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The final masses were held Sunday at Cristo Rey Parish, 801 College Ave., including a packed 10:30 a.m. Mass attended by Cristo Rey parishioners and some from St. Patrick’s Church, 1100 Erie St., with whose congregation Cristo Rey is being merged.
Next Sunday will conclude the yearlong process of the merger, when Cristo Rey parishioners will march from their church building and make their way to St. Patrick’s, where they will be welcomed by Archbishop Jerome Listecki, the spiritual leader of the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
It will also mark coming full circle for Cristo Rey, which was born out of St. Patrick’s. Eloy Contreras, parish council president for Cristo Rey, said that due in part to feeling, at times, unwelcome at St. Patrick’s, which in the late 1970s only had a small Hispanic membership, congregants there went about setting up a spiritual Hispanic community center across Douglas Avenue from St. Patrick’s. In 1979, a new parish was formed, first holding Masses at St. Patrick’s before acquiring and moving to the former St. Mary’s Church in 1983. When members left for their new church, a symbolic procession took place, Contreras said. Next Sunday’s procession will be a spiritual homecoming, Contreras said.