Cleansing Fire

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Another Loss for the People of St. Bridget

May 22nd, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

The people of St. Bridget parish have been through a lot. First, the community lost their original church home when they left behind the crumbling structure to move into the former St. Theresa building on Mark St. Next, the people were unable to support their new worship site and had to close the building earlier this year. Now it appears the people of St. Bridget will be losing one more piece of their parish identity. According to the Catholic Courier, the people of Immaculate Conception/St. Bridget, now worshiping at Immaculate Conception church, have decided to abandon the St. Bridget Mass in favor of one Mass for the entire community. Below is an excerpt from the article:

“Rochester’s St. Bridget and Immaculate Conception parishes will worship together at 10 a.m. Sundays as of July 4, Father Paul Gitau, parochial administrator, announced in a May 3 letter to parishioners.

In February St. Bridget’s parish community relocated to Immaculate Conception Church, and the parishes had been worshipping there at separate Masses since Feb. 21. The parishes decided to re-evaluate the worship arrangement in three months, Father Gitau said, and on May 1 the pastoral councils of both parishes unanimously agreed to drop the 9 a.m. Immaculate Conception Mass and the noon St. Bridget Mass, which drew about 20 parishioners [The St. Bridget community has steadily lost membership since late last year. Their were approximately 50 attendees of St. Bridget in early 2009. By the end of the year, their were only around 30].

“At the (9 a.m.) Immaculate Conception Mass we get 100 plus (people) and the church is very big, so it is not viable to have two Masses,” Father Gitau said.

St. Bridget’s parish community moved to Immaculate Conception after being unable to handle increasing deficits and declining attendance. The final Mass at St. Bridget Church, 14 Mark St., was celebrated Feb. 14 and at the time, Father Gitau said the St. Bridget property would be put up for sale after diocesan officials assessed its value.

Cheryl McKeiver said the small but faithful group of parishioners who journeyed from St. Bridget to Immaculate Conception is notable for their spirited celebrations of Mass.

“We don?t mind saying ‘amen’ and celebrating and really singing out and using gospel music and tambourines,” McKeiver said.

Right now, the two parishes are separate entities that are equally represented by separate pastoral councils. It remains to be seen whether the two parishes would combine, McKeiver said.”

It’s another sad day for the people of St. Bridget. However, these people have been through so much that I believe they will prevail once again, and continue their ministries to the poor of the city of Rochester.

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