By Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York is merging 31 parishes into 14 new parishes in the second phase of a consolidation process, church officials announced Friday.

Under the reorganization plan, Mass will no longer be celebrated on a regular basis at six parish churches in Manhattan, the Bronx and Dutchess and Orange counties as of Aug. 1.

“From the beginning, this process has been about helping the archdiocese to better accomplish the work of evangelization and outreach, preach the Gospel, perform works of charity, and educate people in the faith, all of which is at the heart of the Church’s mission,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan said.

“For too long we have been in the business of maintaining buildings and structures that were established in the 19th and early 20th centuries to meet the needs of the people of that time, but which are not necessary to meet the needs of the church and its people as it exists today,” he added.

The archdiocese announced in November that 112 parishes were being consolidated into 55.

The total number of parishes in the archdiocese will go from 368 a year ago to 296 when the mergers are completed.

The archdiocese includes Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and seven counties north of New York City.

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