Divina Miseratione et Apostolicæ Sedis Gratia
Merger of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Burton, Michigan; Establishment of Blessed Sacrament Oratory, Burton, Michigan; Attachment of Blessed Sacrament Oratory to StJohn the Evangelist Parish in Davison, Michigan
Blessed Sacrament Parish has served the Catholic faithful and Hungarian Catholics on the eastern side of Flint and Burton, Michigan and environs since 1957. Saint John the Evangelist Parish, served the Catholic faithful of Davison, Michigan and the surrounding rural communities, since 1871. During that time, many people have heard the Word of God, have worshiped and have received the sacraments of the Church in their respective parish communities. Now, in an effort to strengthen the preaching of the Gospel and to ensure the vitality of parish life, with concern for the best stewardship of resources and the right of the People of God to receive assistance from the Church, especially the Word of God, spiritual sustenance and the sacraments, it is necessary to make new provisions for the spiritual care of the parishioners of these parishes.
To that end, having asked parishioners to make known their needs and desires, having received the recommendations of the Diocesan Coordinating Commission: Planning Tomorrow's Churches, under the careful direction of the Office of Pastoral Planning, which reviewed the recommendations of the parishes involved and the Genesee Regional report, and having consulted the Presbyteral Council, and listened to the College of Consultors, the Council of Vicars, and received reports from the Diocesan Pastoral Council and the Diocesan Finance Council, and in accord with canons 120, §1; 121; and 515, §§2-3 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, I, the undersigned, in virtue of my authority as Bishop of Lansing, hereby decree the implementation of the pastoral plan as published on the diocesan website and in Faith Magazine:
1. That the territorial parish of Blessed Sacrament, Burton, Michigan, be merged with Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Davison. Blessed Sacrament Church and complex will remain and its administration be transferred to the Pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Davison effective at midnight at the end of Sunday, June 10, 2012, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.
2. That Blessed Sacrament Church edifice be reduced to an Oratory, according to the provisions of canons 1223 - 1225.
3. That Saint John the Evangelist Parish assume the administration of Blessed Sacrament Oratory and adjoining complex and make suitable provision for the faithful of the merged parishes providing for their pastoral care and meeting their pastoral needs. The consolidated and
merged parish shall include the membership of the present Saint John the Evangelist Parish and the membership of the former Blessed Sacrament Parish. The current Saint John the Evangelist Church edifice shall be the principal place of worship of the parish community, and Blessed Sacrament Church will be the auxiliary place of worship for the parish community. Any liturgical rites for the proper functioning of the parish may be celebrated at the Blessed Sacrament Oratory to meet the pastoral needs of the faithful, as necessary. The new boundaries of Saint John the Evangelist Parish shall include the territorial boundaries of Blessed Sacrament Parish.
4. That Father Andrew Czajkowski, the current pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Parish, remain as pastor. He is to foster the pastoral care of the Catholic faithful entrusted to him, bearing in mind the provision of canon 519.
This decision is based upon a number of factors, among which are the decline in the Catholic worshiping community at Blessed Sacrament Parish, the reasonable proximity of the worship communities and the respective church edifices, the desire to avoid duplication of services and the increasing expenses associated with necessary repairs and maintenance to aging structures, the spiritual welfare of the parish communities, the spread of the Gospel, the promotion of unity among the People of God, the enhancement of collaborative ministry and the better utilization of available priest personnel.
In light of the challenge of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennia lneunte, this decision is taken to strengthen "the proclamation of Christ to reach people, mould communities, and have a deep and incisive influence in bringing Gospel values to bear in society and culture." (n. 29)
Before June 11 2012, the parish registers of the former Blessed Sacrament Parish containing the records and registers of baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, marriage and deaths along with parish records and historical documents are to be forwarded to Saint John the Evangelist Parish where they are to be faithfully preserved and maintained in accord with canon 535, §§1-5. Any registers, records and historical documents not needed for continued administration of Blessed Sacrament Oratory and the adjoining complex are to be forwarded to the Diocesan Archives. According to the norm of canon 121, all assets and liabilities, whether movable or immovable, of the former Blessed Sacrament Parish, will become the assets and liabilities of the juridic person of Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Davison. In all financial matters involving wills, trusts and foundations to maintain the patrimony of Blessed Sacrament Oratory, the intention of the founders and benefactors is to be respected. Any acquired rights are to be safeguarded. Furthermore, ownership of all ecclesiastical goods and all objects of artistic or historical value belonging to Blessed Sacrament Parish will be transferred to Saint John the Evangelist Parish and will be administered in accordance with the prescriptions of Church law with due regard for the intention of benefactors (cf. canon 1284, §2, 32, passim).
The effect of the merger (unio extinctiva) of Blessed Sacrament Parish and St John the Evangelist Parish is the termination of the independent juridic personality of the former Blessed Sacrament Parish, which it now possesses by law. Thus, it will no longer be a subject of obligations and rights in canon law corresponding to its nature as a juridic person, nor will it be capable of acquiring, retaining, administering, or alienating temporal goods according to the norm of law.
I direct that this decree be given to the pastoral leadership of Blessed Sacrament Parish and Saint John the Evangelist Parish, and that its contents, especially the dispositive part of this decree, along with the "Process to Initiate Recourse against an Administrative Decree" be communicated to parishioners of both parishes on the weekend of Saturday, June 2, 2012 - Sunday, June 3, 2012. I further direct that this decree be published on the website of the Diocese of Lansing (www.dioceseoflansing.org) which will be presumed to be the official notification of this action.
Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.
Given at the Curia of the Diocese of Lansing on this the 28th day of May, in the year of our Lord, 2012.