PROVIDENCE — Three neighboring parishes in Providence and North Providence which have been united by combined efforts and a shared pastor since 2013 will now become formally united as a single parish.
Motivated by a desire to strengthen the Catholic faith presence in the area, in response to the request of the pastor and leadership of the three parishes, and after consulting the diocesan College of Consultors and Council of Priests, Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of Providence, has approved the proposal to merge Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish of North Providence and St. Edward Parish of Providence into St. Anthony Parish, North Providence. The merger will become effective December 31, 2022. Parishioners of all three parishes were informed of the decision at Masses this weekend.
“I commend Father Cardente and the members of the three parishes for working so well together in recent years,” said Bishop Tobin. “This canonical merger confirms and strengthens the practical unity the parishes have already achieved, and with God’s help, St. Anthony’s Parish will continue to be a beacon of faith, hope and charity for the local community for many years to come.”
Presentation Parish was founded in 1913 to serve the Catholic faithful in the Marieville section of North Providence, and St. Edward Parish has served Wanskuck neighborhood of Providence since 1874. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, each parish was confronting a diminishing demographic shift in population with a resulting decline in sacramental practice and parish viability.
"I am very grateful for the understanding and support of the leadership of the three communities in bringing about a consolidation of the overall administration in recent years," said Very Rev. Edward S. Cardente, pastor of all three parishes. "This has made the merger possible without closing any churches and keeping the Mass schedule intact but with greater emphasis on our mission to reach out to the poor and homeless through our shared ministries."
St. Anthony Parish will assume the territory, parishioners, debts and assets, and sacramental records of Presentation and St. Edward Parishes. All sacramental records will be maintained at the St. Anthony Parish office at 5 Gibbs Street, North Providence.
The Presentation and St. Edward church buildings will remain open and available as additional worship venues of St. Anthony Parish.
Click here to read the full canonical decree.