Parishes to merge, Holy Family Church building to remain open

Parishes to merge, Holy Family Church building to remain open

Holy Family Church, at 414 South Main St., Woonsocket, will remain open for liturgical celebrations.

WOONSOCKET – Holy Family Parish, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish and Sacred Heart Parish will merge officially to form the new Holy Trinity Parish effective July 1, the Diocese of Providence announced Monday.

The new parish will be based out of the Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church building at Park Square, with Father Daniel Sweet, who currently serves as pastor of all three parishes, serving as its pastor. Sacred Heart Church will close permanently, while Holy Family Church will remain open for liturgical celebrations. The sacramental records for all three parishes will be maintained at Holy Trinity Rectory, 1409 Park Ave.

Members of the parishes told The Breeze the continued use of the Holy Family Church building will likely be temporary, with the building expected to close in another year or so. During the merger process, representatives of Holy Family Parish had asked diocesan officials to delay closing the church building and reassess the merge plan after a set period of time.

According to the Diocese, the merge comes in response to a decline in sacramental practices and increasing financial challenges at the three parishes. Last year, the parishes decided to consolidate staff and resources and to combine their Faith Formation Program.

“The merger of the three parishes in Woonsocket marks a hopeful new beginning. I pray that it will inspire the parishioners to come together in a unified family of faith to strengthen the life of the church. I commend Father Sweet and the members of the new parish for their generosity and patience in the consultative process that has led to this decision,” Bishop Thomas Tobin said in a statement.

Sacred Heart Parish was established in 1895 to serve Catholics in northern Woonsocket. Holy Family Parish was established in 1902 to serve the French-Canadian Catholic population the Woonsocket area. Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish was established in 1953 to serve Catholics in the southern part of Woonsocket.

Parishioners were notified of the changes at Masses this past weekend.