HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Three parishes in Holyoke will merge into one beginning August 15.

According to a news release sent to 22News from The Diocese of Springfield, Bishop Byrne has issued a “Decree and Order” merging Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and Immaculate Conception Parish into St. Jerome’s Parish. The merger came at the direct request of the parishes involved as a result of many years of discussion between the three faith communities.

St. Jerome’s Parish opened in 1854 and is the oldest Catholic parish in Holyoke. A new pastor will be named to lead the merged parish starting on Sunday, August 15.

Our Lady of Guadalupe parish began worshipping at St. Jerome Church in the fall of 2020. Its former place of worship, Sacred Heart Church was closed in March of 2017 when plaster began falling from the ceiling. At that time, Masses were moved into the chapel and parish center.

“Since July 2020, our three parishes have worked closely in preparation for our formal merger on August 15. Parish leaders are convinced that the reconfiguration they have proposed will foster a stronger sense of community and promote a better sharing of resources,” said Father Mark Stelzer, the administrator of St. Jerome Parish. “The truly wonderful thing about this merger is that the request to merge came from parish leaders and was not imposed on parishioners by diocesan leadership. The entire process by which the Holyoke merger came about reflects the type of collaboration that builds stronger parishes and a more vibrant Church,” he said.

Masses will be continue at St. Jerome Church and Immaculate Conception, which will be retained as a chapel.

Mass schedule:

  • Immaculate Conception Chapel on North Summer Street
    • Saturday 8:30 a.m. (English)
    • Saturday 6 p.m. (Spanish)
    • Sunday 8 a.m. (English)
    • 10:30 a.m. (Spanish)
    • Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. (English) – Eucharistic Adoration following Mass
  • St. Jerome Church on Hampden Street
    • Saturday 4 p.m. (English)
    • Sunday 8 a.m. (English)
    • Sunday 9:30 a.m. (English)
    • 11:45 a.m. (Spanish)
    • Mon-Friday 12:15 p.m. (English)
    • Mon, Tues, Thurs. 7:45 a.m. (English)
    • Friday 7 p.m. (Spanish) Eucharistic Adoration and Confessions before Mass

St. Jerome’s parish office will have retain sacramental records for the Immaculate Conception parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe parish and the three other former Holyoke parishes, Precious Blood, Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.