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In an effort to provide those who visit this site with up-to-date information regarding  events or stories of interest happening within the diocese, the Secretariat for Communications researches and prepares articles and news releases. 

Access to the most recent news is available under "News Headlines" on the home page.  Copies of old stories are available by accessing the Archives at the end of the News and Press Release section.

Parish Incorporation




GAYLORD, MICHIGAN — Bishop Walter A. Hurley, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Gaylord, has announced that the process of parish incorporation is underway; this process will incorporate every parish in the diocese as a Michigan nonprofit corporation. 

The incorporation of diocesan parishes aligns the civil law structure with the ecclesiastical or church structures. According to church law and theology, each parish and diocese has its own unique set of rights and responsibilities, including the obligation to administer church property. The separate incorporation of parishes is the civil law structure that most accurately reflects ecclesiastical law and theology. Creating nonprofit parish corporations is the simplest and most effective way of ensuring that the rights of parishes regarding church property are respected, not only in church law, but in civil law. 

Since 1911, the Holy See has requested that dioceses pursue parish incorporation, and many parishes in dioceses in the United States have long been incorporated, including some of the dioceses here in Michigan in recent times. This process in the Diocese of Gaylord begins after consultation with the College of Consultors and Finance Council of the diocese, and with their support and encouragement.

Bishop Hurley stated, “I am pleased that this process is underway in the Diocese of Gaylord — while this incorporation project won’t greatly alter the day-to-day for our pastors and their churches, it is of great significance that we align their civil law structure with that of the Church. This is a prudent task, one that we look forward to completing here in this diocese. I remain grateful for all our pastors and leaders, for the great work they are doing to meet the needs of their people, and I am thankful for their engagement in this endeavor for the greater good of the diocese as a whole.”

The diocese has shared information about this process of parish incorporation on their website, both to inform about the process and to answer common questions.




The Diocese of Gaylord was established by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on July 20, 1971. The territory encompasses 11,171 square miles and includes the 21 most northern counties of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The region is home to nearly 50,000 Catholics, served by 75 parishes, 17 Catholic schools and many closely-related institutions. For more information, visit

Keywords: Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Gaylord, Incorporation of Parishes

Media Contact: Mrs. Mackenzie Ritchie, Director of Communications / / 989.705.3506

File: CLICK TO VIEW: Presentation on Parish Incorporation

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