The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, has accepted the recommendation of the pastoral and finance councils of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish in Campbell, Ohio, in determining the Saint John the Baptist campus as the parish’s one worship site, effective November 28, 2021 (the First Sunday of Advent). At that time, both Saint Lucy Church and Saint Joseph the Provider Church will be closed. A closing Mass will be scheduled at both churches in November. Additionally, the Palermo Banquet Center will remain open for the time being, so as to allow for continued fellowship and as a source of potential revenue for the parish.
The recommendation by the parish’s councils to choose Saint John the Baptist campus as the parish’s one worship site was communicated to Bishop Bonnar in an August 29, 2021 letter from Rev. James Korda. Father Korda had been appointed as special administrator of Christ the Good Shepherd in June, for the purpose of working with the parish’s councils to assess and strengthen parish viability in the face of an almost $850,000 debt. Additionally, Father Korda and the council members were charged with implementing the 2019 Pastoral Plan promulgated by the late Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., which called for one worship site for the City of Campbell, which had previously been recommended by parish leaders. The 2019 pastoral plan also called for regional planning throughout the diocese to foster parish vitality and ministry effectiveness. Bishop Bonnar visited the parish on August 15th to celebrate Holy Mass and strengthen parishioners as he awaited the recommendation of parish leaders.
Bishop Bonnar’s acceptance of the recommendation for the parish’s worship site came after consultation with the Diocese’s Presbyteral Council, and was communicated to parishioners on September 5, 2021. Bishop Bonnar noted that, “It is imperative that this matter be resolved for the good of the Church and that a Catholic community continues to exist in the City of Campbell. As your bishop, I am committed to Christ the Good Shepherd Parish, however, we have to live in reality and accept the fact that there can be only one worship site.” He continued, “I am grateful to Father Korda and all the members of the councils for the recommendation and their painstaking efforts.”
Christ the Good Shepherd Parish was created in 2012, out of a merger of four previous parishes in Campbell, Ohio. Bishop Bonnar said that, since the merger, parishioners “have worked hard to form community in the name of Jesus Christ” and that he was humbled by the commitment and dedication of its parishioners. He added, “While the work of becoming one is seldom easy, it does have a way of stretching us into a deeper experience of the Kingdom of God. It is my hope that you will continue to work together as brothers and sisters and joyfully testify to the light of Christ.”
For more information, please contact Very Rev. Msgr. Robert Siffrin, Vicar General, at (330) 744-8451
Attached, please find Bishop Bonnar’s letter to the faithful of Campbell.