Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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2010: Year In Review

January 1st, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Well folks, 2010 has come and gone. We are now embarking on the 2011 journey. Before we move forward in hope, I think it is a good time to reflect on some of the most important news stories which took place in the Diocese of Rochester this past year. What follows is what I believe are the top ten DoR news stories for 2010. You are all more than welcome to contribute your own top stories in the comments section.

Without further ado…

#10 – “Rochester institution closes their high school”

Nazareth High School, an all-girls Catholic high school which has been serving the Diocese of Rochester for several decades, was shut down as a Catholic high school. Another symptom of the decline in the local Church.

#9 – “Some rotten fruit”

Attendance has continued its downward spiral at St. Anne/Our Lady of Lourdes and Good Shepherd. Other lay administrator led parishes, including St. Thomas More and St. Mary downtown, also witnessed continued declines in attendance.

#8 – “Goodbye Nancy, Hello Barb”

Nancy DeRycke, a fervent advocate of women’s ordination, ended her tumultuous two year tenure as “Pastoral Leader” (a title she gave herself) of Church of the Good Shepherd. Barbara Swiecki, a former temporary administrator of that church and the present administrator of Guardian Angels, was named the Pastoral Administrator for the newly formed Rush-Henrietta cluster of parishes. She is now in charge of three churches.

#7 – “Deacon speakin'”

Scott Caton, an ex-Protestant minister and married father, was ordained a Transitional Deacon for the diocese. Deacon Caton assisted at his first Mass at his home parish, Our Lady of Victory. He will be ordained to the priesthood this coming June.

#6 – “Two years remain”

Bishop Matthew Clark turned 73 this year. He is now less than two years away from submitting his resignation tot he Holy Father in Rome on the occasion of his 75th birthday. That’s two more years of the Bishop Clark Forward in Hope book tour.

Just for fun- rumors have been flying around recently that Chicago Auxiliary Bishop and a friend of Tradition, Joseph Perry, will be named Clark’s successor in the coming year. I know, it’s a wild rumor, but hey… it’s New Year’s Day!

#5 – “Monroe County schools return to parish control”

The diocese announced that the Monroe County catholic schools will be returning to parish control in the coming year. Holy Cross school, which was part of a mass-closing of 13 schools, will reopen. Mother of Sorrows school will be closing.

#4 – “Big changes in Northeast Rochester”

It has been a very wild year in Northeast Rochester. St. Bridget and St. George churches closed their churches. St. Bridget now worships at Immaculate Conception (in one Mass) and St. George has their own Lithuanian Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes. St. Francis Xavier, which closed a couple years ago, was sold to local Moslems and has since been converted into a Mosque. St. Andrew, Annunciation, St. Michael, Corpus Christi, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help were clustered under the leadership of Deb Housel and Fr. Paul Gitau. The two decided that St. Andrew and OLPH should close. Fr. Mayer and Deacon Dan Hurley, who formerly led four of these five churches, are no longer part of the new St. Frances Xavier parish.

#3 – “A day of orthodoxy, a window into the future”

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who later in the year became President of the USCCB, visited Sacred Heart Cathedral and delivered an amazing homily.

#2 – “Controversial priest suspended”

Fr. Dennis Shaw, who had made several comments against the Holy Father and the hierarchy, was suspended by the diocese over a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

#1 -“The Irondequoit un-Pastoral Planning Group”

Our top story for 2010 is obviously the many sad events which took place in the Irondequoit planning group. St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Salome churches held their final Masses this year. The people of St. Thomas the Apostle have appealed the bishop’s decrees, and are currently appealing the suspension of Masses at their parish to the Vatican. There was also a controversial incident with a local Sikh reporter and Fr. Norm Tanck’s apology and warm embrace of the man who disrupted Mass at St. Thomas. On a positive note, a very beautiful rosary for vocations was held at St. Thomas and attended by at least a couple hundred people. The “final Mass” at St. Thomas filled the 1,000-seat church beyond capacity.

If 2011 is to be more eventful, may it be because of more delightful news. God bless everyone as we begin this new year.

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2 Responses to “2010: Year In Review”

  1. avatar Catholic Dad says:

    Just a brief note about #5 – “Monroe County schools return to parish control”:

    In addition to a return to “parish control”, re-opening of one school and closing of another, the Bishop told a least a couple local Catholic schools that they are to end their 6th grade programs, effective 2012 – 2013.

    This is probably an effort to bolster the numbers at Siena Academy, which will add 6th grade, but the net result for the affected grade schools includes:

    1. Balancing the budget with fewer students enrolled;

    2. Ending a small, Catholic grade school classroom experience for 6th graders at affected schools in exchange for public middle school or Siena (i.e., homerooms, but class changes throughout day);

    3. Increased wariness among discerning parents about the long-term viability of these Catholic grade schools, at a time when numbers are critical;

    4. Forced re-conceptualization of the grade school curriculum as a whole (i.e., each grade is not an “island unto itself”, but, rather, a part of whole,multi-year experience. Sixth grade is now dropped out of this model, altering the curriculum, including spiritual formation, at all subsequent grades.)

    My understanding, based on attendance at a meeting of affected parents, teachers and administrators, is that administration and parents learned from the Bishop about these changes after decisions were made, without benefit of their input.

  2. avatar Mike says:

    My understanding, based on attendance at a meeting of affected parents, teachers and administrators, is that administration and parents learned from the Bishop about these changes after decisions were made, without benefit of their input.”

    That’s pretty much par for the course for the MCCS System. To their way of thinking, no one outside their little closed circle of “experts” could possibly have anything of importance to say to them, especially parents.

    When DOR took over control of our schools from the parishes in 1988 they began with a system of 39 schools educating 16,041 students. By 2009-10 those numbers were down to 11 schools and 3,446 students.

    Rank incompetence coupled with a total disdain for parents and other potential allies are the only reasonable explanations for that miserable record.


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