CV NEWS FEED // The Archdiocese of Baltimore has moved into a new “discernment phase,” a period where church leaders will make decisions regarding consolidating and reorganizing the archdiocese.
The archdiocese has been in a phase of “listening and learning” for the past 18 months, which culminated in a Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on February 8. According to The Catholic Review, Archbishop William Lori said that parish and archdiocesan leaders will be making several new and difficult decisions in the next few months.
“He emphasized the need for unity and prayer, thanking those in attendance for their participation in the initiative and their ‘openness,’” The Catholic Review reported. “He said all things on the face of this earth are ‘subject to change,’ noting that change can be traumatic, but also healing.”
Auxiliary Bishop Bruce Lewandowski told The Catholic Review in an earlier interview that it’s “fitting” that the decision-making phase of reorganizing the diocese will occur during Lent.
“There is going to be some pain and sacrifice involved,” he said.
The reorganization initiative, called “Seek the City to Come,” began in fall 2022 and is divided into the “listening” phase, the “vision” phase, and the “discernment” phase. In the “vision” phase, which began in June 2023, the initiative held four workshops to help “bring the vision [for the future of the archdiocese] to life.”
According to The Catholic Review, archdiocesan leaders will establish a “model” for the future of the archdiocese in the next few months, and open the model for public feedback in late April. Lori hopes to release the final plan for the archdiocese in May.
“We’ve spent 18 months building a foundation,” Lewandowski told The Catholic Review. “It’s been a lot of hard work collecting data and information for a vision of the Church in Baltimore City. Now that we have the foundation, the next phase will tell us what the house is going to look like.”
“Some people are fearful and upset,” he continued, referring to the likelihood of closing some parishes. “If they weren’t, I’d be upset. This is hard. We are going to ask a lot of people, but this about the future of our church and building our ministry and a ministry with zeal. We want to position ourselves for growing the church. We are not leaving the city.”