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New mass times, priest reassignments begin for parishes in Diocese of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — Big changes for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh begin Monday.

Church leaders decided they needed to address a declining number of priests and churchgoers so they came up with a plan to combine the church's 188 parishes into 57 groupings.

Those groupings will eventually merge between 2020 and 2023.  For now, they’re being lumped together with new mass schedules and schedules for confession and religious education.

That includes changes to the mass schedule for Saint Athanasius Church in West View. Monday mass used to be at 8 a.m., but now 7 a.m. is the only option.


Leaders said the reason for the restructuring is a decline in both churchgoers and priests.  Parishioners say they understand the decision even though they wish it didn't have to come to this.

“It's difficult because we're all interested in our own churches and what we did before. We want to keep doing and it's not going to happen. We know that the change is here so we just have to live with it," parishioner Barbara Scholle said.

Over the coming months, each parish will recommend plans for the merger.

You can find a full list of the changes on the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh's website.