New Mass, confession schedules coming in Diocese of Pittsburgh

Friday, August 03, 2018 - Updated: 10:09 am

By Bob De Witt Correspondent

New schedules for parish Masses and confessions have been approved and will be announced in a few weeks. The schedules go into effect Monday, Oct. 15, as part of the diocese’s On Mission for The Church Alive! planning initiative.

The weekend and weekday Mass and confession schedules, which are considered to be interim, will be released by early September and promoted through the Oct. 15 effective date.

The interim schedules were created by the incoming clergy teams to best meet the needs of all parish groupings, in consultation with current pastors and the diocese’s four regional episcopal vicars.

Scheduling is largely based on six considerations:

• Adherence to a maximum of three weekend Masses per priest assigned to a grouping of parishes, per canonical guidelines.

• Need for adequate travel time between Masses for priests.

• Attendance trends for current Mass schedules.

• Seating capacity of churches.

• Religious education schedules.

• Pastoral needs of groupings.

The interim parish Mass and confession schedules will be posted in each grouping’s churches and other buildings, parish bulletins, parish websites, social media and the diocesan website. The schedules also will be communicated via parishes’ best platforms, including e-mail and other digital communications.

On Sept. 7, the Pittsburgh Catholic will publish a complete list of the interim Mass and confession schedules for every grouping. The issue will be mailed to every registered Catholic household.

New clergy teams, which begin their assignments Oct. 15, will gather feedback on the new schedules within six months after they are implemented.

Bishop David Zubik has placed the diocese’s 188 parishes into 57 groupings that will eventually become new parishes. No church closings are part of this phase of the initiative.

Every parish grouping has been assigned a timeline category for the creation of a new parish. Groupings in Category A will complete the process by the end of 2020. Those in Category B will have until December 2021 to form a new parish. Groupings in Category C will come together by the end of 2023.

After determining the needs of each grouping, clergy and lay leaders will recommend to Bishop Zubik which church buildings, ministries and staffing will best serve the new parish.

The goal of On Mission for The Church Alive! is to offer a deeper relationship with Jesus and the Catholic Church to practicing and inactive Catholics, as well as those who have never been baptized.

On Mission invites all Catholics to envision how parishes, schools and ministries can best respond to the changes in their communities and increase participation in the life of the church, boldly proclaiming Christ in word and action.

To learn more, visit OnMissionChurchAlive.org.

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