It's official now.  St. Stephen Church parish will merge into St. Joseph Parish Church parish in Oil City.

According to the Diocese of Erie, Bishop Lawrence Persico has now approved the merger request from the Rev. John Miller, pastor of the partnered parishes.

Effective January 1, 2020, St. Stephen's parishioners will make the move to attend worship at St. Joseph Church.

Their former church will become a "secondary church," without its own mission.  The building will be used for occasional events, such s funerals, weddings and personal devotions.

In addition, the yearly feast of Saint Stephen, for whom the church is named, will continue to be observed there on December 26.