Nearly 18 months after the four churches in the city of Oswego announced their decision to unite, a consensus has been reached to move to St. Paul's Church.
Deacon Nick Alvaro, administrator of St. Joseph and St. Stephen the King churches in Oswego, says it was not an easy path as committees made up of members from each of the parishes initially came to a stalemate. St. Paul's ultimately won out because of its size and proximity to Oswego's lone Catholic school, Trinity Catholic School.
"The decision is not a clear one," Alvaro said. "We could make an obvious and clear case for all four parishes and say there are flaws in each as well, so that made it difficult. All of our experiences of Jesus, all of our sacraments, and all those things that created and gave us the experience of God are inside of these buildings and so there's an attachment to the buildings."
The four churches are merging due to a declining population, fewer priests, and aging facilities. But Alvaro says the Syracuse Catholic Diocese is optimistic about what the consolidation of members and resources can do for Oswego's Catholic community.
"To do some of the programs and the outreach that we have been able to do in the past but beacuse of financial resources we've had to cut back and not be as big of a presence - this will allow us to do that again," Alvaro said. "We're looking to be vibrant and alive and passing that faith onto a whole new generation."
Diocese officials are currently working to keep the jobs for the staff at each of the four churches, though Alvaro admits that their positions may change as a result. The community will officially unite under its new name Christ the Good Shepherd on July 1.