NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Church leaders in a Massachusetts town are recommending that three Catholic parishes be consolidated into one but remain open individually.

The Rev. Rodney Thibault says the new parish in North Attleborough would be called Transfiguration of the Lord and would combine the 4,000 households in St. Mark’s, St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart parishes.

Thibault says a committee has been studying the possible consolidation since August and made the recommendation. He says closure was never discussed.

He says the proposal makes sense financially and administratively and would unite the town’s Catholic communities.

The churches would keep their names and continue to offer Mass.

The Sun Chronicle reports that if Diocese of Fall River Bishop Edgar Moreira da Cunha approves the consolidation, it will become official Jan. 1.

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