The Chicago Archdiocese is bringing together bishops, priests, deacons, school principals, religion directors and other pastoral leaders for a two day retreat Oct. 1 and 2.
That’s when it is expected Cardinal Blase Cupich will expedite the consolidation process he’s calling Renew My Church.
This week, Cupich updated what will take place at the two day event at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. The letter to parishioners Cupich says Renew My Church is “another chapter in that proud heritage, as we call on our parishes to team up with each other as pastoral groupings to take up the challenges we face today with creativity and vigor.” That letter was published this week in the Chicago Catholic newspaper.
Multiple sources NBC 5 has spoken with say while the two day event suggests a collaborative process, the cardinal and his team know what tough financial decisions have to be made to balance the spiritual needs and the economic needs. Those sources predict the economics will drive the process.
A massive overhaul was announced more than two years ago, as only 240 priests are estimated to be available by 2030, with more than 350 parishes. Some parish closings and mergers have already begun. Chicago priests were told in 2016 that the Archdiocese may close anywhere between 80 to 100 parishes over the next 14 years.