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Decree issued establishing St. Damien Parish, Ocean City

Bishop Joseph Galante formally announces the establishment of St. Damien Parish, St Mary School Tower Ad formed through the consolidation of St. Augustine, Ocean City; St. Frances Cabrini, Ocean City; and Our Lady of Good Counsel, Ocean City on March 23, 2011.

The announcement establishing the new parish was made in a formal decree, which is published in the February 18 edition of the Catholic Star Herald. 


Fr. Michael P. Rush has been named pastor of the new parish, for a six-year term. The parish of St. Damien, whose boundaries will be those of the existing parishes, will serve approximately 2300 families in Ocean City.

St. Augustine Church will be the primary worship site, with St. Frances Cabrini and Our Lady of Good Counsel being maintained as worship sites.

It is the 31st decree issued by Bishop Joseph Galante in a diocesan-wide reconfiguration of parishes announced two years ago to strengthen parishes and improve pastoral care to the people of the diocese. The reconfigurations are a result of more than a year of study by parish and deanery planners, who considered population and demographic trends, the number of diocesan priests available for ministry, Mass attendance and trends in religious practice.