Friday, May 6, 2011
Members of Immaculate Conception Try to Save Wellsville Parish
Some members of the Immaculate Conception Church family are banding together in a “Save Our Parish” effort. The Wellsville Catholic church in all likelihood is going to be shuttered and consolidated with St. Aloysius in East Liverpool. It was announced over a year ago by officials of the Youngstown Diocese that it will be restructuring the diocese and consolidating many parishes.
At that time Bishop George Murry said a decision would be announced May 23, 2010. Since then it's been nothing but silence on any decision about Wellsville's historic parish. Some think it is a poor job of communication from the Youngstown officials. Others have decided to make a concentrated effort to persuade those officials to reconsider. Some have been working on that for over a year. Some remarked that just because most of the Wellsville parishioners are older doesn't mean we're dead. It was collectively decided to make an earnest effort to “Save Our Parish”.
This week an informal meeting was held in the home of one parishioner to gauge the feelings and wishes on how to proceed. About 30 to 40 parishioners attended and decided to actively petition the Bishop to reconsider any decision to close Immaculate Conception. Many of those attending that meeting have been life long members of the Wellsville church. It is with great sadness for many that the Diocese would turn their back on the Wellsville parishioners.
The main reason for consolidating the parish is the lack of priests. The Diocese said many of the Pastors are reaching retirement age and the shortage is going to get worse. On the other hand many of the Wellsville parishioners are getting on in years. One very big objection to closing their hometown church is the lack of parking at the East Liverpool church. It was noted at that meeting you have to get to East Liverpool very early in hopes to find a parking space anywhere close to the church. The only parking available at St. Aloysius is on the street. In Wellsville there is ample parking in their well maintained parking lot. One parishioner remarked he could arrive three minutes before services begin and still be in church on time.
The next step being taken is a meeting Monday evening, May 9, at Wellsville's Sons of Italy lodge. The meeting will begin at 7 PM and is open to anyone interested in Immaculate Conception, whether you're a member or not. The SOI is located at 357 Main St. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future of Wellsville's Immaculate Conception Church. The public is invited.
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