PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Diocese says church consolidations are creating two new parishes, in York and Hancock counties. The Catholic diocese says the consolidations took effect as of the first of the year.
In southern Maine, parishes in South Berwick, York and Kittery are merging to form the Parish of the Ascension of the Lord.
Since 2006, according to the Diocese, the geographic area which makes up the Parish of the Ascension of the Lord has shared the services of two priests and one deacon and that will remain the same along with the number of Masses. The parish pastoral council will examine and possibly redefine its ministries (family and youth ministries, religious education programs, etc.) now that the parish is larger.
On Mount Desert Island, Holy Redeemer Parish, Bar Harbor, and St. Ignatius Parish, Northeast Harbor, are merging into a single parish with the new name Parish of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The Rev. John O’Hara, formerly the pastor of Holy Redeemer, has been named administrator of the new parish. Deacon Joseph LaPlante also serves this parish.
The mergers are part of the diocesan plan to strengthen the church’s evangelical mission while having fewer priests.