Now is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It won’t last forever. We must take it or leave it. – C.S. Lewis
$4000????Are you serious. How do you know this?
I am certain this is heresay or not a representation of the whole story... shame on you for filling the gossip mill so happily!
It was stated by Dean at the famous Dinner and Dialogue night, when he was talking about how Providence wanted an updated appraisal and they woulddo one too and we would settle on a price somewhere in between if there was a sizeable difference between the appraisals. It may sound like a huge price but having had an appraisal for my little home a year ago, to me, it sounds in range for SVdeP total property. The more important question is, does this mean "full speed ahead" for the sale regardless of the inaccurate financials we received to convince us of the need, when the plan was presented to the parish?
Evelyn, what do you mean by "inaccurate financials"?
Thank you Evelyn, I beleive that is exactly how it was stated at the dean dialogue. Inaccurate financials are just what it says. If you were able to take shorthand at one of the 18 roll out sessions; the writing was on the wall. The administration does not want to give the parishioners a closer look or the time to actually discuss this.
Justwonderin if you SOP ever thought you and this blog would ever change anything. The only thing that is changed is how people used to perceive those of you who make up the group. it's time for you to get out of the way, pull the yard signs, have your final discussion at the union hall and disband. You can better serve this community and the church by helping to bring the people you have negatively influenced back to the church.
Oh, ok. We SOP are doing that now. But we were thinking about putting a committee together to study it. Would you advance us $4000?
To anonymous who asks what "inaccurate financials"For starters, at the D& D when asked about an accounting of the $80,000 used from St. Pat's sale, we were told there is no revenue line item for it and it shows in expenses under "general operating" So right there is an inaccurate budget presentation to the parish. Of course, if we want to see how it is done we make an appointment to look at the books. Really now, what business operates like that. And yes, we are talking about the business aspect of the church. Just give us an accurate full accounting and the skepcisism and doubt will subside. After all,the people of SV are the ones contributing the money. Most people like to know how they spend their money. That is just being responsible stewards.
10:22 Did you honestly think that no one would fight for what is right? You would make a great a politician feeding evryone full of false hope and promises that can't be fulfilled. Who is going to attend this "Mega Church"? I think you should try to hear what the SOP people have to say or are you afraid of the truth? Who knows the answer to save the church could be right around the corner but you'll never know if you don't try!
to 10:22 If the SOP ever thought they could create change they indeed are mistaken. Change can only come when people with differences can get together and listen to each other and compromise some of their ideas for the good of ALL. Openness' respect and listening to each other and the Holy Spirit bring about change. Somehow it seems for some this is not happening and so we get these "blasts" of accusations hurled at each other.
SOP's "Mega Church" concept is such a joke. There are parishes larger than ours that houses everyone in one church (St. Johns of Rochester for example). I invite you to this website: http://sava.dor.org/ Save for central Monroe County whose population density dwarfs ours, there is no other place in the diocese where two catholic churches reside so close to one another. Face it: we're only talking about basically moving one mass 5 minutes away!! Everything else stays the same. Lets get our priorities straight, people!! The reason we became one parish was financial. If you and your family owned three different homes in the same town and you could not afford it, while you may like your three different homes for their unique aspects the answer is you don't physically need the other houses, after all, there is never a time when the family occupies more than one house at a time. Therefore, it is only financially responsible in the longterm that you sell the houses you can no longer afford to keep open. Its what any business does, such as if Corning needed to close down a plant when there was a fully operational one down the street. Why pay for three houses when you can't afford it and you can easily all fit into one?? It is just total common sense and nobody here seems to get that. Its all emotion and feelings. Anyway, there are catholic cathedrals all around the country that make St. Mary's look like a two car garage. Stop with this mega church nonsense and gain some real perspective!
One can certainly copy the idea of the mega-church model without having the numbers--Victory Highway, for example. Tricksy fellow! You are trying to get a rise. :-)
I would love to see that we can't afford it i would be more than willing to look at the books with the leadership team so they could point out just where it is that we can't afford it. After all that is really all anyone would like to see is where the money is going. And as far as the fact that you would only be moving mass 5 minutes away is a little insulting, you are not only taking one of the most beautiful churches i have ever seen away you are taking a part of my family. My parents were married there as well as my sister and myself, also it is where I and all my siblings were baptised as well as my nephew and my daughter so no you are not just moving mass 5 miutes away you are telling me my spiritual home doesn't matter and that i can get the same feeling from another church. So please don't tell me how i must get over it!
I do not mean to insult anyone by saying that we are just moving mass 5 minutes. I am just stating the facts. I understand your feelings, but they do not change reality. What makes a parish is the people, not the building. We have got to learn to have faith in Christ and not a building!!
Apparently the faith of our fathers, the faith that built SV for generations to come, that invested blood, sweat, tears, and ultimately joy in the stones and mortar of that church...mean nothing.I submit to you that it is precisely a saving faith in Christ that impells parishioners to try and save SV.Your sort of faith would have us tear down the our Catholic identity and churches, not build it/them up. We want to hold on to what we have and build from there. The administration wants to destroy and then have some sort of rebirth. He even talks about 'adding on' to SM. Ever wonder what that would look like?
To some this is not just a building it is what we have had to believe in through our own struggles and triumphs it has been a constant for the parish from the begininng. The sooner you can understand that we are not just fighting for a building but also for our faith the better we all will be. My faith lies with my friends and family of the parish yes, but it is also engrained it what you keep referring to as just a "building" this spiritual home has cried, laughed, been mad and been happy with me so yes i will fight until the end as will all those who FAITH in this home!The reality of it is that our leadership is not being fair. We would just like to see where the struggles are financially.?.?
1:17pm- Are you crazy? "There is no other place in the Diocese where two catholic churches reside so close to each other" How about ELMIRA.
I would say that in general, the Adversary lives to tear down what Christ has built up. So, the question is, ‘Did Christ, though his people, build St. Vincent’s Catholic Church?’
1:17..can tell you haven't lived in the area very long...St. Mary's Southside and St. Pat's are 1/4 mile apart...that from the Bishop's mouth....OLOL is 5 minutes one way and St. Casmirs 5 the other from St. Pat's....are you doing all your remarks on work time that we parishioners are paying for...just asking???
1:17...sorry...I forgot St. Peter and Paul's on the list....
Finances the problem? When the people of a church has its needs met spiritually, educationally socially and in living out the social gospel it has been my experience that the membership grows and the money is there.I have not had evidenced to me anything except finances in deciding where all will worship Are we doing any thinking outside the box, creative planning of ways and means to grow before these mandates are given to "follow the leader". Look around the diocese and see the vibrant alive parishes....they have lots of people participation, lots of activities for the people and leadership willing to share the running of the parish with the members. It's messy at times but it is church in its best form
What's so bad, since the churches are five minutes apart that there be two churches for worship and the priest travel the five mninutes. I have not heard the priests say this was too much for them. With a priest as pastor and not sacramental minister I am willing to bet this could happen. There are many priests in the diocese doing that , Elmira, Auburn
This isn't about the priests or the parishioners. It's about one person, an outsider, determining our fate. Once his mission is accomplished it's on to the next parish to start in on them.
1:17 & 1:42...WOW! I am glad to see that you calmed down a bit between those two posts.You speak of...priorities, need, and faith. All very personal issues. I'll take care of mine and you can take care of yours...how does that sound? Please stop the lectures....we got enough of that last Thursday. My lawn sign is staying right where it is. As for SOP disbanding...I plan to stick it out as a member of the core team as we try to plead with Deacon Dean, Bishop Clark, whomever to understand that SVdP Church is worth preserving...and financially we can afford it...we may have to dig a little deeper and do some FUNdraising but hey, I may get the pleasure of working side by side with you, flipping some flapjacks and laughing at how many pieces of bacon my 6 yr old can consume.Its all about perspective, attitude, and knowing that ALL parishioners are able and allowed to discern this on their own -- and as fully initiated Catholics we can.
You go Mary!! God bless you. Keep up the fight- all is not lost. I believe that Rochester is watching and listening and that Dean's days are numbered. It is only then that the healing can begin and, through the grace of God, there will be a resurrection of All Saints parish.
Anonymous 3:56 said "Dean's days are numbered"... hmmm so SOP has resorted to threats? And you people call yourselves Christians. Sad. :(
Not a threat, Steven, just a personal observation. I have also observed that you don't seem to have a problem with Saint Vincent's days being numbered.
I don't believe I ever stated that whatsoever. It is a sad situation economic turmoils lead to the POSSIBILITY of a church closing. I am, however, humble enough to not suggest that I have all the information. I do know for a fact though, Dean is not making decisions alone - a lot of what is going on is supported by the folks in Rochester. There is more to the story than we know. That fact comes straight from the top. So maybe instead of casting stones, we should realize that angst-filled rants and crazed accusations are no way to "Save Our Parish"
Steven, I'm sure there's much more going on than any of us know.
Steven, Of course Rochecter is supporting this decision. They examine finances very carefully. From where they are sitting, the people of this parish are not coughing up enough money to maintain our 3 worship sites. It doesn't take a financial wizard to see this. What Rochester must take into consideration is why. Why aren't the good and faithful parishioners in Corning supporting their parish? I think we both know the answer to this question. My question to you is: why make a permanant decision based on temporary and failing leadership?
Steven, you said, "I am, however, humble enough to not suggest that I have all the information."I don't recall anyone saying that they do have all the information...and I think that is part of the problem.You also said, "I do know for a fact though, Dean is not making decisions alone - a lot of what is going on is supported by the folks in Rochester."Deacon Dean was hired to PASTORIAL Administrate All Saints Parish. The parishioners of All Saints Parish are his flock. He is supposed to "look out for us and tend to us." While I know we reside in the Diocese of Rochester, a shepherd is to look to the (ministerial) needs of his flock, first and foremost, using Jesus, the Good Shepherd, as his/her role model.You state, "There is more to the story than we know. That fact comes straight from the top."I understand there is more to this than is being shared with the parish, but what do you mean by that fact comes "straight from the top."You speak of "casting stones," and yet, just 2 posts up you cast one (You call yourself Christian).I agree that rants and crazed (?) accusations are no way to "Save Our Parish," but people are sad and frustrated that their feelings, emotions and input are so easily dismissed. Passions are flying high because things with the PH Offer are going through at a rapid pace. This blog is where people sometimes vent because they just need to "get it out." So please, let us have our "Time Out" here rather than at home with our family, I'd rather share happy thoughts with them.
Uhh we have been having financial problems long before Dean arrived. His predecessors just refused to deal with it. Look at the charts that we observed at mass the other day and on the parish website. Our expenses exceeded our income EVERY YEAR since 2000. The only thing that has saved us is a few large bequests. Now the bequests have not been coming and the expenses are piling up. Dcn. Dean has decreased our expenses over the last four years, and collections have seen an INCREASE as of late. Those are the facts. Any attempt to twist the facts just shows how some of you have a personal agenda against your non-priest pastoral administrator and you have just been waiting for the moment to finally find excuses to throw him out. That is what I firmly believe. There was some of this going on when Sr. Joan was here too. Very sad indeed.A one church-one parish idea has been thrown around at committees ever since we first clustered. It is the natural trend of all the cluster-parishes in the country, especially if there are two churches in the same town. And one last thing: it is fairly typical as a policy in the diocese that deacons and lay administrators are never replaced with a priest as pastor. So if Dean were to leave, if you didn't have lay diocesan administrator fill the position, someone like Trish or Deacon Ray would like cover until they found someone...if at all. Pastoral Administrators don't grow on trees. And I can assure you that Dean leaving would have zero impact on the St. V plan, and as a matter of fact it may hasten the plan to move forward to accommodate for the lack of priest and administrator personnel. Be happy you don't live in some places like the the Diocese of Syracuse which has a "one priest one roof" policy. In the last ten years they have closed 37 churches. 37!! The problem in our cluster parish is nationwide, folks!!Be careful what you wish for.Oh, and just as a disclaimer, I am NOT staff member. But even if I were and I said all this, why would that undermine the facts that I have brought to you? What on earth does our poor hard working staff have to gain by going through the difficult process of closing a church unless they truly knew it was our only option?
To anonymous, Maybe you did not hear a member of the facilities committee say that they were working on a two church solution until it was announced to them that PH came along and wanted to buy the school, former convent and rectory but not the chuirch. Only then did the study go in the direction of one church and PH told they had to take the whole complex. I am not ready to give in to the proposed plan with that kind of planning. there are other options if there is a willingness to pursue them.
Anonymous 9:51, You have a lot of questions, as well as some false information. I hope you come to Sunday's community meeting at the Union Hall.
9:51 pm...Not sure what you meant by "Be careful what you wish for."You also said, "What on earth does our poor hard working staff have to gain by going through the difficult process of closing a church unless they truly knew it was our only option?"I DO NOT discount any of the hard work parish staff has done but, as pastoral leaders (which they all are) the needs of the entire parish should be considered. I don't recall them coming to the ENTIRE parish and presenting this situation to us -- if they had done so, I am confident that the Holy Spirit would have led ALL OF US to the option that was best for the parish. Many of us do have faith in the leadership of this parish -- when it is pastoral. For it to be any other way would just make us another non-profit institution, and not a Catholic Church.May God Bless You.
Gretchen, please tell us what the false information is?
Mary, Why did you bypass the financial portion of 9:51 Anonymous? Any response to that?Others,The Facilities group was settling in on a 2 church parish because they had no choice. The financial situation is not good we do not have enough money to close our budget. We are dipping into our savings. I would like to know in your own household if your expenses were greater than your income you would do something right? You may have to sell your house or your car, something right. Please really think thru this and try to be honest with yourself.
I urge you all to attend Sunday's meeting at the Union Hall at 2 p.m.As far as false information, it's there for anyone who is willing to look for it.And, as for being in financial trouble, most people hang on to their homes...once you're homeless you are really in trouble. Even the civil government recognizes that, which is why it 'forgives' debt through bankruptcy, but allows you to keep your home.
Gretchen,So you really don't have any false information that you can list, is that correct?So when you sell your house you rightsize and move into an apartment you don't live on the street.
there are ways to save your homes (or churches) without jumping into selling them! I see/hear about people doing amazing things to save their homes and the things they love the most. It is not uncommon to see people scrimp and save and then come out on top once again. The most recent story i heard was of a woman who's home was in foreclosure and she decided NO i am going to save my home so she did something as simple as start to bake and sell cakes out of her home and her friends and the community rallied to gether to help her save her home! So yes the economy may bring you down but if you WANT to you can fight against it and win, but the key is you have to WANT to! I wish that our leadership would WANT to save what so many have dedicated their lives to.
Anonymous of 9:25 AM...I didn't mean to bypass 9:51 PM's financial comments, it is just that I am not a financial analyst. I believe that our parish leadership wants to sell SVdP but I don't believe that they need to. If they truly wanted to keep it we would have turned over every stone (I think one Anonymous poster used that term) in an effort to keep it. There are many "stones" that may have been considered but I don't believe they were tried (or completely turned over.) I have spoke of fund-raiser before and basically we do little fund-raising (1%). Please do not speak of stewardship and tithing, because that is NOT fund-raising. Every single parish I have ever joined (3) or worked for (5) has done major fund-raising. It builds a great deal of community AND you get to make some money to cover those larger repair bills. If we would have started a fund-raising committee at the same time as our facilities committee...some of our much needed repairs would be a thing of the past. I truly believe that...and our community experience would be better When my husband lost his job last fall, we did what most people would do -- we cut back. We turned the heat down (more), served pasta for dinner a couple times a week, and I got a part-time job. We kept our two cars, my husbands motorcycle, kept up with mortgage payments, continued to contribute to the church (although, a little less) AND we didn't touch our savings.Our parish can't really "go out and get a part-time job," but they can do more fund-raising and more pulpit appeals ("We could really use an extra 20K to fix the roof."). If there is transparency in the finances and humility behind the request...parishioners will respond.Anonymous of 9:25 AM...I hope that answers your request.
Mary,The parish has cut the expenses as you have seen in the presentations and have actually done a nice job over the past several years. They had a layoff and that was not well received. There are only so many ways to reduce expenses and more layoffs are not the way to go. We obviously are not going to get anymore income; we again have seen that in the presentations, the past 10 years have been flat. Fund raisers are a great idea but you would need to raise a lot of money to close the budget and you have to continue to raise a lot of money every year. We have had parish festivals, bingo and other such events to raise money but it turns out to be few people running the committees and sooner or later they burn out and these events stop….then what?
I think it's wonderful that so many parishioners want to try to save a beautiful church like St. V's. I'm not from this area, and so don't have the same ties as some to the church, but I deeply appreciate the value of old churches, which help us remember in our worship that our faith is rooted in history.But regardless of the facilities outcome, I think it's important to remember another aspect of our Catholic faith. Namely, the grace received from obedience to Christ's successors (the bishops, and those they put in charge of us locally - yes, that does include pastoral administrators!). Like in any family, we need to participate in the decision making process as vigorously as necessary, and not leave the head of the family to operate alone. But ONCE a decision has been made that requires our cooperation (even if we continue to think it a bad decision), I hope we parishioners will appreciate that grace is found in obedience, both for ourselves individually and for the community. Finally, if St. V's is closed down, we should take consolation in the great richness of our Catholic faith, which has seen many buildings close or be destroyed, and yet more reopen or be renewed. This is NOT to say that it is right to close St. V's. Rather; it is to say that if that happens, we shouldn't lose our faith. The Holy Spirit always finds a way to work through our fallibility and bring new life to the Church.St. Peter's Basilica in Rome was built by tearing down/radically modifying Constantine's original 4th century basilica - with the help of removing tons of stones from the Colosseum (how's that for respecting old buildings?). The Borgia pope who finished the new basilica then had the gumption to blast his name all over the facade: IN HONOREM PRINCIPIS APOST PAVLVS V BVRGHESIVS ROMANVS PONT MAX AN MDCXII PONT VII (In honor of the prince of apostles; Paul V Borghese, pope, in the year 1612 and the seventh year of his pontificate).Now the meaning of the inscription, and the pope behind it, has faded into the rich history of the Catholic Church, and the new basilica is one of the most beloved pilgrim sites in Christendom.So if this issue is making you consider leaving the Catholic Church, consider how much bigger the Church is than this parish at this time. Take hope in the fact that the flaws of the Church's leaders (and members) haven't destroyed it for two thousand years, and this controversy, though it hits home, is only one part of the great story of our redemption.
Shena- Thank you for taking the time to share. I would like to respond to your comment in regards to obedience to Christ's successors, specifically the Bishop. We are obligated to be obedient to our Bishop when he is acting in obedience to the Holy Father and Church teaching. Our Bishop Clark is a very kind and loving man, however, he has not always acted in obedience to the Holy Father. The Diocese of Rochester is ranked next to last in the Catholic World report 2010 study on vocations, growth in parishioners, etc. A quote:“The Diocese of Rochester is known throughout the nation as one of the most liberal and modernist dioceses,where there has been a collapse of authentic Catholic catechesis and a policy of deliberately devaluing the priesthood in favor of the feminization of the liturgy and promotion of lay ecclesial ministries,” says James Likoudis, who served as president of Catholics United for the Faith from 1988 to 1994.We are experiencing the fruit of no vocations in the Diocese of Rochester. People are put into positions of leadership, not because they are good leaders, but because the pool is small. We need to pray for vocations.
Thank you for the lovely comment, Shena. And the same goes for anonymous 5:57 p.m.
Anonymous of 3:34, you said, "Fund raisers are a great idea but you would need to raise a lot of money to close the budget and you have to continue to raise a lot of money every year. We have had parish festivals, bingo and other such events to raise money but it turns out to be few people running the committees and sooner or later they burn out and these events stop….then what? "Fund-raising is an on-going thing. If we would have kept them going (I must not have been here at that time), they would have possibly grown. Burn-out always is a problem -- usually, the newly appointed P.A. brings new energy and ideas. There are "shared-chair" options for larger events like parish festivals or bazaars and teams for weekly or monthly events like Bingo Fish Fries and Pancake Breakfasts. Finally, you always have your "back of church" fundraising...like the Easter Candy, Candles, Holiday Wreaths/Trees. The point is...you are relentless -- but in a nice way. ("Thank you so much for your Tree order Mr. Smith. This will really help us reach our goal of $??? to pay for the new handicap ramp.") There will always be bad economies and reasons why an event doesn't go well. Perhaps you rework for next time...but, most importantly you keep trying and you keep trying new things.
Addison has a huge Christmas bazaar, a pancake breakfast and a traditional corned beef dinner for Saint Patricks day. These events raise thousands of dollars every year. If a little parish like Saint Catherines can find enough people to organize and support these fundraisers, think what a parish our size should be able to accomplish. The problem is one of passion and committment- the All Saints parishioners have lost their enthusiasm. Don't know what it will take to get it back but it must begin with Jesus Christ.
Again....we are the only CITY in the DIOCESE that does not have a PRIEST PASTOR....WHY....we are being used as an experiment that isn't working...read the World Catholic Report...it will open your eyes...DOR is LAST....
Hey, when is the Christmas Bazaar in Addison...I'd love to go.Thanks.
7:35...WRONG. St. Mary's Downtown in the very heart of the CITY of Rochester is run by Anne-Marie Brogan, a lay woman. There is somewhere around 17 non-priest pastoral administrators in the diocese.
Can you give us the link to the World Catholic Report and how to find the info on DOR. thanks!
8:44...I said we are the only CITY in the Diocese with no priest pastor...Rochester does have priest pastor in majority of its churches and look at Elmira...how many they have...
It is Catholic World Report. Link: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=211&Itemid=53. The article is titled "The Barren Fig Tree." It isn't available online, though. I wonder if someone from SOP can request permission to reprint. Pretty please?
12:02...I will see what I can do. Say a prayer. :)
Excuse me 11:59 but Bath and Hammondsport do not have a pastor and they have a very wonderful community.
4:49...ok...Bath and Hammondsport are villages not CITIES....and in Bath which is larger than Hammondsport they do have a pastor or has Fr. Yeager been moved?????
Hammondsport and Bath are one community and they have a Pastoral Administrator as well as Fr. Jim
BUT....he is the PASTOR....
7:16 AM no, Father Jim has the same roll in Bath and Hammondsport as Fr. Lou does here in Corning. Deacon David LaFortune is the Pastoral Administrator of the Hammondsport and Bath parish- and yes, they have a wonderful community even with the absence of a priest in the roll of pastor.
Catholics in Corning need to face the facts, if the Diocese gives you a cruddy deal re: a pastor or pastoral admin. then your parish suffers. You got the shaft & most now attend mass in Campbell. They trashed St. Pats and St. Vinnies I fear is next due to your breaking the 11th commandement "thou shalt be viable". Remember all the Parish Planning & Synod BS years ago. In H'port St. Gabes is a mere shadow of itself cuz Sister Anne is gone and it will be closed in due time as attendance has cratered since this St. Mary's merger. No doubt based on some mediocre Kodak or Xerox castoff's opinion who is now employed by the Diocese, making a "living wage". I wish the people of St. Vinnie luck, and perhaps the ghost of Father Guilfoyle will haunt your poor excuse of an administrator this Feast of All Saints.St. Vinnies Class of 69