Decree of Suppression

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May 19, 2011

According to canon 515.2 of the Code of Canon Law, “The diocesan bishop alone is competent to erect, suppress, or alter parishes…” The Second Vatican Council, in its Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, Christus Dominus, number 32, teaches that in creating or in any way changing the status of a parish, the bishop is to be motivated by his concern for the salvation of souls.

On November 1, 2008, Sacred Heart Parish, Lakeville, Indiana, and Saint Jude Parish, South Bend, Indiana, were merged by decree in accordance with canon 121 to form Saint Catherine of Siena Parish.

The main reason for the merger was to provide a more equitable distribution of priests, to foster the spiritual well-being of all concerned, and to bring about a more vital parish community with a stronger parish life. It was also foreseen that this would make possible serious consideration for a new church in the merged parishes.

Since the merger, the communities have worked together in joint pastoral activity under a single pastor, assisted by a parochial vicar. Study has shown that the building of a new church is not financially feasible for Saint Catherine of Siena parish. The two communities of the parish favor the continued use of the two present churches.

Given the fact that Sacred Heart of Jesus church and Saint Jude church will continue in use and that it is foreseen that it will remain possible to provide two priests to serve the two communities, the pastor, with the support of the great majority of parishioners, has requested the re-establishment of Saint Jude Parish and Sacred Heart Parish. The large majority of parishioners prefer the former titles.

Having received this recommendation, on May 11, 2011, I consulted the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in accordance with canon 515.2. The Council expressed its unanimous support for the suppression of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish and the re-erection of Saint Jude and Sacred Heart Parishes.

Therefore, after careful consideration of the advice of the Presbyteral Council as well as the input of the pastor of the parish and the various members of the parish community, I decree the following:

I, the undersigned Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, in virtue of my pastoral office and in conformity with the Code of Canon Law, after consultation with the Presbyteral Council in accord with the norm of law, as well as with various members of the parish community, do hereby decree that Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, South Bend-Lakeville is suppressed and that Sacred Heart Parish, Lakeville, Indiana, and Saint Jude Parish, South Bend, Indiana, are erected as parishes, effective June 1, 2011. These parishes are to return to the boundaries which they held before the merger.

I encourage the continued close collaboration between the communities of the newly erected parishes in the areas of pastoral activity, including the support of Saint Jude School, catechesis, and faith formation. Working together strengthens both parishes in their mission.

I also hereby appoint Father John Delaney, former pastor of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, as pastor of Saint Jude Parish, South Bend, and as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Lakeville, effective June 1, 2011.

Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend

Reverend Monsignor Robert Schulte