The Philadelphia Archdiocese has released the names of 46 more parishes that it will review and potentially merge or close. It’s all part of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative, a process that the Archdiocese says is “designed to allow groups of parishes known as Pastoral Planning Areas (PPAs) within the same geographic area to undertake a program of self-study.”

The Archdiocese first announced the process back in 2010 and called on all parishes to determine if they had the resources necessary to “accomplish their roles in the mission of Christ while remaining sustainable and vibrant faith communities.”

The first round of the Catholic Church’s review process ended with 30 parishes either merging or closing, bringing the total number of parishes in the Philly Archdiocese down to 236. The announcement of the new list has left some local parishioners with an uneasy feeling.

“I have no faith in it,” said Carol Ann Houmeidan, who attends Holy Spirit Catholic Church, one of the parishes named in the new list. “I do believe it’s gonna be closed. It’s just a matter of time.”

The iconic Saint Monica in South Philadelphia is also on the list. Yet with its standing-room only attendance, parishioners say a smaller parish would likely merge into theirs.

“We’ve seen an influx of people coming into the parish within the last five years, with different parishes closing down,” said Perry Dimatteo, one of the parishioners.

Archdiocese officials say the decision to close or merge a church is based on several factors, including demographic shifts, mass attendance, financial health and proximity to other parishes. The officials also say schools will not be impacted.

“You always have that doubt in the back of your mind,” said Marie Hamilton, who attends Saint Richard, another parish on the list.

Officials say the review process will take several months with the first round of announcements expected in the Spring.

Here is the full list of parishes under review:

Delaware County

Holy Spirit, Sharon Hill

Sacred Heart, Clifton Heights

Saint Eugene, Primos

Saint Joseph, Collingdale

Our Lady of Fatima, Secane   

Our Lady of Peace, Milmont Park   

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton   

Saint Gabriel, Norwood   

Saint George, Glenolden   

Saint Madeline, Ridley Park   

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Tinicum   

Saint Rose of Lima, Eddystone   

Notre Dame de Lourdes, Swarthmore   

Montgomery County

Mother of Divine Providence, King of Prussia

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Bridgeport

Sacred Heart, Swedesburg

Saints Cosmas and Damian, Conshohocken

Saint Augustine, Bridgeport

Saint Gertrude, West Conshohocken

Saint Mary, Conshohocken

Saint Matthew, Conshohocken

Queen of Peace, Ardsley

Saint David, Willow Grove

Saint John of the Cross, Roslyn

Saint Luke the Evangelist, Glenside


Holy Spirit, South Philadelphia

Saint Charles Borromeo, South Philadelphia     

Saint Edmond, South Philadelphia

Saint Gabriel, South Philadelphia

Saint Monica, South Philadelphia

Saint Richard, South Philadelphia

Saint Rita of Cascia, South Philadelphia

Saint Thomas Aquinas, South Philadelphia

Lower Bucks County

Our Lady of Fatima, Bensalem

Saint Ann, Bristol

Saint Charles Borromeo, Bensalem

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Bensalem

Saint Ephrem, Bensalem

Saint Mark, Bristol

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Croydon

Immaculate Conception BVM, Levittown

Our Lady of Grace, Penndel

Queen of the Universe, Levittown

Saint Frances Cabrini, Fairless Hills

Saint Joseph the Worker, Fallsington

Saint Michael the Archangel, Levittown


Photo Credit: NBC10.com

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