Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 14, 1999
Restructuring plan backed by Collins
By GLEN ARGAN
The new archbishop of Edmonton says he will implement the proposed restructuring of parishes in the archdiocese.
"It is a carefully thought-out plan and I intend to proceed with it," Archbishop Thomas Collins told the WCR June 7, his first day as archbishop.
"I am certainly supporting the Transformation of Parishes," Collins said, adding that a great deal of consultation and thought has gone into developing the plan.
A report Faithful Into the Future, released last November, calls for more than half the parishes outside of the city of Edmonton and at least 13 parishes in the city to be merged with nearby parishes.
Implementation of the parish mergers will begin July 12 with the transfer of priests within the archdiocese.
The archdiocese developed a formal plan for the future merger of parishes to cope with population shifts and the declining number of priests.
Collins said while he will implement the plan, he will also vigorously pursue "an increase in the number of priests which I think is essential."
If the archdiocese is successful in ordaining more priests, it will obviously have some effect on the future of parishes, he said.
The new archbishop also encouraged smaller communities where the Mass is no longer celebrated on Sundays to maintain some form of community life.
However, he cautioned, "I don't want to give people false ideas that their parish is going to reopen."