The most significant change concerns the merger with St. Terrence in Alsip, with Incarnation in Crestwood. St. Alexander’s Church and School will retain their current structure.
Over the past few months, the Feedback and Discernment Team, made up of representatives from each parish, has met to review and discuss parish, school, and church structures. Over the past few months, feedback and discernment teams from both clusters, made up of representatives from each parish, have come together to review and discern future parish, school, and church structures.
Feedback reports, including financial statements, parish and cluster trends, and other information, were submitted to the Archdiocese. Based on the reports, the following decisions were made:
- Incarnation and St. Terrence will unite into a new parish with two places of worship, a pastor and a pastoral team, starting July 1, 2022.
- Both churches will continue to host regular Masses and the pastor will determine Mass times in consultation with parish leaders.
- The Incarnation will serve as the parish church where the sacramental records of the united parish will be kept.
- The provisional name of the united parish will be Paroisse Incarnation et Saint-Terrence. The local community will discern possibilities for a new permanent parish name, within guidelines provided by the Archdiocese.
- The Reverend Arek Falana of the Incarnation, will be pastor of the united parish.
- St. Alexander Parish and School will retain their current structure.
According to a press release from the Archdiocese, uniting Incarnation and St. Terrence will better develop a cohesive pastoral plan for the Palos Heights, Crestwood and Alsip areas, while addressing the realities of the dwindling number of priests available to staff the parishes.
The use of the Incarnation and St. Terrence as places of worship allows for a continued physical presence in both communities, while providing parish leaders the opportunity to decide how best to use the spaces on each campus for the ministry and outreach.
The group will also promote Catholic education, with a preference for St. Alexander School in Palos Heights.
Parishes will continue to work on the next phases of Renew My Church.
In 2018, the parish primary school of Incarnation closed despite an outcry from parishioners, who had presented the archdiocese with a plan to merge Notre-Dame de la Ridge school with Incarnation.