TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The Catholic Diocese of Providence announced Sunday that St. Madeleine Sophie Parish in Tiverton will merge into St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Little Compton.

The diocese said the merger is due in part to declining Mass attendance.

The two parishes are roughly five miles apart and have shared the same pastor since 2000. The two parishes have also run combined religious education programs since 2018. 

Bishop Thomas Tobin approved the merger and shared a statement on the decision. 

“I commend the pastor and leaders of the two parishes for their diligence and wisdom in bringing together the union of the two parishes,” Tobin said. “And I pray that, with God`s help, it will lead to a new commitment to evangelization and a vibrant spiritual life for all the members of the parish community.” 

The merger will take effect on Jan. 24.