St. John parishioners appeal EL merger

EAST LANSING, MI – A group of parishioners at St. John Student Parish in East Lansing is trying to stop the merger of St. John's with St. Thomas Aquinas.

This week, the group filed a petition with the Lansing Catholic Diocese, asking Bishop Earl Boyea to reconsider the merger.

Sam Thomas is a spokesman for the group. He says if the merger goes through, St. John's would be downgraded from a parish to an oratory or prayer center: "We are then to transfer virtually all of our assets to St. Thomas Aquinas. So we feel that as a result of that decree, our mission to the University community---which we've been conducting for 50 years now---will be diminished."

A spokesman for the Lansing Catholic Diocese says the Bishop has received the appeal and has 30 days to respond.