HINTON, WV November 24, 2017—After more than a year’s study, deliberation, discussion, and planning, the long anticipated merger of the Sacred Heart Parish in Rainelle into the St. Patrick Parish in Hinton is effective as of midnight Sunday, November 26, 2017, the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston announced.
In his decree effectuating the change, Michael J. Bransfield, Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston stated: “A portion of the Christian Faithful of Greenbrier County has been served by Sacred Heart Parish since 1953. During that time, many people have heard the Word of God, have worshiped and received the Sacraments of the Church. In an effort to reorganize and revitalize the People of God in this portion of God’s Vineyard, it now seems necessary to make new provisions for the spiritual care of the people of Sacred Heart Parish.”
The change affects 52 parishioners of Sacred Heart who now will join as parishioners the 75 people comprising the congregation of St. Patrick Catholic Church, creating one parish, said Pastor Rev. Fr. Rey Landicho. “The St. Patrick Parish now will include the territory and Church of Sacred Heart, as well as the cemetery and Chapel Church in Springdale and St. John of God Cemetery in Meadow Bluff, along with St. Patrick Church and Rectory and St. Mary’s Cemetery in Hinton, St. Coleman Chapel Church and Cemetery on Irish Mountain, and the Fox Mausoleum in Hill Dale.
“All administrative functions, including all sacramental records, have been transferred from Sacred Heart and now will be maintained at St. Patrick Parish Hinton,” he said, adding, “While now a single Parish, we shall continue to celebrate Sunday Holy Mass at Sacred Heart at 11:00 a.m., as well as on Feast Days of Holy Obligation, as well as continuing to have Holy Mass on special occasions at the Chapel Churches on Irish Mountain and in Springdale.
“All of us now look forward with great anticipation the joining of our two spiritual families into a larger and more viable St. Patrick Parish,” he said. “Already we have incorporated representation from our new parishioners into the Pastoral and Finance Councils at St. Patrick as the initial steps of becoming a fully integrated single parish and our Women’s and Men’s organizations—The Women of St. Patrick , The Friars Club and the Knights of Columbus Round Table—are eager to assimilate their newest members.”