The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has announced new parish collaborations for some area churches.

This is part of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan that former Bishop George Murry put in place.

The parishes in these new collaborative units will share priests and other personnel.

The parishes include:

  • Holy Family in Poland and St. Paul in New Middletown, effective May 1,
  • Youngstown St. Angela and St. Patrick are partnered with Christ the Good Shepherd in Campbell, effective May 1,
  • Struthers Christ Our Savior will be working with Lowellville's Holy Rosary., Effective July 1.

These changes are part of a larger plan for the six-county diocese that resulted in several changes aimed at developing effective ministries and support missionary activity.

Some of the criteria that went into creating this plan included number of parishioners, arish finances, population shifts in the region and more, according to a news release from the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.

As a result of the pastoral plan, almost all of the diocese's 80 parishes are now part of a collaborative unit or exist as a multi-site parish.

"Even when parishes have their own identity, parish partnerships remind us that we all share in a common mission as the Church and help us be intentional
about staffing our parishes and responding to the shortage of priests," Bishop David Bonnar said in the release.  "We have come a long way on the diocesan pastoral plan, and we will make refinements and additional steps as needed."