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The nationwide trend of diocesan "restructuring,' merging and closing parishes, is coming soon to another archdiocese in the Midwest. Saint Louis' archbishop has set a deadline of May 28, 2023, for implementing the final decisions. The process is already underway. In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's William Mahoney has more on the plan the archbishop is calling "All Things New."
Abp. Mitchell Rozanski: "Jesus is calling on us to re-energize and reimagine our efforts in sharing His life as an example for all."
In a promotional video, Abp. Mitchell Rozanski claims Our Lord is behind the prelate's radical project in the St. Louis archdiocese.
Though he's been in St. Louis for less than 2 years, Rozanski's remodeling will impact the archdiocese indefinitely.
Abp. Mitchell Rozanski: "'All Things New' for this archdiocese is a major effort to help those already in the Church rediscover the great gift of our Catholic faith."
Like other dioceses following this trend, it's unclear in this one how consolidating parishes into clusters — and likely selling off church property — will better spread Catholicism.
The archdiocesan website devoted to the project offers nothing concrete. It promises: "A renewed Church. A renewed Mission. A vibrant future." A highly produced video offers an ambiguous overview packed with positive-sounding adjectives.
Narrator: "Let's lay the framework for our children and grandchildren to be part of a thriving, vibrant, wide-awake church that's again changing our city with the love of Christ every single day."
Rozanski brought baggage to the St. Louis archdiocese, where he was installed as archbishop in 2020.
He originally hails from Baltimore, where he began climbing as an auxiliary bishop, before being named the bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts in 2014.
From 2014 to 2017, Rozanski chaired the U.S. bishops' conference's Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.
In 2017, he endorsed the book Finding Jesus Among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic, calling it "an oasis of hope and a must-read by all who take seriously the need for dialogue."
Abp. Rozanski: "The model that fulfilled its mission in growing and evangelizing the Church during the last century is now falling short in critical ways."
Since the mission of the Church is to evangelize and not be evangelized, perhaps Rozanski meant to say "catechizing the faithful."
Abp. Rozanski: "We need our lay brothers and sisters to join us in our evangelistic efforts."
While busy reorganizing archdiocesan financial structures, Rozanski might consider reorganizing his theological lexicon.