Precious Blood reports positive merger of St. Mary and St. Agnes churches

The Archdiocese of Hartford's Pastoral Plan to reconfigure its 212 parishes affected several in Milford. As of June 29, St. Agnes and St. Mary were two that came together to form Precious Blood Parish, which covers the eastern two thirds of Milford.

The new parish recently issued a press release, along with a photo of a new parish banner.

“The transition has been a positive one,” the press release states. “And while there is a new parish name, both buildings retain their names as St. Agnes Church and St. Mary Church, and St. Mary School's name will also stay the same.”

There is a new website, signage, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to connect the parish members:

In May, Archbishop Leonard P. Blair and the Office of Pastoral Planning of the Archdiocese of Hartford announced a plan that reconfigures the 212 parishes of the Archdiocese in Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven counties.

In Milford this meant the merging of St. Ann and St. Gabriel parishes into a parish called St. Raphael, and the merger of St. Mary and St. Agnes into the Precious Blood parish.

Christ the Redeemer will remain as is until its minister retires and then it will become part of the Precious Blood parish.

“The announcement comes as the result of a two-year pastoral planning effort involving careful, thoughtful and prayerful consideration and wide consultation about the dramatic changes of the last half century, which continue today, and which have a major impact on the life of the church,” according to a notice published on the Archdiocese website.

“The goal is to ensure a more viable and sustainable future for parishes; better pastoral care and spiritual well-being for people and priests alike; and a revitalized sense of mission on the part of everyone to be a more active and welcoming community of faith in keeping with what Pope Francis calls “missionary discipleship,” the statement reads.

The archdiocese pointed out the difference between a parish and a church, saying parish refers principally to the people, the church to a building

“The fact that a parish is closing does not necessarily mean that its church building will be totally closed,” the archdiocese stated on its website. “It means that regularly scheduled Masses will no longer be celebrated there. As the pastoral process continues, new uses for buildings will be considered.”