Shrinking diocese cuts evangelization program to reduce costs

The Diocese of Franklin announced it was shuttering all evangelization programs in an effort to reduce costs amid mounting financial pressures. 

“The diocese has been steadily losing population for many years now, and we simply aren’t getting enough donations to meet costs,” spokesperson Fr. Xavier Gonzalez said in a press release. “We have no choice but to cut out non-essential programs and initiatives, and so are sadly canceling all efforts aimed at evangelization.” 

The once-prominent East Coast diocese has been shrinking every year for several decades, both in Mass attendance and vocations. Declining population and infrastructure already forced rounds of parish mergers in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, but diocesan officials say they still cannot make ends meet.

“We wish we had resources for every good thing, but unfortunately when the rubber hits the road some things are just more important than others,” Fr. Gonzalez said of the cuts.

“We must sacrifice lesser goods to prop up the one thing needed,” he continued. “Building repairs, maintenance, central administration—these are what the Church cannot afford to neglect.” 

“Oh, and lawsuits—we need lots of money for those.”         

At press time, the diocese merged with the local Episcopal diocese to avoid foreclosures.