COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Catholic Diocese of Columbus announced that more than a dozen churches in central Ohio will close in the upcoming years.
The 15 churches affected by the announcement on Thursday morning include nine churches and one school in Franklin County.
The following churches are:
- Corpus Christi (Columbus)
- St. Ladislas (Columbus)
- Community of Holy Rosary & St. John the Evangelist (Columbus)
- St. Anthony School (Columbus)
- St. Bernard (Corning)
- Church of the Atonement (Crooksville)
- Sts. Peter & Paul (Glemont)
- St. Francis de Sales (Newcomerstown)
- St. Mark (Lancaster)
- St. Mary (Bremen)
- St. Philip the Apostle Church (Columbus)
- St. Mary (Groveport)
- Church of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (Columbus)
- Parroquia Santa Cruz (Columbus)
- St. Matthias (Columbus)
St. Anthony and Ss. Peter & Paul will shut their doors at the end of the current school year.
Bishop Earl Fernandes's announcement comes after the diocese released its final results of the “Real Presence Real Future” initiative. It was created three years ago by former Bishop Robert Brennan.
The three-year study evaluated the structure of the diocese and collected feedback from community members on how to increase presence and attendance at churches in the area.
Since he was installed, Bishop Fernandes spent his first year evaluating draft models and feedback to meet the needs of parishioners and priests.
"One of the reasons why we did this, it wasn't just a priest shortage, it's so we can better carry out the mission of Evangelization," Fernandes said. "Today isn't so much of a closure as much as a new beginning and with that, I have a degree of optimism and hope."
You can read the full study of the “Real Presence Real Future” initiative here.
The bishops encouraged members in the diocese to be patient and charitable in places where changes are happening.
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