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Buffalo Diocese will consider merging parishes and schools

The Diocese of Buffalo shared in a statement Friday evening that it is 're-envisioning' what the Catholic Church looks like in Western New York.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The coronavirus has changed nearly every part of daily life, including the ability to visit your local parish. But things may look a little different in the Diocese of Buffalo in the coming months or years.

On Friday night, the Diocese of Buffalo released a statement about its "Renewal Initiative," which will focus on how Western New York parishes will adapt in current times.

The Diocese's existing financial issues have been exacerbated due to the coronavirus pandemic, and for that reason the Diocese says it will begin to look to where parishes, schools and operations could merge.

Right now there are 161 parishes and 49 Catholic schools in Western New York.

The Diocese estimates that it currently serves 571,000 Catholics across 6,500 square miles of eight counties. 

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