Decline In Parishioners Leads To Parish Merger In Warwick

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — The Diocese of Providence announced plans Sunday to close a church in Warwick and consolidate parishes.

The diocese said the parish leadership at St. Benedict requested to merge with the St. Kevin parish and close the St. Benedict church building “due to a steady decline in the number of parishioners and sacramental activity resulting in a lack of parish community life.”

Rhode Island is one of the most heavily Catholic states. But the St. Benedict parish experienced declining attendance even before the pandemic and has shared one assigned priest with the St. Kevin parish since 2017. The parishes combined their religious education programs in 2020.

Bishop Thomas Tobin approved the parish merger, effective Nov. 17. Parishioners were informed of the decision at Masses this weekend.