Conshohocken’s three Roman Catholic parishes (St. Mary, SS. Cosmos & Damian and St. Matthew) and the one in West Conshohocken (St. Gertrude) are merging into one parish that will be located at St. Matthew Parish in Conshohocken. This parish will continue under the St. Matthew Parish name. The merger is a result of a study conducted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The Archdiocese published statistics from 2008 to 2012 for each parish. The numbers provide insight on the state of each parish. We decided to highlight below the number of infant baptisms, marriages, funerals, registered households and the average weekend attendance.
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If you click on the parish name you will see the complete statistics. The numbers show that St. Mary and St. Gertrude have not been growing their parishes by celebrating marriages and baptisms. St. Gertrude had a 6% decline in registered households over the five year study and St. Mary had a 15% decline. Weekend attendance at Mass was down 19% at St. Gertrude and 18% at St. Mary.
SS. Cosmas and Damian was actually growing. It had a 5% increase in registered households over the course of the five year study. It also had a slight increase with the number of baptisms growing by 3%. However, the average weekend attendance at Mass was down by 9%.
The numbers at St. Matthew prove to be the most interesting. Baptisms were up by 36%, registered households were up by 6% and marriages were up by 13%. However, the parish’s average weekend attendance at Mass was down by 2%.
It would be interesting to know if there was ever serious consideration in merging St. Mary, St. Gertrude and SS. Cosmas and Damian, and leaving St. Matthew as it is. Based on just the 2012 weekend attendance at Mass, the merger of the three would have created a 871 average weekend attendance at the merged parish. In 2012, St. Matthew averaged 1,086 at Mass, but in 2011 averaged just 897. Could the merger of the three have created a viable parish?
While that is an interesting question, the actual merger of the four parishes creates the opportunity for an average weekend Mass attendance that approaches 2,000 (based on 2012 statistics).
Stay tuned for more information.