Diocese of Peoria finalizes reorganization that will see mass consolidation of parishes

(WCBU. Tim Shelley).

The parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria will undergo a massive reorganization and consolidation through 2027, as the church grapples with falling attendance and a growing priest shortage.

Bishop Lou Tylka announced Saturday the diocese’s 156 individual parishes will become 75 parishes. Twelve parishes will merge into neighboring parishes, and another 107 will merge to create 38 new ones.

The Diocese covers 17,000 square miles across 26 Illinois counties. There are currently 145 active priests, but Tylka said that’s projected to fall below 100 within the next 10 years. Church attendance in the Diocese has fallen by nearly 50% over the past decade.

“The world we live in today presents many challenges for us to propose the Gospel in a compelling and impactful way. We cannot ignore the realities we face,” Tylka said in a video message. “However, we are full of hope as we trust the prompting of the Holy Spirit to engage in a new apostolic age of missionary discipleship.”

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