recommendations to the Archbishop Wednesday evening.

The Archdiocesan Pastoral Council is made up mostly of laypeople. The group was tasked with creating a plan to close or merge parishes throughout southeast Michigan.

In a letter to Catholic parishoners across the Archdiocese, the Council’s chairman explains their recommendations are based on suggestions from parish groups

The group also examined demographic trends and other data within various churches, and in their surrounding communities.

That fact has many parishes in the city of Detroit and inner suburbs especially worried their struggling churches will be hit hardest. Archbishop Allen Vigeneron will make a final announcement early next year.

The Detroit Archdiocese covers six counties in southeast Michigan, and has been working to close and merge parishes through its “Together in Faith” effort since 2003.

It already closed or merged 29 parishes in 2005, due to declining church attendance, financial troubles, and a lack of priests.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.