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New Resource for Merging Parishes
New Wine, New Wineskins pilot underway in Diocese of Metuchen

Two parishes in the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ, are piloting of New Wine, New Wineskins: A Faith-Sharing Resource for Restructuring Parishes this fall. RENEW International developed this resource to help parishes navigate the spiritual dimensions of restructuring in a way that fosters vibrant faith communities.

Small groups at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish and Christ the King Parish in Manville and Transfiguration Parish, Highland Park, will begin faith sharing in October. Parish teams formed during the summer, and small community leaders were trained September 7 by Sr. Marie Cooper, SJC, of RENEW International’s Pastoral Services Team.


Sr. Marie Cooper, SJC, on the left, led a training workshop for New Wine, New Wineskins small community leaders;
on the right, Father Stanislaw Slaby, CSsR, pastor of the Manville parishes, poses with Jennifer Hinton,
New Wine, New Wineskins diocesan coordinator. (Photos by Christina Leslie/The Catholic Spirit)

New Wine, New Wineskins by Jeffry Odell Korgen, Metuchen’s executive director of diocesan planning, provides a pastoral process to support the needs of parishes that are in various stages of merging or restructuring. It draws on a Catholic understanding of the Paschal Mystery—the dying and rising that is central to Christian Life.

In two seasons of six sessions each, participants will encounter and work with their grief over changes in their parishes and in their lives and find ways of maintaining elements of what they value most while coming to terms with, and ultimately embracing, a future of hope and possibility.

Part one of New Wine, New Wineskins is designed for use in the period of time preceding the announcement of a parish merger or restructuring. Part two, which is intended to be used following the announcement of the merger, allows parishioners to build together on their collective journey as they enter a new phase of parish life.

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