Archbishop prepares people for more parish mergers
Archbishop Francis Carroll of Canberra-Goulburn has said that he cannot rule out further parish mergers, but he hopes they can be minimised.
The ABC in Canberra reported yesterday that a shortage of priests has forced several of Canberra's catholic parishes to merge, including Gowrie and Calwell, Waramanga and Holder, and Yarralumla and St Christopher's.
The amalgamations took effect yesterday and will mean larger parishes and increased workloads for some priests.
Archbishop Carroll said there will be a small reduction in services, and a new timetable for masses.
He says the Church will continue to review the situation.
"I hope that the amount of amalgamations can be kept to a minimum but it would be foolish to say that there won't be some further developments in certain parts of Canberra," Archbishop Carroll said.
"And it's not only limited to Canberra. We've had to do the same thing in a number of the country areas of the archdiocese."
He wrote to the Archdiocese in his July monthly letter published in the Catholic Voice newspaper about the priest shortage. He said that the advent of deacons working side by side with priests is pleasing, and the growth of "genuine lay and clergy collaboration".
But he added that, "given the centrality of sacramental life ministry, especially the Eucharist, to Catholic life we must always have priests".
To that end, Archbishop Carroll said that he is negotiating with Bishop Gregory Karotemprel in India and he has promised to send two priests to work in our Archdiocese for a period of three years.
More parish mergers an option: Archbishop (ABC Canberra 3/7/05)
Archbishop Francis Carroll: The Irish door has closed (Catholic Voice July 2005)
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Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn
4 Jul 2005