NORTH ATTLEBORO — Three Catholic parishes in North Attleboro would be consolidated into one but the three churches would remain open under a plan proposed to Bishop Edgar Moreira da Cunha.

Father Rodney Thibault, head of the three parishes, said Wednesday the recommendation was made by a committee that has been studying the issue since August.

He said the new parish would be called Transfiguration of the Lord Parish and would combine the 4,000 households in St. Mark’s, St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart parishes.

“It would unite the Catholic communities of North Attleboro into one,” he said.

The three churches would keep their names and continue to offer Masses.

Thibault said the consolidation makes sense administratively and financially, but also for creating a community of faith.

He emphasized, however, that closing one or two of the North Attleboro churches was never discussed and is not part of the recommendation to the bishop.

“Not once did we ever talk about closing a church,” he said.

If approved by the bishop, the consolidation would become official Jan. 1 at one minute past midnight, he said.

A diocese spokesman said there is no timetable for da Cunha to make a decision.

Jim Hand may be reached at 508-236-0399 or jhand@thesunchronicle.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TSCpolitics.

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