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Two Manhattan Merger Decrees to Be Reissued

Cardinal Dolan this week plans to revoke the original decrees for the mergers of two sets of Manhattan parishes and then issue new decrees with revised parish boundaries before reissuing the decrees merging the parishes.

The parishes, which originally merged last summer under the Making All Things New pastoral planning process, are St. John the Evangelist-Our Lady of Peace and St. Monica’s-St. Elizabeth of Hungary-St. Stephen of Hungary.

The Vatican Congregation for the Clergy, which oversees parish mergers, notified the archdiocese that it should have redrawn the parish boundaries before the mergers were put into effect, not afterward, as the archdiocese had planned.

“They are not undoing the merger. Procedurally, we did things out of order,” Joseph Zwilling, archdiocesan spokesman, told CNY.

Our Lady of Peace and St. Elizabeth of Hungary were originally established as national parishes serving particular ethnic groups. St. John the Evangelist and St. Monica’s are territorial parishes with specific geographic boundaries.

Zwilling noted that the change in the parish boundaries of St. John the Evangelist and St. Monica's would slightly affect the boundaries of three other Manhattan parishes: St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Ignatius of Loyola.

The new merger decrees will be published on the archdiocesan website,, and letters publicizing the new changes will be read at Masses at St. Monica’s and St. John the Evangelist churches this weekend.


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