New Southbridge Parish Honors Former Pope

The Roman Catholic congregation created by the merger of three Southbridge parishes has been named in honor of former Pope John Paul II.

Worcester Bishop Robert McManus issued a decree naming the parish after the former pontiff. The parish was created by the merger of Notre Dame of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Mary and St. Hedwig.

Notre Dame will serve as the central place of worship when the merger becomes official July 1. St. Mary pastor the Rev. Peter Joyce will lead the new parish.

The parishes were combined as part of the diocese's reorganization plan to address a priest shortage, changing demographics and dwindling financial resources.

The diocese also announced that it would reassign more two dozen priests next month to deal with retirements and new ordinations.

This program aired on June 27, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


More from WBUR

Listen Live