In the last 50 years, Sunday mass attendance in the Archdiocese of Hartford has declined 70 percent, and the number of active priests is down 65 percent. So it’s not a surprise that the Archdiocese is closing down and merging churches across the state -- from 212 to 127. This hour, we talk about the local mergers with priests and parishioners.
Waterbury is hardest hit, with four churches closing. We talk to a priest from that city about what changing demographics mean for their parishes.
Also, we hear from one of the “Faithful 10” -- a group of parishioners from St Michael's and St Justin's in Hartford who met every week for a year in order to make a plan to consolidate their churches.
And we find out how this trend is reflected in the Catholic Church nationwide.
- Father James Shanley - Vicar of Pastoral Planning for the Archdiocese of Hartford
- Kay Taylor Brooks - Part of the "Faithful 10" group of parishioners assigned to create a smooth transition for the merger of St Michael's and St. Justin's churches in Hartford
- Father Christopher Ford - Vicar of Waterbury Deanery, Rector at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury
- Benjamin Peters - Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Theology at University of St. Joseph