Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, of the Archdiocese of Hartford, has granted permission to implement a planning process for the eventual merger of Sacred Heart Parish in Southbury and St. John of the Cross Parish in Middlebury. The anticipated retirement of Monsignor Joseph Donnelly from Sacred Heart in June 2021 and the ongoing pastoral plan to restructure and consolidate the two parishes presented the opportunity to begin a process to create a new faith community to best serve parish members and the local community.
This merger is the result of ongoing restructuring that will ultimately strengthen parish communities throughout the Archdiocese positioning them for future growth and sustainability. It is hoped that the result will be revitalized parishes throughout the Archdiocese that are better equipped to meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of future generations. The recommendations and resulting mergers are an outcome of the Archdiocesan-wide Pastoral Planning initiative, which began in 2017.
Reverend Lawrence Symolon Pastor of St. John of the Cross will become the pastor of the new faith community. A transition team with members from both parishes has been established to begin this process and over several months will work with parish staff and parishioners from strategic committees to work thoughtfully and responsibly in building the new parish community with campus locations in both towns. The process is designed to be as collaborative and consultative as possible. The Archdiocese will provide ongoing guidance and support during the transition process.
Transition Team Members: Monsignor Joseph Donnelly, Reverend Lawrence Symolon, Deacon Michael Walsh, Sr. Pat Torre, DW, Ami Conlan, Karen Capodanno, Joseph Connolly, Elizabeth DePalma, Robert Loiseau, and Annette Williams are available for conversations and questions as the process unfolds. Updates will be available through parish websites, bulletins and other media outlets.