Guardian Angels Catholic Church is not significantly affected by the Archdiocese of Detroit plan of closures and consolidations, announced Monday. But there is a recommendation that the church seek "collaboration partners" among two other nearby parishes.
The plan directs Guardian Angels, along with National Shrine of the Little Flower and St. Mary Catholic Church, both in Royal Oak, to "identify collaboration partnerships" to be submitted no later than June 30. These should include plans for temporarily clustering churches, should a need emerge. "In this way, the pastors and parishes will have already developed relationships, even though this would be a short term, temporary cluster in the event of an emergency vacancy of a pastorate," the plan on the archdiocese website reads.
Detroit Catholic Archbishop Allen Vigneron released the plan, which would see at least 38 parishes merged or reduced to 18 parishes by 2016. He noted that a newly merged parish may retain two or three churches.
The plan, while it leaves Guardian Angels mostly unaffected, does impact several nearby parishes that have been ordered to cluster or merge.
The plan calls for St. Dennis in Royal Oak to merge with St. Vincent Ferrer in Madison Heights, St. Mary Magdalen in Hazel Park and St. Justin in Hazel Park, with the eventual merger to take place by the end of 2014.
It also calls for St. James Catholic Church in Ferndale and Our Lady of Fatima to develop plans by June 30 to form a cluster, and then to merge within one year. The merged parish will then form a cluster with Our Lady of La Salette in Berkley.
According to the archdiocese, parishes which cluster share a single pastor, but maintain independent finances and have separate parish councils.
When parishes merge, two parishes form a single parish with a single pastor, combining both their finances and parish councils. Also, fewer worship sites may result.
The reorganization plan from the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council mirrors the initial plan for parishes proposed in November.