West St. Paul parish merges with Our Lady of Guadalupe

| July 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

St. Michael in West St. Paul merged with Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Paul July 1. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

A parish in West St. Paul that suspended operations nearly three years ago has merged with Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Paul, effective July 1. 

St. Michael also sold its campus at 335 Hurley St. E. to Community of Saints Regional Catholic School in West St. Paul. The preK-8 school has rented St. Michael’s school building since 2012 and will continue to operate at that location.

As part of the merger, St. Michael’s sacramental records will transfer to Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is less than 2 miles away.

But the legacy of faith and Catholic education at St. Michael, a parish that began in 1866 on St. Paul’s West Side as a mission of the Cathedral of St. Paul, will continue through the school and an adoration chapel on the campus, said Father Mike Tix, vicar for clergy and parish services for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

 That legacy also will continue at Our Lady of Guadalupe, the parish to which many St. Michael parishioners gravitated when operations were suspended, Father Tix said. 

Deacon Steve Maier, director of parish and clergy services, said Father Andrew Brinkman, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, helped pave the way for St. Michael parishioners because he was parochial vicar of St. Michael and Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2015, and parochial administrator of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2016 before serving as pastor beginning last year.

Several Our Lady of Guadalupe parishioners also reached out in a special way to members of St. Michael by bringing coffee and rolls to St. Michael’s final Mass in November 2016, Deacon Maier said. That overture went a long way.

“They (St. Michael parish leaders) haven’t forgotten that,” Father Tix said. 

Deacon Gregg Sroder, business administrator at Our Lady of Guadalupe, said perpetual adoration of the Eucharist will continue at the chapel as it has in the past, with people able to volunteer through a contact listed in the parish bulletin.

While the merger was announced in March, final details were completed in recent weeks, said Joe Kueppers, the archdiocese’s chancellor for civil affairs.

“They had to wrap up the finances, get everything in proper financial order and then finalize the merger,” he said. Getting it done as the fiscal year closed June 30 also was a “clean and practical time to complete it,” Kueppers said.

Finalizing the merger is an important step in what at times was a difficult process, Deacon Sroder said.

“I’m hoping it will bring closure,” he said.

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