Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moving forward

I had to delete a few posts in the blog below. Most of what they contained was not out of line, but sometimes a zinger can undo the good in the rest of a post. One post I had to delete only because it referred to another deleted post and would've confused a new reader.

It seems to be time to begin moving past anger and accusations. Time to look at solutions. That's what the Sept. 12 meeting is about.

If we can make our posts more about fixing and not so much about finger-pointing, I think constructive solutions will start surfacing.

That doesn't mean we don't point out problems (though let's not point them out over and over again), it just means that we need to keep to the facts and not get unduly personal.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Community Meeting Planned

A meeting has been set up for all those who are interested in alternative solutions to the sale of St. Vincent's Catholic Church. Set for Sunday, Sept. 12, from 2-4 p.m. at the Steuben County Library in Corning, the meeting will include discussion on solutions related to St. Vincent's, as well as disseminate information and share specific actions parishioners can take to become involved. Go to for a printable flier.

All are welcome.

In addition, a bank account has been set up at M&T Bank with the name Saving Our Parish. Donations can be made directly to the bank and checks should be made out to Saving Our Parish. This account will be used for such things as purchasing signs and printing fliers. Unused funds will be donated to All Saints Academy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gandalf speaks wisdom

And now for some timely inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien, Catholic.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Facilities Plan Notes -- UPDATE

Hi all,

Information is coming out about the facilities plan. We've begun posting notes from parishioners who have attended. Go to the Articles page at Realize that what was provided to the parishioners was a piece of paper and a pen. The paper said, "What did you like about the plan? What would you improve?"

To post your notes, send them in an email to The more information available, the better. Please take notes if you plan to attend a meeting. And do ask all the questions you've been asking here.

UPDATE: Notes #2 are up. Must read.


A friend sent along these words from our patron saint.

"To rely on our talents is a cause of great loss. When someone places confidence in his own prudence, knowledge, and intelligence, God, to make him know and see his insufficiency, withdraws from him His help and leaves him to work by himself. This is often why our undertakings miserably fail. "

~ St Vincent de Paul

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Aligned on Him

From morning prayer of the Divine Office, a reminder to us all that our cornerstone is Christ:

Ephesians 2:19-22
You are no longer aliens or foreign visitors: you are citizens like all the saints, and part of God’s household. You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone. As every structure is aligned on him, all grow into one holy temple in the Lord; and you too, in him, are being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit.

And there's an article on prayer as our weapon over at Wow, I needed that! Lord have mercy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

For the sake of His sorrowful passion....

There are many praying for healing in our parish, and for every parishioner. One beautiful prayer devotion is the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It is often said at 3 p.m. Part two follows below to complete the Chaplet.

Morning Roundup

Cardinal Ouellet is the new head of the Congregation for Bishops, appointed by the Vatican. Here's a short article about him, and here's a snippet:

From the article: The cardinal, further, said the Church needs what Gyapong called a “new intellectual dynamism” to “recapture the spirit of Christianity” and “create a new Christian culture.”

“We need intellectuals for that, theologians, philosophers, Christians who really believe in the Gospel and share the doctrine of the Church on moral questions,” he said. “We have suffered from this mentality of dissent” that is “still dominating the intelligentsia.”

“There is no real discipleship there, real discipleship,” he added. “The discipleship that is emerging is from those who believe and who really love the Church.”

Send up your prayers of support for him!

In other news we got a hat tip from Cleansing Fire, another blog in the DOR that is well worth reading. They've been chronicling parish issues around our diocese for a long time, including Catholic school issues.

And while we're on it, here's a blog post from Fr. Longenecker at Standing on My Head about Why Catholics Should Build Beautiful Churches. We sure have some beautiful Catholic churches here in All Saints Parish . . . for now.

And get ready to commemorate the 100th birthday of Mother Theresa. Don't you miss her?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

All Saints/All One?

Another new article is up at All Saints/All One?

Do you know Jack?

The Feast of Our Lady's Assumption has just passed. A little late, but here is a very funny and educative look at it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Heads up -- UPDATE

One of our parishioners was able to get a call in to EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa on Wednesday evening. She shared some of the problems in her 'upstate New York' parish, and was able to receive advice from Fr. Pacwa.

The show will have an encore airing this Sunday at 4 a.m. for anyone interested in watching.

UPDATE: Go here for an audio link of the show. You can listen online now.  The show was the Open Line show during the day, and not the Wednesday evening show. Sorry about that!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Authentic Evangelization

There's another new article up at One of the most important articles we've posted, and do click on the links embedded in it. I know of at least one person who has already ordered the book referenced in the article.

Then, there's a loving note from a former parishioner, who is now a deacon in the Anglican Church. All Saints Parish impacted him in profound ways. We are worth saving, he tells us. Do read From a Friend.

And last, watch this short video of a priest from Hungary who goes out to the people to evangelize. You can feel the love. It's authentic. It's from God.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


A reader sent along this link to an article, written by a 27-year-old evangelical, that discusses 'The Perils of Wannabe Cool Christianity'.

UPDATE: There's a new article up at that ties in nicely with the 'wannabe cool Christianity' theme.

UPDATE 2: Marie McCaig has responded to the article about youth ministry with a clarification. Here's the link.

A song for our parish

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord, O my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return into his earth: in that day all their thoughts shall perish.

Blessed is he who hath the God of Jacob for his helper, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all things that are in them. Who keepeth truth for ever: who executeth judgment for them that suffer wrong: who giveth food to the hungry.

The Lord looseth them that are fettered: The Lord enlighteneth the blind. The Lord lifteth up them that are cast down: the Lord loveth the just. The Lord keepeth the strangers, he will support the fatherless and the widow: and the ways of sinners he will destroy.

The Lord shall reign for ever: thy God, O Zion, unto generation and generation.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Whose priorities?

So it's not just gossip. St. Vincent's will in all likelihood be sold, the church demolished, and instead of seniors attending mass there--worshiping and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ--it will become a housing development for them.

The short promotional film that was aired during mass gave a dizzying array of foreboding financial numbers. Why is no context provided? Why now and not several years ago? Why wasn't the parish as a whole involved in finding solutions? I guess we will get all the answers at one of the 18 small group meetings (down from 30?) slated for the end of August and the first few weeks of September.

So with these dire numbers and the recent terminations of Alene Goodman and Eleanor Black bouncing around in one's head, it is so odd and strange to see that our parish is seeking a music ministry director for the Life Teen youth program. (See the embed below.)

As someone commented on another post, "The life teen mass averages only 70 people per week, few teens go, adults included. And Dean is continuing to sink money into this mass while saying that he can't afford Alene's salary."

Looking up the Life Teen ministry, it is shocking to find that one of the founders of this youth ministry is an excommunicated, laicized priest who eventually plea-bargained and pled guilty to one of five charges against him (four of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one of indecent exposure.) This ex-priest went on to found a Praise and Worship Center with another defrocked priest.

Life Teen ministry, to its credit, has distanced itself from the scandal. Current President Randy Raus said, "I want to assure you as the President of Life Teen, that it has been over five years since Dale Fushek has been involved with the movement of Life Teen. We continue to pray for all involved and for healing. Again, the movement of Life Teen is in full support of Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Olmsted and the Diocese of Phoenix in these matters..." (Wikipedia)

Still, it makes one wonder. The youth ministry program that was in place at All Saints Parish a few years ago was local, in tune with the unique needs of our parish community's young people, and was thriving on a lot less money than is now being splashed out. Whose priorities are being served here?

Today, our parish leadership is seeking a Director of Life Teen Music Ministry. Is this a paid position? How did we go from a successful youth ministry with high participation and only a part-time youth minister, to now having a full-time youth minister, poor participation, and the sudden 'need' for a music director? One cannot blame the new youth minister, who is following in the wake of the poor decisions that were made long before he came.

Now we are being asked to say goodbye to yet another parish church. On this Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it was telling that during today's homily at St. Vincent's--a homily about our Mother--her image was covered up by the projection screen. Not intentional, to be sure. But telling.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Open Thread

This thread is hereby open for venting, which the dictionary tells us is "to give often vigorous or emotional expression to..."

Speak your mind...

And, on a lighter note, here's a very funny video that catches a New Age guru in his own confused reasoning:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Matter matters

That's the title of a new article over at SavingOurParish. It is an excellent reminder of what sets Catholics apart from the world. Here's a snippet:

Jesus is the Word and the Word became flesh. God becomes Man, thus showing us in the Incarnation both Form and Matter. This is the essence of our Sacramental life, and it is beautiful.

Just venting?

One of our team has been receiving emails from a parishioner who feels SavingOurParish is not helpful. A latest missive includes the following:

"Just wondered how you are going with the proposal that you said would be out in a few weeks.  Are you making any progress, when do you think you will have your first pass?"

Apparently our friend feels comfortable with the fact that it has taken the parish leadership over three years to come up with a plan for our financial situation, for there has been no criticism of that 'time line'. It's a wonder a fellow parishioner would have so little patience with the brethren as they study the situation, gather information, and formulate possible answers. One thing can be guaranteed, it won't take three years!

Next, is this: 

"I think the blogs are getting really hoppy [sic] but I still see nothing of substance coming from them.  I guess the anonymous people want to only vent.  I think it would be better if they offered up ideas and acted on them rather than just venting."

We can be assured that our friend's venting (without offering up any solutions) is quite as annoying as our friend feels the venting on this blog is. Apparently the website and blog are not allowed as part of the solution being offered. An open forum in which all parishioners have a voice. Not a solution. People free to speak their mind without fear of reprisals. Not a solution. Voices that have a variety of perspectives. Not a solution. Articles that ask the hard questions. Not a solution. A more fully informed parish. Not a solution. Options for worship and tithing. Not a solution. Official avenues for expressing dissatisfaction (or satisfaction for that matter). Not a solution.

This parishioner seems personally offended. That is regrettable. But St. Jerome says, "If an offense comes out of the truth, it is better that the offense come than that the truth be concealed."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Strategic Way?

 St. Patrick's Catholic Church

Read this article about the demolition of St. Patrick's, and note the comments afterward. How did this parish go from being alive and active and financially viable four short years ago to its current course--deep divisions, financial instability, and diminishing numbers? There is a common factor.

In June our parish leadership rolled out a Strategic Way plan to some in our parish--mainly staff, parish councils and ministry groups. In September Deacon Dean will roll out his facilities plan to the whole parish in a series of small group meetings.

Recently he wrote an article titled For Generations to Come in which he said, "If we maintain our current financial course, we will eventually cease to exist." That is strategic fear-mongering.

Watch for a new article at in the next few days. In the meantime, look at the dismantling of our parish, both physically and spiritually, and make the determination that you are going to do something about it. Enough is enough. This parish has 2,500 enrolled Catholic households. Those numbers would thrill any pastor of any local Christian sect. All Saints Parish is not in danger of death unless the parishioners consent to it by allowing the leadership to implement negative actions that tear down instead of build up.

There is much that we can do. There are solutions that do not involve selling off, tearing down, or closing up. They will be shared in upcoming weeks, and we hope you will share your ideas with us. Speaking to the church in Sardis, the Angel of the Lord said to St. John the Apostle, "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God," (Rev. 3:2).

Let us be determined to be watchful and to strengthen our parish instead of letting it be destroyed from within. We are many, and the force of our prayers and actions have the power to determine the future of All Saints Parish. Catholics are used to fighting the good fight. It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

God bless you all and "Pray without ceasing" for our parish. It is worth every word and soulful sigh that goes up to Heaven.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New article up at

Do take a quiet moment to read the newest contribution,  "The Role of the Laity in the Church," on Here's a bit:

Why are the people of God not being listened to? Why is the Holy Spirit, speaking through us, being ignored? Why are ancient as well as current teachings of the Church failing to be lived by our parish leaders? Do they ascribe to a neo-Gnosticism that only they, the leaders, have special knowledge of the Holy Spirit? How come we, the faithful, are not listened to by our parish leaders?

For background on Lumen Gentium, one of the principle documents of the Second Vatican Council that is referenced in the new article, go here.