Monday, May 30, 2011

Running the race that is set before us

This, that, and the other

A long post, but there's lots to choose from.

More Catholic tradition is being forsaken in our parish. Were you aware that the young people being confirmed next week will not have the opportunity to choose confirmation names? I asked around about this and was given an answer: 

At baptism we are claimed for Christ through our name, we are called by name and it is the first question asked of the parents “what name do you give this child,” so liturgists suggest that there is no need to choose another name since Confirmation is a deepening of the Spirit we receive at baptism for strengthening for service and mission.  

However, it has been a long tradition in the Catholic faith to choose a saint to help us in our baptismal call to serve.  It is a great opportunity to learn about a saint and have your own personal cheerleader in heaven.  Many times candidates will choose a patron of an occupation they want to go into or a gift they have (like Cecilia for music) to be their guide.  

The diocese recommends candidates don’t choose a name but keep their baptismal name.  However, a candidate can do whatever they choose and no one can stop them. 

If you have a confirmation candidate next Sunday, let them know they may choose a confirmation name. 

Also, the writers at Cleansing Fire have posted about the availability of funeral masses in our parish: You Might Not Get a Funeral Mass When You Die. 

And then Cardinal Burke opines on the tendency to humanize the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is commonly done in our parish via lay homilies, films during mass, and so on. A snippet: 

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke delivered a lecture on what he calls a nearly 50-year trend of self-centered liturgy last week at the Thomistic Institute in Washington, D.C.

“In the time since the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, but certainly not because of the teaching of the council, there has been exaggerated attention on the human aspect of the sacred liturgy,” said the high ranking Vatican official in his May 11 address.

To segue off that, here's a priest's take on the mass as a sacrifice: How the Mass is a sacrifice, and why so many deny this doctrine. 

A snippet: 

With utmost clarity, Trent taught that the Mass is a sacrifice, against the protestant heresy. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is truly the Catechism of Vatican II, likewise insists that the Mass is a sacrifice and one with the Sacrifice of Calvary. 

Nevertheless, the fact remains that many people (and even some Catholics) deny this truth. Either through direct rejection of this doctrine (as in the case of heretics) or through an implicit and indirect rejection manifested by external actions during the Liturgy (as in the case of countless Catholics and even some priests), many people deny that the Mass is a true sacrifice.

Lastly, Pope Leo XIII wrote a largely-ignored encyclical that has proven to be prophetic. It is Sapientiae Christianae. A tip of the hat to Todd Hartch's article Born for Combat at The Catholic Thing.

Here's more from Pope Leo's encylical: We are bound, then, to love dearly the country whence we have received the means of enjoyment this mortal life affords, but we have a much more urgent obligation to love, with ardent love, the Church to which we owe the life of the soul, a life that will endure forever. For fitting it is to prefer the good of the soul to the well-being of the body, inasmuch as duties toward God are of a far more hallowed character than those toward men. 

In memorium

In honor of those who have fallen in battle

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friends of St. Vincent’s (FOSV) Fundraising


By Susan Miller 

The following are questions I’ve heard and/or ones that are likely on the minds of people who would consider donating to FOSV:

Q: I donated money a few months ago. How was it used?
A: Any money that has been donated, either to SOP or FOSV in the past six months, is being used to fund the canonical appeal. Thank you all for your generosity! Also note that the SOP account is now closed, and the funds have been moved to the FOSV account. 

Q: Where is the money coming from for other costs, such as the newsletter and applying for 501(c)(3) status?
A: The members of SOP have been paying these costs and will continue to do so. Money collected from all other people will be used for the appeal. 

Q: When will you make the appeal?
A: We cannot go forward with the appeal until the bishop officially accepts the recommendation to close and sell St. Vincent’s Church and makes a public announcement. So, we cannot say exactly when the appeal process will begin. However, things change very quickly, and we need to be ready. 

Q: What if St. Vincent’s is saved, and an appeal isn’t necessary? What happens to the money you collected?
A: The newsletter stated the following: “Monies not used in the appeals process will be donated to charities that are at the heart of St. Vincent de Paul’s mission.”

Our first choice, and most likely that of many people who donate, is to use any extra money (or all money if there is not an appeal) to repair St. Vincent’s Church. The best way to do this, in our opinion, would be to write a check from the FOSV account to the contractor to guarantee that the money is used in this way. We owe this to contributors so that their money doesn’t end up in a slush fund. Under the circumstances, however, this may not be possible. In the past, we were told that any fundraising we did would go to the one-church solution. If that remains the case, then all money will go to one or more local charities.

Q: I would like to donate, but I don’t have $100.
A: The $100 Club is just one way to support the appeal. You can donate any amount of money by clicking the Donate button on the right or mailing a check to: 

FOSV
PO Box 56
Painted Post, NY 14870

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dollars to donuts at IHM

With the recent rains, it is no wonder that IHM had several inches of water in the basement. Too bad that the sump pump was the size you would expect for a residential basement. It was many days before the water was finally extracted. The basement stinks. There's no dehumidifier, only a fan.

This is no way to take care of a property. Imagine having to live there.

We hear about stewardship all the time, but when the opportunity to demonstrate it arises, parish leadership falls flat.

Of course, the latest rumor is that a national donut chain is buying part or all of IHM property. Perhaps they will spring for a sump pump.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A victory for St. Mary's parishioners in Jamesville--UPDATE

The Vatican's highest court has ruled in favor of parishioners to keep their church in Jamesville a worship site. The decision was based on the merits of the case, and not just on a procedural move, which is very significant.

Scroll down for the video. Here's another article at the Wall Street Journal.

Don't believe it when you are told "It's a done deal."

Never, ever give up.

UPDATE: YNN has a nice video here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wandering in Wonderland

So the cemetery bookkeeper is retiring in July. And instead of absorbing that position in order to save money and help balance the parish budget, another individual has been hired. The cemetery has accounts receivable of $94,000 in 2009-2010, and management of this ginormous sum apparently merits a full-time job.

In some alternate reality it is apparently logical for the parish to run a deficit budget, all the while asking parishioners to dig deeper than ever in their pockets to fund the insanity.

Someone needs to tell the administrator about Quicken.

Prayers needed

Massive twister hits Missouri. Eighty-nine have died. Prayers from us. St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wouldn't you like to be a priest....err...pepper too....

In case you've been preached to about the priesthood of believers, this article at Crisis Magazine gives a cogent understanding of the truth about it: For the Dissidents, We're All Priests Now.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2009-2010 parish financial statement

The parish financials for last year are online here. You can get to more financial info here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not a word...

Was poking around the web today and found this 2007 Catholic Courier article about All Saints Parish. From the article:

Now, All Saints is eyeing the closing of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church -- a move Deacon Condon said might occur as soon as June 2008.

"Motivated by the knowledge that the parish may only have one priest within the next three years, the finance council and parish council have begun a careful review of parish finances and building needs to determine the best way to be good stewards of our resources. If a sale were to be entertained, IMH would be the most logical to consider since it's the smallest church," stated a Sept. 16 bulletin article by Karen Paschal, parish pastoral council chair, and William Cassidy, finance council chair.

Dialogue sessions on this and other facility-related matters were recently conducted among parishioners and parish leaders at all three worship sites: Oct. 21 at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Oct. 28 at St. Vincent de Paul and Nov. 4 at St. Mary.

"The biggest concerns were, do we have a plan -- a longer-term plan for the welfare of the parish?" Deacon Condon said of the meetings.

He said potential action regarding Immaculate Heart of Mary stems from an extensive parish study earlier this decade. That study resulted in the recommendation that both IHM and St. Patrick be sold. Factoring into these conclusions were declining population in the Corning area; a projected drop in priest availability and the number of Masses to be offered; and the relative proximity of all four churches, meaning parishioners would have a manageable drive to Mass if one or two churches were to close.

Not a word about selling St. Vincent's. Not a word...until the middle of mass in August 2010.

The news is getting out there

The Wanderer, a Catholic national weekly newspaper, has published an article about the severe problems in the Diocese of Rochester, specifically the de-emphasis of the priesthood and the elevation of lay people to positions of pastoral authority. In order to read the article online you will  need to register. Here's a snippet, with a grateful hat tip to Cleansing Fire: 

[Bishop Clark] set out an ambitious “ course of action” which, now, is largely complete, and there are some Cath­olics in the diocese who are eager­ly counting down the days ( 430 as of May 11, 2011) until he retires, and the Holy Father appoints a new bishop to begin reconstructing the local Church along Catholic lines.

The agenda Clark mandated has not been easy or painless, and it frequently brought him to logger­heads with officials of the Holy See, notably Joseph Cardinal Ratz­inger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now Pope Benedict XVI.

( As early as 1986, Ratzinger or­dered Clark to remove his impri­matur from a sex education book, Parents Talk Love: The Catholic Family Handbook About Sexuali­ty, because it approved of homo­sexuality, masturbation, and con­traception.)

The article goes on to quote Rich Leonardi, a Rochester Catholic blogger:

Rochester Bishop Matthew Clark crows about winning an award for pastoral planning, remarking at the end that ‘[ t] here is a great deal of dying and rising in pastoral planning.’ “ The people of Rochester might be forgiven for thinking it’s mostly been the former. For evidence, see my Amazon.com review of His Excellency’s recent book on something called ‘ lay ecclesial ministry’: “Potential readers should realize that Bishop Clark presides over perhaps the most dissent-filled, decadent diocese in the nation. His unique approach to lay ministry, which includes illicitly appointing two members of the Women’s Ordination Conference as ‘pastors’ over parish clusters, has resulted in an unparalleled vocations crisis. ( In the book, he flagrantly defends his elevation of dissenting would- be priestesses by claiming Lay Ecclesial Ministry ‘has become a substitute ministry for the one to which they feel called.’) “From 1995 to 2005, the Diocese of Rochester lost over 45% of its priests, a figure unmatched virtually anywhere in the United States. Indeed, priests aren’t even priests in Rochester; they are called ‘ sacramental ministers’ in local Catholic officialdom. And while Mass attendance has stabilized or increased in most parts of the Church in America over the last decade, it is in free- fall in Rochester, dropping almost 25% since 2002."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

'Providing' for those in need

"Would any diocese or even parish in the Church spend so much giving to charity that it had to close, leaving those who have come to depend on this aid completely on their own resources?"

Uh, yes. The Diocese of Rochester.

They are perfectly willing to tear down a church in order to 'provide' for the poor. The quote, btw, is from The Cruelty of Caesar's Charity. The article also references two others that are worth perusing: What Would Jesus Cut? and The Progressive Road to Hell.

Our beautiful Corning valley is not immune to the larger issues that plague the Roman Catholic Church and society in general. Wakee, wakee.

Upcoming Catholic Retreat

An ASP parishioner passed along this information:

St. Joseph's in Campbell is having a parish retreat (all welcome) next week that appears to be an actual Catholic retreat. 

Monday 5/16 at 7:00 pm: "Joseph the Protector" presented by Reverend Richard Farrell (pastor of Blessed Sacrament, Elmira). Order of Worship: Joyful mysteries of the scriptural rosary. 

Tuesday 5/17 at 7pm: "Joseph, Patron of a Happy Death" presented by Fr. Michael Twardzik (parochial vicar of Holy Family in Wayland/Dansville). Order of Worship: Evening prayer with benediction. 

Wednesday 5/18 at 7pm: "Joseph the Provider" presented by Reverend Lewis Brown (parish priest of All Saints, Corning). Order of Worship: Exposition and benediction.

On all nights, light refreshments to follow in church hall. Religious articles available for purchase before and after services by GloriaChristianGifts.

Monday, May 9, 2011

St. Vincent's on a regular Sunday

Sunday morning's mass. Still full. And yet leadership is willing to maintain the fiction that destroying this church is a sane and sensible thing to do.

Never give up

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito!

Or, in English:

Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

A blessed day to all the mothers in our parish. To those who yearn to hold a babe in their arms, to those who have lost a child, to those who have babes in arms, to those who are in the thick of mothering with all its manifold responsibilities, to those who are mothering children not their own, to those whom God has blessed with children through adoption, to those who weep and pray for their prodigals, to those who are experiencing an empty nest, to those who are raising their grandchildren, to those whose children have never given them a moment's worry, to those whose children give them endless worry, to those who have children with special challenges...May our Mother, the Blessed Mother of our Lord and Savior, pray for us and our children.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Infallible indicators

Found this while surfin' tonight. The DOR is infamous. From the Curt Jester, here's a snippet: 

The dearth of vocations in a diocese is almost an infallible indicator of a bishop’s orthodoxy. In fact you could almost measure a bishops heterodoxy using a ratio of priests and pastoral associates. It did not take me long to verify that this was a diocese big on pastoral associates and an extreme lack of priests. Of course there are many factors for the priest shortage but it does seem that in heterodox diocese such as Bishop Morris and Bishop Clarke of Rochester that they seem to create a priest shortage to push reasons to use other than celibate men as priests. [Emphasis added]

[Article][Via Father Z]
Ironically a lay group might have been partly responsible concerning this forced retirement.
This is the third bishop that we know of who was dismissed this year by the Pope. This is a serious action that no doubt was made as a last straw because removing a bishop from a diocese is about as serious as you get. It’s not like replacing a CEO, it’s more like removing a father from a home. Unfortunately that indeed is required at times.

On Fire!

Cleansing Fire has a number of excellent posts (and comments) that would be of interest to readers. First, Bernie publishes some photos of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Addision, one of the local parishes that so many All Saints Parish parishioners have made their home. I have visited there once, and it is a lovely church.

Then, Diane Harris does some further exposing of the CMA and its effect on parishes: Shepherds Shearing the Sheep. From the article: 

The conclusions of a number of people who have looked at the matter are:

1. There is no point in giving to the CMA. If a parish beats its goal, it is likely to have the goal raised in the following year. Better to have a shortfall.
2. Since the diocese is just going to take the money from a parish’s savings anyway, it is better to give it to one’s own church; at least the donor won’t have caused his or her church’s tax to increase by plumping the CMA.
3. Be careful about giving cash donations or substantial bequests to one’s own parish. It seems to make the parish even more of a target for closure. Better to pay for services or give vestments, or sacred vessels, or pay for paving the parking lot, or for a Youth Program, and keep it out of the treasury.
4. If one wishes to leave a bequest, be specific about what it can be or not be used for; consider paying out over a number of years and contingent on one’s parish still being open and having Mass of Sunday obligation.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Heads up -- UPDATED

Be on the lookout for an upcoming Guest Viewpoint in Wednesday's Star-Gazette.

It ties in well with Saving Our Parish's first print newsletter, Fidelis. 

UPDATE: Read it here.  Cleansing Fire has also linked to it. The viewpoint was gleaned from this article.

The Rosary

Reminder: Saturday, May 7, is the monthly parish Women's Rosary and Coffee Group. Here's the info:

Meeting time: 8:15 a.m. to pray the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament, followed by a few minutes of private prayer time before heading over for coffee and fellowship at a local cafe (optional). No experience necessary (rosaries and prayer guides provided).

Where: Side chapel of St. Mary's (155 State St., Corning - enter left side of church.)
Who's Invited: Women inside or outside the parish, particularly in their 20s-50s. Newcomers welcome. Nursing babies welcome too!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fidelis

Parishioners have put together a print newsletter, Fidelis, for those who may not have access to a computer. There's some pertinent and timely information about SOP, Friends of St. Vincent's and our church's proposed sale to Providence Housing Development Corporation.

If you know of someone who would like a copy, do print one out, or let us know and we will be sure to get one to whoever is interested. Email us at admin@savingourparish.com.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Truth or Fear?

Just found this post at Catholic blogger Ann Barnhardt's site: Barnhardt.biz. 

Two concepts: Truth and Fear
Posted by Ann Barnhardt - May 1, AD 2011 1:07 PM MST
First, I received an email from a gent who said the following, emphasis mine:

"I am in sales and have to carefully cultivate a vanilla existence. Controversy of my personal opinions does not serve me well."

My response:

Dude, the Truth does not SERVE YOU. YOU serve the Truth. His name is Jesus Christ. Figure out what team you are on and then either fight or get out of the way.

----------------------------------------------

Now, to the concept of fear. The one single conceptual thing that Jesus said with the highest frequency (by a long shot) in the Gospels and Acts is "Fear not / Be not afraid". Here are your citations:

Jesus saying, "BE NOT AFRAID"
Matt 14:27
Matt 17:7
Matt 28:10
Mark 5:36
Mark 6:50
Luke 12:4
John 6:20
John 14:27
Acts 18:9

Jesus or angels saying, "FEAR NOT."
Matt 1:20
Matt 8:26
Matt 10:26
Matt 10:28
Matt 10:31
Matt 28:5
Mark 4:40
Luke 1:13
Luke 1:30
Luke 2:10
Luke 5:10
Luke 8:50
Luke 12:7
Luke 12:32
John 12:15
Acts 27:24

People, the message of the Gospel in terms of how we are to go about our lives is NOT "be nice". The message of Christ is DON'T BE AFRAID.

THIS is why our culture and the Church are withering and dying. We live as quivering cowards, in terror of being defriended on Facebook or shunned in the breakroom at work. If your main concern is being "nice" and universally liked, then YOU ARE NOT LIVING THE GOSPEL. Period. End of story.