The parishes of Saint John the Evangelist RC Church and SaintRocco RC Church in Sunset Park and Greenwood Heights have merged,forming the Parish of Saint John the Evangelist – St. Rocco.The merger took effect on June 30, after a little more than a monthof discussion by the pastors and other parish leaders, who formed acollaborative committee to establish the details of how to makethe transition, addressing everything from merging rosary groups toweighing the value of real estate assets and programs.For parishioners, the transition will begin relatively painlessly.Both church buildings will remain open as worship sites for all ofthe now shared parishioners, and all assets and obligationscurrently belonging to the aforementioned Parishes will betransferred to the new parish.Meanwhile, the parochial registers and seals will be kept in therectory of the Church of Saint John the Evangelist, at 250 21stStreet.The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is not involved in thetransition process beyond serving in an advisory role, said ShaneKavanaugh, a spokesperson for the Marino Organization, whichhandles Brooklyn Diocese communications. I assume that everythingis going according to plan since we have not heard from them, headded.The merger was decreed by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio on May 20 aspart of an ongoing effort by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklynto consolidate financial and human resources amid decliningattendance and funding rates throughout the borough.According to the results of Phase II of the diocese’s strategicplanning process, Christ Jesus Our Hope, St. John faceddeteriorating finances [and] increasing budget deficits, a 60percent decline in Mass attendance over the past 10 years, and anover 50 percent decline in sacramental celebrations in the pastdecade.The Parish of Saint John the Evangelist was first established in1849. The Parish of Saint Rocco was founded in 1902.
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