Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It is high time to awaken out of sleep

Cleansing Fire has posted a devastating indictment of the pastoral planning process in the Diocese of Rochester. Read it and weep. And then decide that you are not going to remain silent about the radical agenda in our diocese and parish. A few of the quotes from a pastoral diocesan council in 2005:
  • “Get rid of all of our buildings and properties and focus on ministry to those most in need”
  • “50% fewer parishes and 50% more active Catholics and 100% more lay ministers”
  • “Sell our possessions to help fund ministries to serve the poor, disenfranchised and marginalized among us. Churches would be borrowed places and buildings not grand and glorious. “
  • “Deacon celebrate mass by teleconferencing at remote sites “
  • “Remembered that Jesus asked for followers, not worshippers [sic]“
  • Every faith community is led by a lay leadership team and priests were servants to the community(ies)
  • Build on mega church
Here is the transcript of the meetings that produced the 'fruit' above. Truly a scandal. The results have been anything but 'fruitful', unless of course you are the devil and then you're rejoicing at the loss of souls.


  1. Been saying it for months and now it's in print. "Mega church" Hello! Is anyone listening or does anyone really care? This Catholic faith community should be in an uproar..all of you who support our leadership are having the rug pulled out from under you, too!

  2. It has bothered me that most of our parishioners on the Southside have been silent. St. Mary's needs over $1 million in repairs - the sales of IHM and St. V's will not provide enough money. So don't be so sure that St. Mary's is safe.

  3. "Fully ordain deacon's as priests, move toward the ordination of women" was also included in the transcript referenced above.


  4. Yes, 4:47, that or other comments very like it, were referenced over and over again in the document.

    That document is really just a snapshot. Unfortunately, the more one delves into the issues, the more there is to be shocked at. Not for the faint of heart, and many people seem emotionally unable to deal with the reality--hence the current state of affairs.

    It reminds me of this verse: How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep-- So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man. --Prov. 6:9-11

    We've all been sleeping for far too long.

  5. Another good one from the DOR pastoral planning: "Ordain deaconesses". Really?

  6. Unfortunatey the diocese has spent the last twenty years at least, trying to merge parishes and administer the plan as stated above. The result is leaders have really not been engaged in ministry and have not given the laity an adequate theology to prepare them for ministry and their baptisimal call to ministry. The most unfortunate is we have lost at least two generations to the Church and that is only the beginning of the slippery slope of never learning and wanting to be a member of a church that could bring a closeness to God, service to one's neighbor.

  7. Susan, I'm sorry, but I think you may want to refrain from this argument. I have always thought that it has been a fundamental flaw in the defence of St Vincent to frame this in a North Side vs South Side or rather St Vincent's vs St Mary's Church conflict.

    First of all it plays into the whole zero-sum game of finite resources the forces that want to close the churches are playing. It is unacceptable for ANY of the churches to be closed especially at the cost of the loss of souls from the Church and salvation.

    Second this justification divides us--at its very core it pits the St Vincent's parishioners against those who go to St Mary's. This merely perpetuates the battle lines from the shotgun wedding of a consolidation.

    Finally If you think the South Side is silent, well I am from the South Side. There are those who support you here, but keep up with this line of reasoning and you will not attract more. Just because a building is older doesn't mean it should be put on the block. Just like because St Vincent or IHM are on valuable real estate they should be sold. $$$ should not have a play here, except for asking why are there so many repairs to do, and what the heck was done with the money for maintenance?

    Besides at this point, again, we are back at the zero-sum game, and again, we are divided. This is the central tactic of the leadership, to keep us apart. Quite honestly, if the powers that be hadn't been so busy the last 33 years trying to bring "the New Church" and had concentrated on keeping the current one healthy, we'd have 4 priests in town and we'd have our 4 parishes still. But that isn't what happened is it...instead we have the mess we have now. Lets move forward together, in Christ.

    Yours in Christ,

    CPT Tom

  8. Tom, there are many points of which I agree, especially for what has the money for repairs been used over the years that would now cause so much needed for general maintainence gone awry. I also agree that for the last thirty years there has been much done to bring the "new church" into being. Howevewr that new church was not really the church that we were called to form by the Vatican II Council. Unfortunately, it was herding people into bigger so called communities to save money when it should have been according to the Council developing the small comunities into a vibrant presence of prayer and service and christian examles of openness, love and acceptance of all. And so, I favor the northside /southside presence of Church building and living community, certainly not for competition but for prayer and outreach within the neighborhood. Frankly,Tom, the most verbalization of competition or divisiveness I have heard in the last two years came from the speaker at the Dialogue and Dinner/Dessert gatherings at St. Mary's gym and from the pulpit from one of the deacons. The issue is not either/or but both/and doing the work of the Lord. There is enough work for both/and. We would do well to have some education on the Council documents, especially The Church and less testimonials and healings. Then maybe baptized Catholics will be empowered to take some leadership as we are called to do.
    I read in Susan's remarks that her desire is to get more members of ASP from the former parish of St. Pat's and still existing SVS, St. Mary's and IHM to speak up and be heard. I too know many support the cause of saving the churches but will not speak up.There is strength in numbers

  9. Anonymous 3:20
    I believe we very much agree. Particularly how the people were herded in a direction the council never meant. We actually had a situation here in Corning that was closer to what the council wanted...Smaller parishes with more contact with their priests and each other. What was done to the parishes in this area over 15 years ago was a travesty and was an act of pastoral terrorism that echoes to today in the Language of the Leadership who sow divisiveness with their actions.

    I am not in favor of more consolidation, What we have now I am pretty sure violates the Church's teaching on Subsidiarity Namely doing things at the lowest level so the individual isn't lost in a big cold "community." The Parish should return to St Vincent, IHM, and St Mary's to keep the heart, and, the soul of the neighbourhoods alive.

  10. Tom I hope the present councils will hear from the previous ones then. The present members seem to be scared of the deacon and staff and just go along.

  11. 3:20 explained what I meant well. I am not about division or pitting the Northside vs the Southside. I think St. Mary's, IHM, and St. V's should remain. It should not be a Northside issue to save St. Vincent's, but it pretty much is.

    Also, a number of people on the Southside seem to think that St. Mary's will always be safe. That's just not true. No church is safe these days.

    I'm glad to hear that you are supportive of St. Vincent's. It would be nice to hear more support from all quarters of the city for both St. Vincent's and IHM.

  12. But I bet the Central Office is telling certain parisioners that St. Marys is safe.

  13. If so they have their heads in the sand if they believe it. Listen , recall and recall, the many statements that have been contradicted so be careful. When someone has a tunnell vision idea (mega church, right here on this St. Mary campus, that will bring Corning to Christ) and believes the Spirit only speaks to him, we all better take notice. Scarey

  14. Oh, I'm sure that St Mary's is safe for at least a year or so, because the sheep would wake up if they moved against St Mary's as well. Its sort of like putting a frog in a pot of cool water and slowly turning up the heat. The frog will sit there and eventually boil to death because it just won't notice soon enough the change in temperature to too hot to survive.

    We need to keep pushing our brethren and leadership so they go in the right direction