Cleansing Fire

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Our Priests Deserve Better

July 13th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

Here’s a crazy hypothetical for you – suppose there’s an able-bodied priest, solid in terms of liturgy and theology, who has a love and zeal for the Church. Suppose, also, that he wants to serve in your diocese, helping at a parish, or maybe even a cluster in some sacerdotal role. Now suppose, also, that this priest is from a foreign country, and he has come here of his own will to help your diocese.

Now what’s your reaction if you’re a bishop or a diocesan official? Do you . . .

  1. Say yes, and make him a pastor or an administrator?
  2. Say no, and tell him to go help with inner-city youth groups?
  3. Say no, and send him to a cluster he didn’t ask for and which he wasn’t notified?
  4. Say no, and give him a made-up role?

Well, if you’re working for the Diocese of Rochester, you would have done all but the first one. To whom, you ask? To Fr. Peter Abas.

Here is the series of events, as relayed to us by two very reliable sources:

  • Fr. Peter’s recent return from Borneo was supposed to be greeted with a role in the new Irondequoit parish, even if only for a little while. However, when he got back, his role as “parochial vicar” had been terminated without his knowing it.
  • Upon investigation, it was discovered that Fr. Peter was assigned to be a “permanent sacramental minister” for the Diocese, meaning that he could be sent pretty much anywhere to fill in for any priest in any parish or worship site.
  • His first assignment was to be at the cluster of churches in the Northeast part of the city, i.e. Corpus Christi, Annunciation, St. Andrew, St. Michael, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help. In addition to this, he would maintain duties at St. Cecilia, and take on the occasional Mass at Immaculate Conception.
  • When there was a certain amount of confusion as to his duties, it was discovered that he was never even officially a “parochial vicar.” Some secretary in some office didn’t know what to do with him, so she just made up a title.
  • When the DoR was asked for clarification (again) they responded that Fr. Peter should, in the words of our sources, “hang out downtown and help in the slums with the youth groups.” What is more important – slum youth groups or the Holy Mass?

Why is the diocese playing these juvenile games with Fr. Abas? Nancy DeRycke gets a smooth transition to a normal parish, but a priest, an ordained minister, gets assigned a total of at least 6 worship sites to which he will minister. That is not fair. There are more than enough priests available to cover that number of parishes. We may not have the numbers we did in the 50’s and 60’s, but we have enough. Why can’t the diocese do the smart thing and offer him a parish, especially one threatened with closure, like St. Salome or St. Thomas the Apostle? If the diocese really cared about saving souls, it wouldn’t treat its priests like lifeless pawns. It’s a simple equation – one priest, one parish. If there isn’t a priest available, pull a retired priest or two for some fill-in Masses. If there aren’t any retired priests available, then (and only then) should lay assistance be thought of.

Pray for Fr. Peter and other priests in his position. There are several. Thank God Fr. Peter isn’t one to put up with this treatment – indications are that he will be returning to Borneo, his homeland, in October . . . to start a new parish.

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19 Responses to “Our Priests Deserve Better”

  1. avatar Annoymous says:

    If the bishop would give STA to Fr Peter for one year, Mass attendance would double. STA parishioners love Fr. Peter. He has shown them pastoral care and concern that they have not seen in years. How sad if he leaves Rochester. He has been a rich blessing. He reminds me of John Vianney.

  2. avatar SISTER EMILY says:

    GEN. Now let me get this straight. Father Peter, who studied geriatrics here in Rochester, served the elderly, (who love him),took over St.Anne church AND,kept it thriving while giving special attention to young and old (while Father Leone served our country),went to Guardian Angel where he got it shoved up his butt in one of the most unprofessional ways I ever heard of, went on to St.Thomas whose people also loved and respected him, had to leave the country for a family emergency,now returns to Rochester to find it shoved up his butt again?

    THIS DOES NOT SURPRISE ME. THE DOR WANTS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING HOLY AND GOOD. FATHER PETER DESERVES MUCH MUCH BETTER. I WISH HE WOULD STAY BUT DON’T BLAME HIM FOR LEAVING. I WOULD LOVE TO “HANG OUT WITH FATHER PETER DOWNTOWN EVEN IN THE SLUMS”.

  3. avatar Vox Clara says:

    I knew Fr. Peter briefly a couple of years ago. From what I’ve heard from him and about him, I think the diocese would do well to set him loose in the slums with the assignment of starting a parish for the DOR. It would not surprise me if he managed to build a new cathedral with the support he garnished in the poorest neighborhoods of Rochester. Heck, if he really had a free hand and the Holy Ghost blessed his mission, we’d be building a new seminary to send all the vocations he found among the urban youth to. This may seem like an exaggeration, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it came to pass.

    I believe that Fr. Peter has been blessed with both a deep and holy faith and a capacity for leadership that is truly rare. He’s just the kind of priest we want to give our full support to, along with the hard assignments like starting parishes, but he needs to be given a chance to work for the Lord and that’s where I see the diocese going wrong.

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    We’ll take him at Holy Trinity!!!

  5. avatar Maureen says:

    Father Peter told me on Sunday that he is the chaplain at the Mercy Motherhouse.

  6. avatar annon says:

    They (DOR) don’t know what to do with good holy Priests.

    Father Peter, if you hear us, stay and fight. We need you in Rochester.

  7. avatar Gen says:

    @ Maureen – yes, Fr. Peter is the chaplain at the Mercy Motherhouse, saying Mass there Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It’s just one more worship site for an already over-worked priest.

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    Attention DOR: HELLO? HELLO? You obviously have made another big mistake.

  9. avatar Anonymous says:

    Fr. Peter is probably filling in at the Mercy Motherhouse on his own, since the DOR is probably too dysfunctional to actually assign him there.

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    The DOR is afraid of Priests like Father Peter. They don’t want a Priest to save a church,or a school. It just messes up their stupid plan to destroy Catholicism and growth in Rochester.

  11. avatar jetscubs86 says:

    Our PATHETIC diocese is in a very sad state headed for massive destruction. Bishop Clark is ecstatic… jumping for joy… partying it up in his mansion with all his CMA money. Fr. Peter is a wonderful priest who deserves so much better than what he’s getting. Bishop Peter Abas anyone? He would be great for our dying diocese.

  12. avatar Anonymous says:

    Fr. Peter came to the USA with no money, and somehow was able to earn two master degrees and a Phd. He is being led by Mother Mary. They will probably make him a bishop in Borneo, not here. The Diocese of Rochester staff should be ashamed of themselves for their actions.

  13. avatar billb says:

    Nice country this America! I would suspect the CMA of a few years ago assisted good Fr. Peter. Not all of the need of the CMA should be suspect. We may have issues with it; however, I don’t believe we have thieves there. Maybe misguided but at least not thieves.

  14. avatar billb says:

    Oh, it’s Bill B. Have had no time to re password myself properly. Will do after the bus comes back from vacation…

  15. avatar Anonymous says:

    Not so sure about that.

  16. avatar Anonymous says:

    The CMA never assisted Fr. Peter. Just the other way around. He contributed to the CMA out of his own poverty and look what they give him.
    The CMA and Thanksgiving Appeal were too busy wrecking churches, financing their own fundraising and advancing Women into roles of parish disintegration. The CMA is suspect.
    No theives? Isn’t it stealing when you close a church, destroy a parish, leave faithful people looking for a Mass on Sunday, allow them to wander to a Protestant Church, and even stop going to Church altogether? Isn’t that stealing their souls ?

  17. avatar benanderson says:

    Isn’t it also lying to to accept charitable donations to fund exactly the opposite of what your name claims? The DOR lies to its flock by saying that they are donating to Catholic causes when in fact the money is used to tear down true Catholicism. Just look at what St. Bernard’s is doing with their money – using a bully pulpit to slander the Catholic Church.

  18. avatar Richard says:

    You have your answer. Any holy priest will be persecuted in the DOR. Anything holy is contrary to their plans.

  19. avatar Anonymous says:

    Update…..(4/14/2011) and now….Father Leone is being driven out as well. The cluster bigwigs are treating him like they did Father Peter. All that is holy and good….are not valued here. What IS valued is prowess, and radical liberal behavior. Where can this diocese go from HERE? It is obvious that it is on the brink of destruction.


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