Three Catholic parishes in Indianapolis to close

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis will close three parishes in the city as part of a restructuring brought on by factors including declining Mass attendance, fewer priests and economic challenges, Archbishop Joseph Tobin said Wednesday.

Holy Cross and St. Bernadette parishes on the city's east side and Holy Trinity on the near west side will be merged into nearby parishes in November, Tobin said during a news conference at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Four other Indianapolis parishes will start sharing pastors.

"I can well understand that some of these decisions, especially those regarding the Holy Cross, St. Bernadette and Holy Trinity parishes are difficult to accept," Tobin said in prepared remarks. The remarks went on to say, "I recognize that there will be grief for the members of the three parishes that will close and sincerely regret the pain these decisions will cause."

The affected parishes can appeal the decisions.

Other factors in the restructurings include demographic shifts in Catholic populations, the density of parishes in limited geographical areas and a review of parish facilities, Tobin said.

The closures are part of a restructuring affecting 47 parishes in Indianapolis and adjacent Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson and Morgan counties. A review that began 16 months ago so far has also resulted in the closing or consolidations of numerous parishes in the diocese's Terre Haute and Batesville deaneries. It also will include five other deaneries that haven't gone through restructuring yet.

The archdiocese includes about 225,000 Catholics in 39 counties in central and southern Indiana.

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