The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis plans to close 21 Catholic churches around the Twin Cities metro area and dozens more would share priests under a reorganization plan unveiled this weekend.
The biggest chunk of churches to close are in Minneapolis and St. Paul, with five parishes slated to close in each city. Churches are also slated to close in St. Louis Park, South St. Paul, New Prague, Hugo and several smaller communities. In addition to the 21 marked to close, several more are marked as potential closures.
Many more churches will be placed in “cluster” arrangements where one or more share a pastor, and may share some staff and programming.
Officials with the archdiocese, which serves about 800,000 Catholics across 12 counties, say the closings and clustering are necessary as the number of priests and churchgoers decline and the remaining populations of churchgoers shift geographically.