Bishop Joseph A. Galante has announced that St. Vincent Pallotti Church in Haddon Township will become the seat of the new parish that will be formed from the intended consolidation of St. Vincent Pallotti Parish and St. Aloysius Parish in Oaklyn.
Bishop Galante announced the designation of the new parish seat in a Sept. 24 letter to Father Walter Norris, pastor of St. Vincent Pallotti Parish, who is overseeing the work of a team of parishioners that is preparing the parishes to unite.
Bishop Galante previously had announced that both St. Aloysius and St. Vincent Pallotti churches would be worship sites for the new parish, but St. Aloysius originally had been designated as the seat of the new parish in order to retain a parish presence on or near the White Horse Pike. This concern that was made pressing by the intended merger of Transfiguration Parish with Holy Saviour in Westmont and St. John in Collingswood. In that configuration, Transfiguration Church, which is located on White Horse Pike, would not have continued as a worship site.
However, in May, 2009, after consultation with the Presbyteral Council, an advisory council of diocesan priests, Bishop Galante concluded that parish life would be strengthened if Transfiguration Parish were paired with Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Woodlynne. The designation of Transfiguration Church as the seat of that new parish, in turn, satisfied the need for a church presence on the White Horse Pike.
“Bearing in mind the necessity of providing the Faithful with ready access to worship and the sacraments, it consistently has been deemed necessary that a presence be maintained on or near the White Horse Pike in this area of the diocese,” Bishop wrote in his letter to Father Norris. “As a consequence of [the Transfiguration modification], the church will continue to have a presence directly on the White Horse Pike, satisfying the aforementioned concern.”
“Therefore,” the bishop added, “having heard again from the Presbyteral Council in this regard, and having carefully considered the needs of the faithful in this area of the diocese, I accept the recommendation of your Core Team and hereby designate St. Vincent Pallotti Church as the seat of the new parish that I intend to form from the consolidation of St. Aloysius Parish and St. Vincent Pallotti Parish.”
The modification of the parish seat does not alter the intended consolidation of the parishes, which was announced in April, 2008, and a Core Team of parishioners from both parishes continues to make progress in their preparations for the two parishes to unite.
In his letter to Father Norris, Bishop Galante expressed his gratitude for the work of the Core Team and parishioners alike, “I ask that you … convey my special thanks to the members of the Core Team who have given so selflessly of their time and talent to bring these faith communities together. Likewise, I ask you to extend my prayerful good wishes to parishioners of both parishes who not only have seen the need to unite these parishes, but have themselves joined together for the sake of the common good and to advance the life and mission of the church.”