Two local catholic parishes in the Lower Valley are officially uniting under one roof.
Santa Lucia and San Jose Catholic Churches are merging as one with a new name.
The new name ‘Saint John Paul II Catholic Church’ has been officially chosen. However some long time church goers at Santa Lucia Church said it’ll take some time to get used to.
After 30+ years of attending Santa Lucia Catholic Church, some church goers such as Maria Elena Samaniego are trying to keep an open mind for change. “It’ll be Santa Lucia for me… forever,” Samaniego shared, “It’ll take time I think for a lot of our people to get used to it and some aren’t very happy that our name is changing. It’s not that the people are coming here, it’s just the name change that I think is harder for people here at church.”
Consolidated parishes San Jose and Santa Lucia Catholic Church will be merging as one and will be called ‘Saint John Paul II Catholic Church.’
This comes after San Jose closed down earlier this year due to deterioration and safety concerns.
“It’s a very challenging thing when any change comes and people become very attached to their community and understandably so,” Bishop Mark Seitz explained, “But when these changes come, and changes are always a part of life, there’s also an opportunity for a ‘God moment’ in there.”
Both parishes had the opportunity to take a survey and vote on what they wanted the name to be, then it went to the Bishop for approval.
Seitz said even though the name change is the responsibility of the Bishop, he wanted input from both communities.
“To all my fellow church goers, even the ones at San Jose, we need to be united. More than anything else right now, we need to be united,” Beatriz Diaz, who attends Santa Lucia church shared.
“So we hope that in this new coming together of the communities and the letting go of what it entails, that they’ll come to a deeper connection with the God who is with us in every situation, in every place,” Seitz added.
The name will be established on August 1st.