Last Tuesday the Steering Committee of the Eastern Greece/Charlotte Planning Group met and decided that Our Lady of Mercy Parish is no longer financially viable and that the planning group would propose that the parish be closed.
The Steering Committee will also propose that Holy Name of Jesus Parish be allowed to continue in existence for at least the next year.
These decisions are being publicly announced in all 6 parishes this weekend. They come on the heels of a determination by a finance sub-committee that both OLM and HNOJ lack long term financial viability and that both should therefore be closed (details here and here).
Fr. John Gagnier currently serves as pastor of both parishes. A source close to the steering committee tells me that Fr. Gagnier and a group of HNOJ parishioners have developed a financial plan that gives that parish a fair chance of surviving on its own. (Their intent to come up with such a plan is reported here.) Apparently, no similar attempt at a plan was made by Fr. Gagnier and OLM parishioners.
In addition to their pastor, both parishes share the services of several other staff members. Under its new plan, HNOJ will now have to shoulder the entire salaries of each of these staff people.
Last year's Average October Attendance for OLM was 276 while HNOJ's was 372. OLM's current debt is $24,000 and HNOJ's is $54,000.
Also, OLM presently has about $16,000 in unspent Partners in Faith funds. It is unclear what will become of this money, as the projects for which it was raised have all been completed and the PIF spending guidelines are rather inflexible as to alternate uses for the money.