The Syracuse Diocese has announced the unification of two local parishes in Oneida County to form a new parish, with a new name. Some could see this come, but the news will be shocking for some.

Syracuse Diocese Bishop Douglas Lucia has announced the acceptance of the recommendation to unite Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Utica and Our Lady of the Rosary in Utica. The new name of the combined parish moving forward will be "Mary, Mother of Our Savior Parish." The bishop believes this is the perfect new name to go along with the theological backgrounds contained in the names of both parishes currently.

For the last 4 years the two parishes have been under the leadership of the same pastor, Rev. Joseph Salerno. During that time they have been canonically linked, but representatives of the two parishes have been meeting for the past several months to create a smooth transition to the formation of this new parish. The diocese has announced that Fr. Joe will continue to be the pastor of Mary, Mother of Our Savior Parish and both parish buildings will remain in place, but administration from the two churches will be combined in the fall. Fr. Salerno made the announcement to parishioners during masses this past weekend.

The diocese has directed the public to call Fr. Joe or Danielle Cummings with any questions. You can call Fr. Joe at 315-724-3155 an Danielle at 315-470-1476. Financial hardship has plagued the Catholic Church even before the COVID-19 Pandemic put the stranglehold on communities.

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