The Catholic Diocese of Sioux City plans to begin consolidating 41 parishes during summer 2017.continue at Des Moines Register
The office unveiled a proposal Thursday that would reduce the number of the diocese’s parishes from 108 to 67, due to a shortage of priests and decreased Mass attendance.
In the last eight years, only 16 out the 108 parishes have grown, according to the Associated Press. Overall Mass attendance has dropped nearly 25 percent since 2008. [these numbers are from the AP or from the diocese?]
Parishes being consolidated will become oratories, meaning there will be no weekly worship services. An oratory will still be able to host a variety of social functions, such as prayer services, funerals and weddings. None of the buildings will close [yet] but oratories will be maintained by the parish receiving the worshippers of consolidated parishes.
Bishop Richard Pates of the Des Moines Diocese said the city and surrounding neighborhoods are not facing similar problems. In fact, he said, the Des Moines Catholic population has seen roughly 10 percent growth over the last few years.