- Associated Press - Monday, April 21, 2014

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - The Roman Catholic Church’s Franciscan brotherhood is withdrawing from the Carlsbad area of southeastern New Mexico because of a flurry of priests reaching retirement age.

Franciscan father Tom Smith says it’ll be up to the Las Cruces Diocese to replace Franciscan priests who are leaving parishes.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus (https://ow.ly/vZoJC) reports that the Franciscans still plan to maintain a presence in the Las Cruces area, hoping to use the Holy Cross Retreat Center as a sort of headquarters for the order in the Las Cruces Diocese.

The diocese says a disruption in services should not occur.

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