PROVIDENCE — Two neighboring parishes which have long collaborated and shared a pastor, staff, programs, and resources will now be formally combined. After consulting the diocesan College of Consultors and the Council of Priests, Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of Providence, approved the request of the pastor and leadership of two parishes to merge Saint Madeleine Sophie Parish into Saint Catherine of Siena Parish effective January 24, 2023.
The two parishes — five miles apart — have shared one pastor since 2000, and since 2018 have run a combined religious education program at St. Catherine. As part of their collaboration, both parishes already share a finance director, a parish office secretary, a bulletin, and a website. All weekday and Holy Day Masses are already held at St. Catherine. The declining Mass attendance, sacramental practice, and parish viability of St. Madeleine Sophie Parish also contributed to the desire to merge the parishes into Saint Catherine of Siena Parish.
“I commend the pastor and leaders of the two parishes for their diligence and wisdom in bringing together the union of the two parishes,” said Bishop Tobin, “And I pray that, with God’s help, it will lead to a new commitment to evangelization and a vibrant spiritual life for all the members of the parish community.”
Father Stephan Silipigni, pastor of both parishes, shared the news with parishioners at Mass the weekend of January 7-8. Parish and sacramental records will be maintained at the St. Catherine of Siena Parish office.