Divina Miseratione et Apostolicæ Sedis Gratia
Merger of Holy Trinity Parish in Ypsilanti, Michigan and Saint John the Baptist Parish, Ypsilanti; Establishment of Holy Trinity Student Oratory, Ypsilanti, Michigan; Attachment of Holy Trinity Student Oratory to Saint John the Baptist Parish in Ypsilanti, Michigan
Holy Trinity Student Parish has served the students, faculty, staff and alumni faithful as a chapel and later as personal / territorial parish in the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan since its original erection in 1965. Saint John the Baptist Parish, served the Catholic faithful in Ypsilanti and surrounding communities since 1844. During that time, many people have heard the Word of God, have worshiped and have received the sacraments of the Church in their respective parish communities. Now, in an effort to strengthen the preaching of the Gospel and to ensure the vitality of parish life, with concern for the best stewardship of resources and the right of the People of God to receive assistance from the Church, especially the Word of God, spiritual sustenance and the sacraments, it is necessary to make new provisions for the spiritual care of the parishioners of these parishes.
To that end, having asked parishioners to make known their needs and desires, having received the recommendations of the Diocesan Coordinating Commission: Planning Tomorrow’s Churches, under the careful direction of the Office of Pastoral Planning, which reviewed the recommendations of the parishes involved and the Washtenaw Regional report, and having consulted the Presbyteral Council, and listened to the College of Consultors, the Council of Vicars, received reports from the Diocesan Pastoral Council and the Diocesan Finance Council, and in accord with canons 120, §1; 121; and 515, §§2-3 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, I, the undersigned, in virtue of my authority as Bishop of Lansing, hereby decree:
- That Holy Trinity Student Parish, Ypsilanti, Michigan, be merged (unio extinctiva) with St John the Baptist Parish, Ypsilanti. Holy Trinity Church building and parish complex will remain and its administration will consequently be transferred to the Pastor of Saint John the Baptist Parish, effective at midnight at the end of Monday, September 3, 2012.
- That Holy Trinity Church edifice be established as an Oratory, according to the provisions of canons 1223 – 1225. It shall more commonly be known as Holy Trinity Student Center.
- That Saint John the Baptist Parish assume the administration of Holy Trinity Student Oratory and adjoining complex, making suitable provision for the faithful formerly of Holy Trinity Student Parish, providing for their pastoral care and meeting their pastoral needs. The consolidated and unified parish shall include the membership of the present Saint John the Baptist Parish and the membership of the former Holy Trinity Student Parish, to the extent that the parishioners of the former Holy Trinity Student Parish wish to affiliate. The current Saint John the Baptist Church edifice shall be the place of worship of the parish community, with provision made for Sunday / weekday Masses and liturgical rites at Holy Trinity Student Oratory primarily to meet the pastoral needs of the students, faculty and staff of Eastern Michigan University. The new boundaries of Saint John the Baptist Parish shall incorporate and annex any territory included in the former Holy Trinity Student Parish.
- That Reverend Robert Roggenbuck, the current administrator of Holy Trinity Student Parish, will be pastor of the consolidated parishes. He is to foster the pastoral care of the Catholic faithful entrusted to him, bearing in mind the provision of canon 519.
This decision is based upon a number of factors, among which are the reasonable proximity of the worship communities and the churches, the desire to avoid duplication of services, the spiritual welfare of the parish communities, the spread of the Gospel, the promotion of unity among the People of God, the enhancement of collaborative ministry and the better utilization of available priest personnel. In light of the challenge of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, this decision is taken to strengthen “the proclamation of Christ to reach people, mould communities, and have a deep and incisive influence in bringing Gospel values to bear in society and culture.” (n. 29)
Before September 4, 2012, the parish registers of the former Holy Trinity Student Parish containing the records of baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, marriage and deaths, along with parish records and historical documents, are to be forwarded to Saint John the Baptist Parish. They will be faithfully preserved and maintained in accord with canon 535, §§1-5. Any registers, records and historical documents not needed for continued administration of Holy Trinity Student Oratory and adjoining complex are to be forwarded to the Diocesan Archives. According to the norm of canon 121, all assets and liabilities, whether movable or immovable, of the former Holy Trinity Student Parish, will become the assets and liabilities of the juridic person of Saint John the Baptist Parish. In all financial matters involving wills, trusts and foundations to maintain the patrimony of Holy Trinity Student Oratory, the intention of the founders and benefactors is to be respected (cf. canons 1299-1310 passim). Any acquired rights are to be safeguarded. Furthermore, ownership of all ecclesiastical goods and all objects of artistic or historical value belonging to Holy Trinity Student Parish will be transferred to Saint John the Baptist Parish and will be administered in accordance with the prescriptions of Church law.
The effect of the merger (unio extinctiva) of Holy Trinity Student Parish and Saint John the Baptist Parish is the termination and extinguishing of the juridic personality of the former Holy Trinity Student Parish, which it now possesses by law. Thus, it will no longer be a subject of obligations and rights in canon law corresponding to its nature as a juridic person, nor will it be capable of acquiring, retaining, administering, or alienating temporal goods in accord with the norm of law.
I direct that this decree be given to the pastoral leadership of Holy Trinity Student Parish and Saint John the Baptist Parish, and that its contents, especially the dispositive part of this decree, be communicated to parishioners on the weekend of August 11- August 12, 2012. The “Process to Initiate Recourse against an Administrative Decree” is to be made available as necessary. Furthermore, I direct that this decree be published on the website of the Diocese of Lansing (www.dioceseoflansing.org). This publication will be presumed to be the official notification of this action.
Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.
Given at the Curia of the Diocese of Lansing on this the 10th day of August, in the year of our Lord, 2012, the Feast of Saint Lawrence the Deacon.