- Associated Press - Sunday, May 7, 2017

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. (AP) - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford has announced that 59 parishes across three counties will be merged, and 26 of those buildings will close.

Archbishop Leonard Blair said Sunday at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield that the new structure, slated to take effect June 29, is meant to create stability throughout the archdiocese and reinvigorate faith in the state.

The archdiocese currently oversees 212 parishes in Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven counties. That number is expected to drop to 127. The church anticipates shrinking to 85 pastorates by 2027.

Some churches may be repurposed into such things as youth centers or homeless shelters.

The archdiocese began working on a consolidation plan last spring due to factors such as a declining number of priests and lower attendance at Masses.

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