Archdiocese announces church mergers, St. Hubert Church affected
Published 9:15 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023
On Sunday, the Archbishop of New Orleans, Gregory Aymond revealed a major restructuring plan for the Catholic parishes in the Greater New Orleans area.
By July 2024, the number of parishes will decrease from 13 to just five, leading to a significant shift in the places of worship for many local Catholics within the next year.
In two cases, the parish territory will be merged into neighboring parishes. One of these territories is St. Hubert Church in Garyville, which will be merged into St. Peter in Reserve.
Due to the commitment of parishioners to financially sustain the church building as well as the desire to have a Catholic presence in that area of St. John the Baptist Parish, St. Hubert will remain open as a non-parochial church with one Mass on weekends.
According to the message from Aymond, “St. Hubert Parish in Garyville has experienced a decline in pastoral programming and sacramental statistics, along with some financial uncertainties.”
This comes after the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2020, primarily as a result of numerous clergy abuse claims that led to legal expenses in the millions.
However, Aymond attributed the financial challenges faced by some parishes to factors beyond their control, such as natural disasters like Hurricane Ida, the impact of the COVID pandemic, inflation, and rising insurance costs.
The archdiocese began evaluating each church when the process began more than a year ago.
“There is no doubt that our parishes, in fact our entire area, have been affected by many factors out of our control. Natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes over the past decade, the COVID pandemic, the challenges of Hurricane Ida recovery, inflation, and sky-rocketing property insurance rates impact our church communities just as they impact our families and our businesses,” Aymond said. “These are not issues we can ignore in prudent pastoral planning.”
For some, the decision means saying goodbye to a place close to their heart.
“Let us be clear and honest that these are difficult and painful decisions for everyone involved,” Aymond said.
The full list of mergers and closures visit: nolacatholic.org/parishpastoralplanning