Were the Families of Parishes groupings determined by existing vicariate And regional boundaries?
Not necessarily. It is evident from the list of Families that the groups did not need to adhere to vicariate or regional lines; rather, they were formed with attention given to the best interest of each community. It must be noted that there was priority placed on ensuring parishes within each Family were geographically contiguous, meaning they bordered at least one other parish in the Family. We did not want to create “islands” of parishes grouped with distant parishes.
How will Families of Parishes affect poorer parishes? Will those less affluent parishes be forced or encouraged to close?
There is no pre-existing plan to force, encourage, or guide parishes with fewer resources to close. As each Family discerns how to best align resources, they may decide to retain their separate identities and worship spaces. Others, after a careful and honest review of existing resources, may opt to close worship spaces or merge with partnering parishes. These decisions will be left to the discernment of that Family, with assistance from the Archdiocese of Detroit, guided by a complete focus on mission and the best interest of the entire community.