April 24, 2022 | Updated April 25, 2022 (See note)
SUBJECT: Worship Sites Confirmed for Our Lady of Peace Parish (Ashtabula) and St Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish (Warren); Assignments announced to support parish partnerships throughout the diocese
MORE INFO: Justin Huyck, Coordinator of Media Relations, (330) 744-8451, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The news release has been updated to make clear that July 1, 2022 refers to the effective date of priest retirements. The other effective dates referenced in the news release remain unchanged.
The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, has confirmed the worship site recommendations made by pastors at Our Lady of Peace (Ashtabula) and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Warren). The confirmations were announced to parishioners at weekend Masses on April 23 and 24, 2022.
At Our Lady of Peace Parish in Ashtabula, Bishop Bonnar confirmed the choice of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church as the parish’s primary worship site. Father Thomas comments, “This will allow the parish to be even more united as the Body of Christ.” Bishop Bonnar wrote to parishioners, noting, “I am grateful to Father Thomas for his leadership, and for [the parish’s] pastoral and finance councils as they have continued to discern the best path forward.”
All parish weekend Masses will now be held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, pending implementation by July 1, 2022. Mother of Sorrows Church and St. Joseph Church, Our Lady of Peace Parish’s two secondary sites, will continue to have times for designated prayer and be used for the celebration of Holy Mass at two times during the year. For the time being, funerals may also be celebrated at all three sites.
At St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Warren, which currently includes the church worship sites of St. James Church and Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church, Bishop Bonnar confirmed the choice of St. James Church as the parish’s worship site. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish shares a pastor, Rev. Christopher Cicero, with Blessed Sacrament Parish, also in Warren. Along with parishes throughout the diocese, the two parishes are working together to adjust their Mass schedule in light of the imminent reality of fewer priests, with one new priest being ordained this year, and nine priest retirements that are effective July 1, 2022.
According to church law, each priest is not permitted to celebrate more than three Masses on the weekend. With a shared pastor, Blessed Sacrament Parish will have two weekend Masses (at Blessed Sacrament Church) and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish will have one weekend Mass (at St. James Church), pending final implementation by June 1, 2022.
Bishop Bonnar wrote to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishioners, thanking them for working in partnership with Blessed Sacrament, especially in responding to the recent fire at that parish. Bonnar wrote, “Your spirit of sharing and communion is the best way for the Church to adapt to changing circumstances. It is also a reminder that Church is more than bricks and mortar. It is people uniting to proclaim the joy of the Gospel.”
Throughout the diocese on April 23 and 24, Bishop Bonnar also announced various clergy and personnel assignments that involve collaboration among parishes, with priests serving multiple parishes. They can be found at https://doy.org/clergy-official-april-22-2022/