Readers: PARISH MERGER consultation!

In the past – quite a long time ago now, actually – I wrote some short stories about a fictional place with the parishes, in this deanery at least, of St. Ipsidipsy (in Tall Tree Circle), St. Fidelia (in Benedictburg), St. Ineffabilis (in Trauttown olim St. Idealia), and expanding with urban sprawl, St. Abusiva (in Rogerville).

It may be necessary to merge some parishes in the diocese in a long program and study called Omnia Mea Tua.  Of course St. Fidelia doesn’t have a problem because of their fidelity to the Magisterium and chin-out approach of the pastor there.  But these other, iffy places… well….

His Excellency the local bishop (Diocese of Black Duck) is considering name suggestion for the new parish and needs community input, dialogue… you know… feedback, and all that.

As you know, the churches keep their own names, which can’t be changed except with permission of Rome.  The new parish on the other hand, can have some new-fangled name.  You know by know how these things work, probably through hard experience.  There is a long study, with an ominous… er um.. nurturing name to distract people from the fact that their parish is about to be nuked, and then the whole thing is renamed with some generic sounding title.

The existing parish committees have offered a few names via the Dean, including:

  • Jesus Happy Lamb And Friend (… Catholic Community)
  • Jesus The Helper
  • Sing A New Community Into Being
  • Engendering Togetherness
  • Welcoming Hug Ministry
  • and … I AM There For You

The young priest who will be the pastor of the combined parish, and we are not quite sure how many communities will have to be merged, has indicated the new direction the new “community” might take by proposing a few new names of his own, including:

  • King of Fearful Majesty (… Catholic Community)
  • Loaded Down With Opprobrium
  • Holy Mary Virgin of Virgins
  • Summorum Pontificum
  • Mary Mournful Mother Weeping
  • and… My Fault My Fault My Most Grievous Fault

His Excellency may be open to a few new names, after which there could be a poll.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. frsbr says:

    The parish of St. John the Beloved at the Foot of the Cross of Christ Crucified, Pierced with a Lance, Bleeding.

  2. Incaelo says:

    Well, we’re just getting that process started in the diocese I live in, a diocese with few Catholics and even fewer priests, but many lay pastoral workers. It should definitley be interesting to see the whole naming process of the 19 new pariches which’ll be created between now and the start of 2018.

  3. aladextra says:

    I suggest eithe Our Lady, Hammer of Heretics, or St. John the Moorslayer.

  4. APX says:

    Oooh!! I like Engendering Togetherness and Mary Mournful Mother Weeping.

  5. Rosevean says:

    My non-Catholic husband suggests DunRomin’.

    I like frsbr’s suggestion :o)

  6. jilly4ski says:

    Lol, reminds me of the story about how my hometown parish got its name. Brand new church with a charismatic community and an inspiring priest to lead them. Fr. Sing and Praise wanted to name the Church “Spirit of Christ” to reflect the communities strong ties to the Holy Spirit (or something like that). Lo and behold, the Lutheran church down the road had the same name. His Excellency, the bishop of the diocese, when presented with this problem decided to remind the happy clappy congregation of its ties to the diocese (and thus the bishop), and gave the parish the same name as the Cathedral and Archdiocese.

    Thus the parish forever prays for the intersession of Saint Paul. (Which the new priest and younger generation greatly appreciates).

  7. PhillipE says:

    How about O My Jesus, Forgive Us Our Sins, Save Us From The Fires Of Hell Parish?

  8. Gladiolus says:

    So, it sounds like you visited our diocese last time you came over to the UK! Of course, I realise that you had to change some of the details – for example, we no longer have deans or deaneries and most of the new merged super-parishes have been stuck with the geographical names that have been applied to the “Pastoral Areas”. Thankfully some are now going through exactly the process you describe of trying to find a new name, and unlike the poor people of Black Duck Diocese, are choosing local saints and martyrs.
    So my vote would be for a moment of sanity as they suddenly realise just how much has been imposed on them… and choose St Elizabeth Ann Seton.

  9. Elizabeth D says:

    more parish council names:
    God the Sheltering Mother Hen
    Community of St Therese the Priest
    Forgiving Savior of All
    Bloodline of Christ Catholic Parish of Saint Mary Magdalene
    Blessed Julian of Norwich
    Saint Francis of Assisi Community of Tolerance and Affirmation

    Young pastor suggestions:
    Most Blessed Savior Wounded for Our Offenses
    Our Lady of the Council of Trent
    Confessions 45 Minutes Before Every Mass Catholic Community
    Saints Nunilo and Alodia [OOHRAH!]
    Most Chaste Virgin Mary of the Snows, Help of Christians
    Saint Bruno the Carthusian
    St Francis of Assisi Community of Ascesis, Prayer and Works of Mercy

  10. Steven says:

    Holy Innocents Catholic Church
    Our Lady of Sorrows

  11. TNCath says:

    My choices are “Our Lady of the Forgotten Tabernacle Veil,” “Holy Martyrs Who Wore the Maniple,” “Precious Blood Covered with a Pall,” and “St. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus.”

    However, Sister Euphemia Joseph, who has resumed her baptismal name in the “Spirit of Vatican II” and is now known as Sister Lil Milktoast, suggests the following: “All are Welcome in This Place,” “We Are Church,” Our Lady of Perpetual Giftedness, “Most Holy Dialogue,” and “Holy Puppets of Jesus and Mary.”

  12. ChrisWhittle says:

    If 2 parishes are going to merge, and use one church building, the existing name of the parish church should be the name of the parish. Laypeople shouldn’t be renaming parishes; that’s the bishop’s job. Some Catholic houses of worship aren’t even called “parish churches” anymore, instead they are “meetinghouses”, “assemblies”, “faith communities”, and you name it. Elizabeth D. has Blessed Julian of Norwich on the “Parish Council list”, although Julian is venerated in the Pre-Vatican II liturgy.

  13. amichel says:

    I’d love to see a parish named Arma Christi, or one that somehow honored Jesus as the “man of sorrows” prophesied by Isaiah.

  14. Elizabeth D says:

    Julian of Norwich is holy! It is also true she is beloved of some misguided feminists and universalists, like St Francis of Assisi is seized as a patron of animal rights and glossing over interreligious differences.

    St Therese and St Mary Magdalene are certainly also extremely holy women.

  15. benedetta says:

    How about St. Colette?

  16. MargaretC says:

    No problem:

    Saint Michael the Archangel, Defend us in Battle
    Saint Nicholas KOing the heretic Arius
    Our Lady, Exterminatrix of Heresies
    Saint Faustina and Her Vision of Hell

    You’re making this much too easy, Father.

  17. basenji says:

    St. Sophia’s Synod of the Lay Faithful
    Blessed We Are The Sacrament
    The Fruitly Spirits of the Most Happy Meal

  18. albinus1 says:

    In the 50s, a new parish was created in the town where I grew up, and which partially incorporated a good chunk of what had been the territory of the parish where my mother (and later my sister and I) grew up. The new parish was named St. Hilary’s. Hilary also happens to have been the first name of the founding (and, at the time, still) pastor of the parish which lost a chunk of its territory, which evidently included a good many families who had been, shall we say, some of the leading donors of the parish. There has always been a strong suspicion that the name of the new parish was intended, at least in part, to mollify the other pastor at losing a chunk of his parish (and donors).

  19. DanW says:

    How about: Holy Virgin Mary Weeping Under The Cross for the Sins of Men?

  20. Joseph-Mary says:

    Hmmm….makes me think of Our Lady of the Atonement where I loved to visit when in San Antonio.

    In my former diocese three parishes merged and I think they are now called “South Side Catholic community”.

    Ok–for a new name: Our Lady: Cause of Our Joy or Causa Nostrae Laetitiae …

  21. Mr. P says:

    From sr. marypantsuit: Our Lady of the Giant 36 ft puppets

    From Fr. Traddy: Our Lady of the Mantilla, or Our Lady at the Communion Rail.

  22. guatadopt says:

    When our parish merged the Deacon recommended St Dymphna…invoked against mental illness. That’s my vote.

  23. jesusthroughmary says:

    Archbishop Romero Center for Justice, Peace and Sacramental Life
    Communion and Liberation Faith Community
    The National Shrine of Che Guevara/Parish of All Holy Workers

    The Parish of Christ the Judge
    Dies Irae Parish
    The Parish of the Seven Bowls

  24. Charles E Flynn says:

    We Are Church

    WE Are Church

    We ARE Church

    Something with the word “vibrant” in it, which I think might be mothballed tomorrow morning.

  25. jbosco88 says:

    In honour of the badly painted statues that no doubt exist in one of the parishes:
    “Our Lady of Bad Mascara” or “Mary, Queen of Felt Banners”

    The simple, yet effective “Parish of Ven. Pope Pius XII” should be on the cards, too.

  26. B.C.M. says:

    Our Lady of the Sorrowful Puppeteers

  27. Paula says:

    Catching my breath after laughing at everyone else’s offerings, and with thanks to my late stepfather who actually came up with these names, I nominate Terrible Swift Sword Parish, to be presided over by Fr. Whitey Sepulchre.

    Also, I was wondering–on the little punctuation picture of Fr. Z, is the leftmost character meant to represent the pompon (or whatever you call it) of a biretta, or a halo? Might there someday be a Saint Z?

  28. Denita says:

    The parish of St. Dymphna Pray for the Insane Lay Ministers of Holy Communion

    Or ( for a school):
    St. John Neumann Spinning In His Glass Tomb Parish School

  29. ray from mn says:

    Spiritual (but not Religious) Savior Assembly. All are Saved! Almsgiving accepted!!

  30. St. Martin de Porres, Teleporter of Novices: A Vocational Discernment Community
    St. Fabiola’s Charity Hospital for Sinners Parish
    St. Mo Chóemóc mac Béoáin and All Vowels

  31. catholicmidwest says:

    Suggestions from the parish liturgy committee:
    Peace and Justice Fellowship
    Light of Wisdom Worship Center
    Living Well Parish
    My Family’s Always Been Catholic No Matter What We Really Believe Cultural Center
    Self-Esteem House of Centering Prayer
    The Wooden Cup and Felt Banner Workshop

    The Bishop’s List of Appropriate Names:
    St. Anthony of Padua, Hammer of Heretics
    St. Jerome, Patron Saint of Translators
    St. Paul, the Serious Convert
    Sts. Adrian and Natalia, Enough Said
    St. Brendan with a Compass
    St. Ursicinus of Saint-Ursanne (patron saint of those with stiff necks)

  32. ipadre says:

    May I suggest another!

    Redemptionis Sacramentum Catholic Community

  33. catholicmidwest says:

    I love these. St. Dymphna Parish and Terrible Swift Sword Parish are my favorites, so far. :D

  34. Young pastor sugggestions:

    Christ the King
    Mary Reparatrix
    Our Lady of Akita
    St. Pius X
    St. Pius V
    Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria
    St. Nicholas of Myra, Slapper of Heretics
    St. Jean-Marie Vianney
    St. Aloysius Gonzaga

    Liturgical Committee:

    All Are Welcome Universalist Catholic Parish
    Our Lady of the Warm and Fuzzies

  35. Subdeacon Joseph says:

    I was back home in Cincinnati over the summer and drove by a parish named “Mary Mother of Christ” and wondered if the bishop had slept during his seminary class on the Council of Ephesus when he approved this name. The Council of Ephesus decreed, in opposition to those who denied Mary the title Theotokos (“the one who gives birth to God”) but called her Christotokos (“the one who gives birth to Christ”), that Mary is Theotokos because her son Jesus is one person who is both God and man, divine and human.

  36. ContraMundum says:

    Borrowing from The Onion Dome, “All Saints of Middle Class North America”.

    Or, perhaps extending an olive branch to the Puritans, “If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Catholic Community”.

  37. Deacon Nathan Allen says:

    Depending on the location of their tabernacle, you could have Latens Deitas Catholic Community, and I’m kind of partial to the Church of St Feria myself.

  38. Mary-Kathleen says:

    You must have been writing about the Diocese of Rochester NY!! This has been going on a LOT here in the past few years. There are so many new parish names I can’t keep them all straight as to which churches (former parishes) they unite.
    And, after a few churches are clustered under a new parish name, a select number of the churches are sold. In some new parishes only one church remains so the ‘community’ is left with two names, e.g. “Our Lady of the Americas Parish” only has Corpus Christi for a church.
    Some churches in the city have changed parish names twice in the last five years (while retaining their own church names).
    “Light of Christ Parish”
    “Our Lady of the Angels Parish”
    “Peace of Christ Parish”
    “Our Lady of Peace Parish”
    “Christ the Redeemer Roman Catholic Community”

  39. James Joseph says:


    …I am not opposed to ‘Holy Wrath of God’ parish replete with an altar-rails, rood screens, raredos, and no fixed pews inside.

  40. Margaret says:

    Pope Joan?

  41. edm says:

    First Catholic Community Church on the one hand and…
    Roman Catholic Parish of the Blood of the Martyrs, Seed of the Church , for the other.

  42. Gregory DiPippo says:

    Don’t forget the progressive Byzantine parish, dedicated to the Holy Hierarchs and Equal-to-Dorothy-Day Saints Apostatia and Schismatica. [Yes, the Diocese of Black Duck needs the other lung.]

  43. Phil_NL says:

    Christus Vincit! CHristus Regnat! Christus Imperat! parish – abbraviated form: Christus imperat parish.

    All levity aside, a local martyr – and in many places one can be found if one isn’t too overly picky about ‘local’ – would be best IMO.

  44. Well, there’s a heading in the Catechism: “Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church”, which some may be drawing on. Also, there’s a religious order called “Congregation of Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ” which was founded in Nigeria in 1937 by an Irish missionary. There are a ton of pre-Vatican II parishes and schools named “Mater Christi,” as you will find if you Google. There are also various Latin hymns using this title: “Gloriosa Mater Christi,” “Mater Christi Sanctissima,” “Gaude Virgo, Mater Christi,” etc.

    There’s nothing wrong with pointing out that Mary is the mother of Jesus and the mother of the Messiah. The problem is in using those titles as limiters — as a denial that Mary’s Son is true God as well as true Man at every moment of His earthly existence, and hence as a denial that Mary carried God in her womb, or that God would choose to take flesh as a helpless baby in a woman’s womb, or that God doing so is important. As long as Catholic people are acutely aware that Mary is “Mater Dei,” there’s nothing heretical about “Mater Christi” or “Mother of the Eucharist” or any of the other beautiful titles she bears. The title would be suppressed again if it were found misused again beyond possibility of correct teaching; but here in the West we haven’t needed to do so recently. (There are many Protestant churches which do disagree with the title Theotokos, but they don’t circumscribe what we Catholics do.)

  45. Also, to be fair, there isn’t total linguistic parity between Theotokos and Mater Dei (Deipara is the more exact equivalent); so you could argue that Christipara Parish would be the scandalous choice, and that Mater Christi is less likely to be a problem thanks to its less technical terminology.

  46. jesusthroughmary says:

    Mary is the mother of Christ. As long as we accept that Christ is Theanthropos, then that’s fine.

    Deacon Allen – I often wondered why we don’t see more churches honoring St. Feria, since she has more feast days than even the Blessed Mother.

  47. Dr. Eric says:

    Near my office, this really happened. There was a strange circular church dedicated to St. Albert the Great which was in the same parking lot near the mall. The diocese consolidated some parishes, St. Albert’s was destroyed- it’s now a Red Robin and the consolidated parish (3 merged into one) is called Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

  48. The Egyptian says:

    St John the Baptist church
    St Rose church
    St Sebastien church
    Nativity of the Blessed Virgin church
    Precious Blood church
    not merged but “clustered” under a pastor and a pastoral assistant and a parish administrator (she who will be obeyed)
    All located in Marion Township,( named after General Francis Marion, a well-known Revolutionary War hero not the Blessed Virgin), Mercer county Ohio, so we get of course

    the Marion Catholic Community,

    named after a General of all things

  49. disco says:

    Prince of Peace parish is an affirming Christian community in the catholic tradition celebrating our shared experience and Eucharistic faith journey. .

  50. Cantate says:

    I enjoyed reading these proposed names.! Thus far, I think St. Dymphna, patron of mental illness, and Dies Irae the most appropriate. How about:

    St. Joseph, Terror of Demons
    Here I Yam, Lord (after that sweet-potato happy-clappy song)
    Saint Ecumenia

  51. RichardT says:

    I’m still chuckling over basenji’s suggestion, “The Fruitly Spirits of the Most Happy Meal”.

    disco’s is just too likely to be funny.

  52. jaykay says:

    Parish council:

    Lord of Snow and Rain worship centre
    Our Lady of the Tambours
    St. Inclusiva’s Affirming Parish
    St. Treebeard’s Environmental outreach ministry
    St Bridget’s Celtic centering and wholeness community

    Young pastor’s suggestions:

    St. Elijah’s (reaching out to the other lung here)
    Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary and Lepanto
    Bl. Pius IX of the Holy Index
    Reparatory chapel of the 5 Holy Wounds
    San Iacopo de Compostela, Matamauro y los martiros Cristeros (gotta reach out to the Spanish speakers)

  53. Gregg the Obscure says:

    “Progressive” suggsetions-
    Happy Rainbows Inclusive Community;
    Community of Perpetual Indulgence;
    All Are Welcome In This Place;
    Recovering Catholics of Black Duck;
    Occupy ‘R’ Us.

    Suggestions that irk the “progressives” –
    St. Charles Lwanga Roman Catholic Church;
    Blessed Anthony Neyrot Roman Catholic Church; and
    Martyrs of the Vendee Roman Catholic Church.

  54. Pastor:
    St Louis IX Roman Catholic Church
    Maybe also some sort of inspiring quote from him over the main entrance such as “I entirely detest heretics and as Magistrate do promise assidiously…..”

    For the warm neutering type:
    Church of the Spiritual Brood
    Reminds me of an engraving on the baptismal font of a very avant garde parish I saw in a WV parish. The sign said the place was a Catholic Church so I guess it was in a very loose sort of way. It was so ugly I heard even the townspeople didn’t want it close to the town if they were going to build it that way. I guess they both had their way. It is some distance from the town. The only time I heard of brood mentioned in the Scriptures was not quite in a positive light so the board may have to go back to the drawing board but then again they probably are totally oblivious to what the Scriptures actually say so most likely isn’t an issue on second thought.

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