The 3 Catholic parishes of Meadville merge into 1
A parishioner from St. George’s Catholic Church is happy to attend Mass in person at Millcreek Township Church
Nancy Schill, a parishioner of St. George’s Catholic Church in Millcreek Township, attends mass on April 17, 2021.
Jack Hanrahan, Erie Times-News
MEADVILLE – The three Catholic parishes of Meadville will merge into a new one effective June 26.
The Catholic Diocese of Erie has announced that the parishes of Sainte-Agathe, Sainte-Brigide and Sainte-Marie-de-Grâce will form the parish of the Epiphany of the Lord. The new parish will be housed at St. Agatha Church, 353 Pine St., Meadville.
St. Brigid, 383 Arch St., and St. Mary of Grace, 1085 Water St., will become secondary churches in the new parish, officials said. Masses will not be celebrated in the two churches on Sundays or Holy Days, but they will be open occasionally for public or private worship, officials said.
Future of the Church: The effects of parish restructuring are still being felt in the Catholic Diocese of Erie
According to the decree of the Catholic Bishop of Erie Lawrence Persico amalgamating the churches and establishing the new parish, among the reasons for the change were the decline of the Catholic population of Meadville and the decline in the number of priests. Also cited were “the need to reorganize the Catholic community of Meadville to build a more stable base for future ministry” and “the need to make more careful use of scarce resources – financial and otherwise”.
Restructuring: Diocese of Erie publishes final parish plan
In the summer of 2019, a planning process was launched in Meadville involving the clergy, a combined pastoral council for parishes, their three finance councils and parishioners, according to the executive order. In February, the Reverend Jeffrey Lucas, pastor of the three parishes, asked Persico to agree to the plan which included the merger and the new parish. The plan had “broad support from parishioners,” according to the decree, which can be viewed at www.eriercd.org/bishop/decrees.html.
The decree also provided information on the parishes: St. Agatha began with German-speaking Catholics in the late 1840s. St. Brigid, originally St. Bridget, followed in the early 1860s for the English-speaking Catholics of Ireland. Sainte Marie de Grâce was organized for Italian-speaking Catholics in 1909.