The parishes of Holy Rosary and St. Stephen, located about two miles apart in south Minneapolis, merged effective July 1. Sharing financial, training and evangelistic resources will help bring more people to Christ, Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in a statement announcing the merger.
After two years of parish discernment, Bishop Joseph Williams presented Bishop Hebda with an official petition to combine the parishes, which the Archbishop addressed to the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese, as required by Canon Law. Bishop Williams will serve as pastor of St. Stephen-Holy Rosary Church until September 8, when Fr. James Stiles will assume the role. At the time of his episcopal ordination in January, then Father Williams was pastor of St. Stephen and parish administrator of Holy Rosary.
“It is inspiring to see the desire of two parish communities willing to make sacrifices and adapt to the changes needed in order to fulfill the Church’s mission to evangelize and serve the faithful in South Minneapolis,” said Bishop Hebda.
The Dominican friars of the Central Province announced in February 2020 that they would end their Holy Rosary ministry after 142 years. The last Dominican to lead the parish was Father Jerry Stookey, who left on June 30, 2020, after serving as pastor of the Holy Rosary since July 2018.
The Archbishop said he prayed for the Holy Spirit to continue to guide the newly formed parish family as they plan together for the future. “Please also join me in offering a prayer of thanksgiving for the faithful devotion of Dominicans who have served the People of the Holy Rosary for 14 decades and supported the process of discernment for the past two years,” a- he declared.
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