The Roman Catholic diocese of Pittsburgh has announced plans to reduce the current 188 parishes over six counties to just 57 over the next few years.
Bishop David Zubik said Saturday that each of the 57 parish groupings will have two to five years to come up with a plan to consolidate the churches within them.
He told reporters at St. Paul Seminary in East Carnegie that each parish grouping will be served by a clergy team.
The diocese said a year ago that the many parishes and church buildings could no longer be justified given current finances and clergy shortages.
Zubik said that no matter how the church is structured, the faithful are responsible for making "faith, hope and love remain alive in the world around us."