Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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St. Andrew and Our Lady of Perpetual Help to Close

October 24th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

The Northeast Rochester planning team, lead by co-administrators Deb Housel and Fr. Paul Gitau, have made their decision about which churches should be a part of the new parish. It is their recommendation, according to the Catholic Courier, that the new N.E. Rochester parish will be comprised of three churches which include: Corpus Christi (Our Lady of the Americas), St. Michael (Our Lady of the Angels), and Church of the Annunciation (Light of Christ). If the bishop chooses to proceed with the plan, St. Andrew (Light of Christ) and Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Our Lady of the Angels) would close.

As we here at Cleansing Fire have been predicting for some time, St. Michael and Corpus Christi will be included in the new parish. This part was really a no-brainer. Corpus Christi and St. Michael have the largest congregations and worship spaces, plus a booming Hispanic population. The Annunciation announcement, though not a complete shock given that it had been tossed about as a possibility in recent meetings, could come as a surprise to some because of the small size of the congregation and the church facilities.

It is my belief that the reasons for selecting Annunciation are twofold: finances and geography. Since Annunciation is the smallest church, it would be reasonable to conclude that they likely have the lowest operating cost of the five churches in the cluster. The geography benefit of keeping Annunciation is obvious as seen in the graphics below:

N.E. Rochester map. Blue- N.E. Rochester cluster, Black- closed churches, Gray- other churches

Proposed configuration: Corpus (E), St. Michael (A), Annunciation (D)

All churches in black are closed, all in blue are the N.E. Rochester cluster sites, and all in gray are other parishes/clusters. Annunciation is the church labeled ‘D.’ As can be seen, to close Annunciation would mean the diocese would abandon a good chunk of the city. By keeping Annunciation open, the church would be able to serve the area around Norton St. from Portland to 590. St. Andrew (‘C’) is a little too close to St. Stanislaus (‘F’).

The recommendation to close Our Lady of Perpetual Help (‘B’) could be because OLPH is too close to St. Michael (‘A’) and St. Stanislaus (‘F’). Their low attendance compared to St. Michael may have played a role.

Here is the Mass plan as detailed in the Courier:

“The cluster planners have proposed a schedule of six Masses, including several in English and several in Spanish, and a seventh Mass that would be geared for youths of the parish.”

It’s still too soon to guess which church will have an extra Mass, but having the youth Mass at Annunciation would make sense since there is currently a Life Teen Mass at St. Andrew (the other church with Annunciation in the Light of Christ parish).

Please pray for the people of St. Andrew and OLPH. I hope that these good people, and I mean good people (they spend a lot of time on charitable efforts!), will find the Lord’s comfort in the days and months ahead. The planning team had to make a tough decision, but they made one which is cost-effective, geographically reasonable, and manages to incorporate a church from each of the three clusters/parishes (Our Lady of the Americas, Light of Christ, Our Lady of the Angels).

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4 Responses to “St. Andrew and Our Lady of Perpetual Help to Close”

  1. avatar Dan says:

    628 days of suffering left for the Diocese of Rochester.

    The new bishop will have to be a saint in order to draw back all of the parishioners who have fallen away from the church with all of the parish closings.

    The residents in the City of Rochester need the Catholic Church presence now, more than ever before.

    I am talking about the blood stains from the murders on our streets, domestic violence, young girls being forced into prostitution, stabbing’s, beatings, constant burglaries and stealing.

    For those of you who have never lived or worked among the poorest of the poor in the City of Rochester, initially you won’t even believe what you are seeing with your own eyes.

    Bishop Clark doesn’t care. He lives in a million dollar rectory.

    Stop the parish closings.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    Just close them all. Who needs Catholic churches anyway? I’m being very sarcastic! Apparently our bishop doesn’t. Every week is an adventure here in the diocese of Rochester. It’s like a soap opera…Stay tuned next week for the cliff-hanger.

  3. avatar Kate says:

    Wow, Rochester has a TON of churches! It’s kind of obvious that there must be wisdom in closing some of them. I don’t know if you have a Traditional Latin Mass in your area, but with all those empty buildings surely your good Bishop might find it in his heart to invite the FSSP or ICKSP (better yet, both!) to come and take over a parish or two.
    A great thing about them is that they seem to take no issue with setting up in the poorest,crime-ridden and struggling parishes, you know, where Christ would go.

  4. avatar Dr. K says:

    Kate, we don’t have a ton anymore.

    We do have a TLM at St. Stanislaus church, but we had to appeal to the Vatican in order to get one. Bishop Clark is very disdainful toward the TLM. There is no way he would invite a traditional order into this diocese.


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