Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., Bishop of Youngstown, has accepted an offer from Summit Academy to purchase the property at St. Pius X Church in Warren for $705,000. After extensive discussion, the Pastoral and Finance Councils of Blessed John Paul II Parish asked the bishop to make the final decision whether or not to sell the church building, school building and three garages to Summit Academy.
St. Pius X Church was merged with St. Joseph Church and Christ Our King Church in Warren on August 1, 2011 with the new name, Blessed John Paul II Parish. Christ Our King Church has since closed. The merger was part of the Diocese of Youngstown Parish Reconfiguration Plan, which began in May, 2010.
Bishop Murry said that his decision was made after extensive consultation with the Priests Council, members of the parish leadership team and parishioners. It was based on what he and his advisors believe to be in the best interest of the parish as a whole, not what is best for one section of the parish.
By accepting the offer from Summit Academy, three important goals will be accomplished: (1) The parish debt of more than $500,000 will be eliminated. If the church remained open, repairs and renovations would have cost between $450,000-$650,000. (2) The new parish will be able to begin with savings in the bank. (3) Social outreach and religious education ministries will be maintained at both the St. Pius X and St. Joseph sites through an arrangement with Summit Academy.
In a letter to parishioners this past weekend, Bishop Murry thanked all those who took the time to share thoughts, prayers and ideas about the merger. Bishop Murry stated: “I understand that this decision will be difficult for some to accept. I am sorry that demographic changes in our area, economic problems and a shortage of priests have led to a reconfiguring of our ministries. Please know that these changes have not been initiated to weaken our diocese but, on the contrary, to make us stronger as we move into the future. By combining our pastoral resources and becoming financially solvent, we place ourselves in the best position to carry the Good News of Jesus Christ to the broadest audiences. Therefore, I pray that you will give the new parish your support in order for it to succeed.”
A date for the closing of the St. Pius X site will be determined after consultation with Summit Academy.
For more information contact Father Nicholas Shori, Director of Parish Planning implementation, at 330-744-8451.