Bishop Conlon Resource April 08

Diocese of Steubenville
Decree of Promulgation
A Resource for the Preparation of Liturgies at the Time of the Closing of a Parish


The Office of Worship of the Diocese of Steubenville has prepared a document, “A Resource for the Preparation of Liturgies at the Time of the Closing of a Parish” for use in our diocese. I hereby promulgate this document and order its publication electronically to all the clergy of our diocese on this date. Printed copies are to be available at the Office of Worship. The “Resource” will be in force on May 4, the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord.
Eventually there will be a companion document that will address other issues involved in the closing of parishes, such as welcoming parishioners into a new parish, disposition of the property of a closing parish and other administrative matters. 
Closing of any parish is a very painful moment. It is truly an experience of loss, almost like death.  The liturgical cycle of the Church seems a fitting context to put this new document into circulation. It is being promulgated it on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the day our Lord Jesus came into this world, and taking effect on the Solemnity of the Ascension, the day Our Lord left this world to return to the Father. The Lord’s presence on earth for only a time reminds us that parishes, as valuable as they are in our life of faith, are also only for a time. Just as Our Lord’s earthly life served an eternal purpose, so human institutions like parishes serve ultimately a divine purpose.   They help us on our path to heaven.
I am grateful to Monsignor Thomas Petronek and the Diocesan Liturgical Commission for their work in preparing, “A Resource for the Preparation of Liturgies at the Time of the Closing of a Parish”. It is expected that this resource will be used whenever a parish closes in the Diocese of Steubenville. It is my hope that this resource will help people in that circumstance to experience the grace that God offers in a difficult time.
Given at the chancery in Steubenville, Ohio this thirty-first day of March in the Year of Our Lord, 2008, the Solemnity of the Annunciation.
Most Reverend R. Daniel Conlon
Bishop of Steubenville
Mrs. Linda A. Nichols