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The Associated PressDecember 06, 2021
Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati celebrates Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati Aug. 15, 2020.Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati celebrates Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati Aug. 15, 2020. (CNS photo/courtesy The Catholic Telegraph)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati’s archdiocese has unveiled a final restructuring plan to consolidate its churches and schools that serve nearly half a million Roman Catholics in 19 counties.

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr on Sunday announced the program, known as Beacons of Light, in which 208 parishes will be transformed into 57 “families of parishes” that will share priests and facilities starting next year.

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr on Sunday announced the program, known as Beacons of Light, in which 208 parishes will be transformed into 57 “families of parishes” that will share priests and facilities starting next year.

The plan could result in the possible shutdown of churches and schools as the archdiocese responds to a decline in the number of priests and a shift in parishioners.

In a recorded message, Archbishop Schnurr told his flock the changes would “enable us to form stronger parishes.”

The plan was first presented in October and was revised after the archdiocese heard from priests and parishioners.

Under the plan, new parish councils will be created and pastors will be appointed in February and March. The pastors and councils will then determine which churches will celebrate Mass.

“The work of the church is never complete,” Archbishop Schnurr said.

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