Catholic Diocese of Saginaw announce restructuring plan - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Catholic Diocese of Saginaw announce restructuring plan, several parishes will merge

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BAY CITY (WJRT) -

(01/20/13) - Major changes are underway for Diocese of Saginaw. They just announced details of their new restructuring plan.

Many people will be worshipping in a new church this summer and it's an emotional transition for many.

Many people have been worshipping in their church for decades and it's hard to say goodbye.

"I went to grade school here, high school here, I was married here, my children all went here to St. Joe's," said Rosalie Walsh, a parishioner of 77 years at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bay City.

"It's going to be very hard to get adjusted to another church but I will, I'm a Catholic and I won't leave my religion for nobody, it's sad, it's a sad day," she said.

Fewer people at mass and fewer financial resources have forced the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw to make some tough decisions.

They are merging several  parishes to form 56 new parish communities. That leaves 24 churches that will only be used for weekend mass and 29 churches that will be virtually empty except for funerals and weddings for former members.

"It's the same sentiment everywhere I think, no one wants to lose their church," said Alma Babcock, a parishioner at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Caro.

Babcock's church will be home to a newly formed parish community, so she's not losing her church. But she's still hurting for her extended catholic family.

"Just keep us all in prayer, it's going to be a tough transition for all of us, even the ones staying open," Babcock said.

These changes will take a few years to complete, beginning this July.

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