Officials of the Roman Catholic diocese in Vermont are beginning a series of meetings on how to deal with a priest shortage in the state. Parishioners and priests will meet on Saturday to discuss consolidating churches in response to a clergy shortage that they believe only will get worse.
The diocese projects the number of priests will drop by half in ten years, leaving about 55 priests to minister to 130 parishes. Bishop Kenneth Angell has invited all priests, deacons and two lay representatives from each local church to suggest possible solutions at a private meeting at Saint Monica School in Barre.
With no media allowed at Satruday’s meeting, and subsequent smaller sessions, most Vermonters won’t know the outcome until the bishop releases a plan this spring.