ST. LOUIS — The Archdiocese of St. Louis is in the middle of a restructuring plan.
The ideas on how to possibly change, merge or consolidate parishes will be presented to local Catholics in the coming weeks.
In an interview with 5 On Your Side, Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski stuck to talking points on the plan — which is called "All Things New" — but kept emphasizing that the church of the past is no longer sustainable.
"The overall goal of 'All Things New' is really how can we as a church be effective evangelizers," Rozanski said.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis is reacting to a cold hard truth: Almost every facet, from baptisms to catholic school enrollment, is down.
"We need a different way to propose the Gospel and 'All Things New' is a way of taking a look at where we have been as church, where we are right now and where we need to go," he said.
“All Things New” is the strategic plan initiative for the archdiocese. The draft models on how to restructure parishes is complete. The next step is hearing from parishioners.
"We've met with our priest in the middle of August and gotten feedback from them, we've gotten feedback from our Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and this is really the major effort of 'All Things New' and the consultation that will take place from October to November."
There will be 350 listening sessions spread throughout 178 parishes. Parishioners must register to attend.
"There will be draft models of ways in which we can be church within those areas."
Options could include everything from parish closures to sharing resources.
"It might involve consolidating parishes or schools, but our goal is to use the resources that are available to us and what we are called for in stewardship of God's resources and we can best get the Gospel message out."