Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Looking to a new year

Coming in September...

While a good number of the faithful have been driven from our parish, all can take comfort in the catholic, the universal nature of the Faith. It is worldwide, it springs from an endless and eternal Source, and it is unstoppable. (H/T:  Cleansing Fire.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

God with us

Yesterday’s Advent reflection from Magnificat brought home the lesson of Immanuel, God with us. Helen Alvare´ writes about “God’s Love for What Is Human,” and she frames her words around the Annunciation in Luke 1. She says, in part, “We see from the beginning of the New Testament God’s willingness to interact directly with human categories such as location, emotion, and the human body.”

She goes on to say that the angel didn’t dismiss Mary’s fears, and that God did not “bypass Mary’s body” in bringing Jesus to us. “Rather, God shows love and respect for the human world he has made, and at the same time he reveals it to us with greater clarity: human procreation is a stunning gift; our towns and homes are places where God lives too…”

I believe that our church, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, is a place where God lives, too, both physically and metaphysically. And if Immanuel saw fit to make St. Vincent’s His dwelling place, it behooves those who are engaged in its destruction to soberly reflect on their motives for undoing what God hath done.

Christmas Mass Schedule

Here's the Mass schedule for Christmas:

Christmas Eve:

3 p.m. --    St. Mary's
4 p.m. --    St. Vincent's
5 p.m. --    St. Mary's
7 p.m. --    St. Mary's
Midnight. - St. Mary's

Christmas Day

9:30 a.m. -- St. Vincent's

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Double Speak?

During the recent Dessert and Dialog with parish leadership, our administrator told us that Immaculate Heart of Mary was 'technically not up for sale' since the real estate company agreement to sell the church had expired. The large 'for sale' sign remained in place, though.

The latest bulletin, however, states that it is indeed for sale. But it also says, "...our councils are giving very careful consideration to how to provide priest housing and parish office space before we would agree to any sale."


What does that mean, exactly? Are the parish councils reconsidering the one worship site option? If so, shouldn't all parishioners be involved in this latest process, as mandated in diocesan guidelines?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


So, our leadership's latest explanation given for the huge insurance rates in 2005, 2006, and 2007 is that  personal liability claims in the 1990s "rose dramatically". I can buy that, given the circumstances.

That begs the question, though, why did our parish leadership on multiple occasions and from multiple mouths, tell us that it was insurance costs for St. Patrick's that ate up any profit from its sale? That it would have been better to give St. Patrick's away  rather than sell it?

Was St. Patrick's a convenient scapegoat?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

For your viewing enjoyment...

Apparently Danny Kaye had Bing Crosby in stitches during this scene in White Christmas. You can see it, too. Back to business tomorrow.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Still America

The people who have been working to save St. Vincent Catholic Church are not just focused single-mindedly on this one issue. They are also citizens and have diverse opinions and views on many different issues affecting our city.

Until the flier went out and the unwarranted attack in the press happened, the subject of the facilities plan and vote had never come up amongst us. We all have full lives and meetings focused only on the church. We usually had an hour or two to meet and needed to focus on next steps.

As has been reiterated several times, there are no leaders here. Meetings are held at different locations, not on a regular basis, and people come and go as they choose to participate or draw back. Different people chair different meetings. Some people plan one thing, some another.

The website has merely served as a communication tool. It does not reflect on this loose grouping of individuals whose concern, again, is saving our church from destruction.

That said, since the Corning Leader saw fit to make a mountain out of a molehill, the facilities plan has now become a topic of conversation among us. Some of us are for it, some of us are not. Some of us are indifferent.

While the website and blog will not publish an opinion on the matter one way or another (since there is no official opinion to give), there are those of us who might want to speak one way or another about the facilities plan. And that is our right. We have every right to be for or against the facilities plan, to speak about it openly, and to work in whatever direction we see fit. This is still America.

Monday, December 6, 2010

600 Fliers

A little more than a week ago a small mailing from Saving Our Parish of about 600 fliers went out to homes in the area of St. Vincent Church. We figured that probably 400 of the fliers would be pitched without being read. Perhaps 100 people or so would read it and feel sympathetic, or not. And of the 100 left perhaps a few would be motivated to write Providence Housing Development Corporation and Bishop Matthew Clark about the sale of St. Vincent’s, or contact their city council members.

Instead, three local entities joined together to discredit and attack their fellow citizens. Much of the rhetoric and actions says more about them than those who are part of Saving Our Parish. We will leave them to their work.

The blog and the website, however, are currently working to save St. Vincent Church, and that will remain the focus. Comments that address issues not tied to St. Vincent’s or other parish issues, will not be published. The Corning Leader has comment posting on their website.

We have not taken a stand on the C-PP facilities plan. That was never our focus. Our concern has always been our church. We believe in letting the voters decide the issue of the facilities plan.

Because of the proximity and timing of Providence Housing’s plan and the possibility of more senior housing being developed at the middle school only a block away, north side residents and their council representatives have much to ponder and weigh.

We think saving a beautiful and gracious church a very worthwhile thing. St. Vincent’s was built with great love and care and has, like the other lovely churches in the neighborhood, anchored and characterized the north side for many years.

It is a vibrant church. It deserves to be saved.

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Attention all non-Catholic residents of the north side of Corning. The Corning Leader has proclaimed that the possible redevelopment of St. Vincent Catholic Church to subsidized senior housing is not your concern. You may all go back to your normal lives now.

Ignore the elephant a block away.


One of those evil papists ;-)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Can you trust The Leader?

From an article just posted at

"Today's 'exposé' of the neighborhood flier in The Corning Leader deserves a closer look. In the article 'C-PP officials upset over flyer' it states, “The author of the flyer remains a mystery. The flyer contained neither the name of a person nor an organization…”

That is an untrue statement and The Leader knows it. I hope they will print a retraction.

Read the whole thing.

Controversy erupts

I'm sure most of you have seen the article in the Sunday Corning Leader titled 'C-PP officials upset over flyer'.

There are numerous points that we will be addressing regarding the article and comments. Give us a little time to organize it all.

Perhaps the first thing we can do is reprint an email that was sent Friday afternoon to Bill Cameron, public information coordinator for the C-PP School District. Mr. Cameron sent a very polite and professional inquiry on Friday morning, which I responded to later in the afternoon. 

He responded back, saying in part, "Yes, it would be great to talk with you so please feel free to contact me. I will be here awhile longer today – but also available next week during the regular working day too... " As I told him, I would be happy to speak with him  and will do so next week.

From my communication with the C-PP School District:

Mr. Cameron,
Thanks for contacting us. The flier that was sent out had's website and post office box clearly printed in the return address. Some of us associated with are known to the community through the efforts to preserve St. Vincent Catholic Church in Corning.
Christine Sharkey, of Corning Enterprises, has spoken to me and my husband regarding the flier. As you can see, the flier is concerned with Providence Housing Development Corporation’s offer to buy the St. Vincent church property and redevelop it into senior housing.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Response to Cathy Weil

A Letter to the Editor has appeared in this morning's Corning Leader. It is highly critical of the neighborhood flier and the motives behind it. See the response here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Really? Really?

Immaculate Heart of Mary: assessed at $420,000. Asking price----around that number.  We have been told that  'technically' IHM is not up for sale at this point.

St. Vincent Catholic Church: assessed at $2.1 million. Asking price--$350,000. Was never up for sale.

Such a deal.