Two West Warwick Parishes to merge in July
By News Staff
WEST WARWICK, R.I (WLNE) – St. Mary Parish and the SS. John and James Parish will merge in an effort to provide for ongoing pastoral care of the parishioners.
According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, the affiliation also reflects the history of the two parishes.
On two previous occasions, St. Mary was designated as a mission of SS. John and James.
Following a thorough planning process, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin granted the request from Father Douglas Spina of St. Mary and father Eddy Lopez-Bolanos of SS John and James.
According to the diocese, there has been a steady decline in Mass attendance and sacramental practice.
Recent attendance at weekend Mass at St. Mary Parish only totaled approximately 150 individuals, which is below the average for parish viability.
Another significant factor is the imminent retirement from active ministry of the pastor of St. Mary Parish.
Father Nicholas Fleming will become the new pastor serving both faith communities.
The St. Mary church building will remain open for liturgical celebrations, and all sacramental records of St. Mary will be transferred to the rectory office of SS. John and James Parish where they will be maintained.
The merge will be put in effect on July 1.