(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com)– In a recent release, Bishop Lawrence Persico announced that St. Francis of Assisi parish will be combining into St. Bernard of Clairvaux parish.

Both parishes are located in the city of Bradford in McKean County and the combination comes as a result of declining numbers in parishioners for both churches.

Members of that planning group made the recommendation after over 150 members of both parishes met in a townhall-style meeting in September of 2022 about merging the two parishes.

A poll of the parishioners also found that roughly three quarters of parishioners support the move according to the release.

A pastoral planning group recommended St. Bernard of Clairvaux to be the parish that remains in October of 2022 with the poll and meeting in mind.

According to the release from Bishop Persico, Saint Bernard was chosen because most of the baptisms, all of the First Communions, and most of the marriages have been at Saint Bernard Parish.

The combination is set to go into effect on March 1, 2023. The full release can be read here.