Wasn’t the goal of the Collaborative process to merge Parishes from the beginning?
As much as we might think this in hindsight, the goal of Disciples in Mission (Pastoral Planning with a collaborative model) continues to be strengthening parishes for the work of the New Evangelization, strengthen the work of the New Evangelization in Parishes part of which is promoting vocations to ordained ministry in the Church.
Strengthening parishes first requires us to stabilize them pastorally and financially. Through the processes of developing a pastoral plan some collaboratives have discerned that joining parishes into one new parish as a goal of their pastoral plan, though that is not necessarily the preferred or presumed goal.
The reason presented in 2011 for leaving collaborative parishes independent and autonomous was the hopeful possibility that each parish would help to strengthen each other to the point that each could be strong enough to return to be stand-alone.