Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Bishop Joseph Perry – Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester?

January 6th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

[Update 1/8/11 – With two straight days of no announcements, I think it’s safe to assume this rumor is dead… for now. We’ll let you know if there are any future updates]

Well folks, it looks like we may be “partying like it’s 2012” a solid year and a half early. Supporting earlier reports first broken here at Cleansing Fire, the American Papist blog has reason to believe that Bishop Joseph Perry, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, will be named the successor for Bishop Matthew Clark as the chief shepherd of the Diocese of Rochester today. Yes, today… January 6th, 2011. For those unfamiliar with Perry, he is a rock-solid, pro-Tradition, orthodox, pro-Traditional Latin Mass bishop who also has done much work for African-American Catholics (he himself is African-American). This would be the first change in leadership for the Diocese of Rochester in over 30 years.  Bishop Clark was installed in 1979.

As of right now, we don’t have anything official to sink our teeth into, so to any media outlets who follow the blog, it would be best to exercise caution until something official comes out. However, Thomas Peters picking up this story supports what we have been hearing here at the Cleansing Fire rumor mill over the past week.

It is also worth noting that the Diocese of Rochester website was down for much of this evening. It could be possible that they are preparing to update their site to include information about the future bishop of Rochester.

Anyway, here is the full text of the Thomas Peters article:

“While I haven’t been active in the new bishop buzz recently, I did receive a fascinating report tonight that Bishop Joseph Nathaniel Perry, an auxiliary of Chicago, may have been chosen to become the next bishop of Rochester, New York.

The announcement could be made as soon as tomorrow morning.

The diocese of Rochester needs a new bishop. There are blogs dedicated to cataloging the woeful liturgical and doctrinal abuses that take place in that diocese. I know several Catholics who have lived in the diocese who confirm how far it has declined.

The current bishop, Matthew Harvey Clark, has 555 more days to serve. But according to my source, Bishop Clark may be allowed to retire early (described as a “sabbatical”, even though such a thing does not exist for a bishop). [This is part of the rumor we heard as well. We at Cleansing Fire believe that Perry will serve as coadjutor until July of this year, when Bishop Clark will retire a year early]

There is some interesting circumstantial evidence to support Bishop Perry as a reasonable choice for the daunting task of saving the diocese, but I’ll save that for another time.

If what I’m hearing is confirmed by the Holy Spirit, we’ll know soon enough. In the meantime, let’s pray for the poor souls of Rochester, that their day of liberation from heterodoxy may soon be at hand.”

Cleansing Fire will monitor the situation closely and relay news to you as it becomes available. We do wish to caution everyone that this could be false. It is just a rumor as of now. Please stay glued to your computers today for immediate updates throughout the day!

Update 11:00 AM – Still no word on this. Oh what a cruel joke for people to play if this is false! If our priest/deacon readers hear anything one way or the other, send us a e-mail to: contact@cleansingfire.org . With each passing hour, this is looking less likely to happen today (if at all).

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63 Responses to “Bishop Joseph Perry – Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester?”

  1. avatar jetscubs86 says:

    Let’s only hope that these “rumors” are true. Our diocese really needs help… and soon. Our new bishop, whomever it may be has alot of work to do. It’s definitely not going to be easy.

  2. avatar Nerina says:

    Heavenly Father, Your will be done!

    I am a bit stunned right now.

  3. avatar Anonymous says:

    Twenty-one cardinals and bishops are retiring in 2011. Perhaps the Vatican is busy worrying about those positions rather than one to become vacant in 2012?

    http://www.catholiccourier.com/news/world-nation/twenty-one-us-bishops-could-retire-for-age-reasons-in-2011/

  4. avatar La Sandia says:

    Towards the top of the agenda should be reforming the Cornell Catholic Community (and, I suspect, other campus ministries). The shenanigans that go on there are a microcosm of the diocese as a whole, and in some cases the abuses are worse.

  5. avatar Pheonix says:

    Anonymous… maybe not.

  6. Twenty-one cardinals and bishops are retiring in 2011. Perhaps the Vatican is busy worrying about those positions rather than one to become vacant in 2012?

    Rochester’s problems are very acute and the Holy Father is well aware of them. He intervened in Bishop Clark’s mishandling of the Fr. Callan fiasco during his time as the head of the CDF, and he has received numerous reports over the years. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that he’d pay a bit more attention to this assignment.

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    The DOR website is up and running.
    No news there.

  8. avatar Dominic says:

    Could we be getting a coadjutor bishop?

  9. avatar Dr. K says:

    That seems like the most possible outcome if this turns out to be true.

    All quiet from Buffalo Road and the Nuncio. What we originally heard late last week is that this all could happen “soon.” The report from Peters that it might happen today was completely new to my ears.

  10. avatar Nerina says:

    Don’t lose faith, yet, Dr. K. I think this will be a very provocative announcement, so maybe they’re just making sure that everything is in order before going public.

  11. avatar Christopher says:

    Dr. K, can you call up Peters and find out more what he’s heard? Also possibly call the Catholic Courier, tell them your Dr. K from CF and are looking for a statement. 🙂

  12. La Sandia said:

    Towards the top of the agenda should be reforming the Cornell Catholic Community (and, I suspect, other campus ministries). The shenanigans that go on there are a microcosm of the diocese as a whole, and in some cases the abuses are worse.

    As a former member and employee of aforementioned community, I say “Amen, amen, amen.”

    And when they finally go looking for examples of dynamic, campus-based evangelical orthodoxy to emulate, St. Paul’s University Catholic Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison should be at the top of their list.

    That is all I choose to say.

  13. avatar Bernie says:

    I’d be surprised if this comes to be true –at least this soon.

  14. avatar Christopher says:

    Some further analysis:

    We all know per Dr. K’s article on the “Changing landscape” that there are other pressing needs than our diocese at the moment. The only reason they’d do this 2 years beforehand and before the other Bishops in line is if he had a severe health issue maybe? Can anyone think of another reason to prioritize and escalate this at this moment? If you say because our diocese is so liberal, then why not earlier than now?

    On the counterpoint side of things, from the earlier video he does specifically say, “It would give me enormous peace to know that one of >>>> my last <<<<< and best works as your Bishop was to foster a deeper understanding of the centrality of the Eucharist in our local Church.” Was he hinting? Why would he talk about his last initiative when he's got a couple years to go.

  15. avatar Dr. K says:

    Why would he talk about his last initiative when he’s got a couple years to go.

    I noticed that too. His video almost sounded like a farewell address.

  16. avatar A Catholic says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. I fell for your April Fool’s Day joke about a coadjutor being appointed (I think that was on Cleansing Fire) and so I’m not going through that range of emotions again until something is known for sure.

  17. avatar RochChaCha says:

    I’m trying to find a little glimmer of hope here as well, but the rollout of the new edition of the Roman Missal is a huge deal so I am not surprised that in the video, Bishop Clark talks about it as his last major initiative. In order to roll it out properly and timely, he had to begin it now anyway. Any other initiatives besides this, should he remain our Bishop for another 1-2 years would not be as significant as this anyway. Clustering a few parishes, shutting down or marginalizing some of the orthodox parishes, closing more schools…..these are so commonplace that they would not be considered major initiatives, at least not to us anymore. I’m trying to keep my hopes up here, but I’m still barely over the whole April fool’s day joke you pulled on us a few months back.

  18. avatar CPT Tom says:

    Well, that would be a wonderful thing. I’m staying frosty calm until I see something official. This sounds really credible, but I’ll wait with the champagne. 😉

  19. avatar john says:

    call me doubting thomas because i won’t believe it till i will see it.

  20. avatar bob says:

    While we wait impatiently let us continue to pray for our next bishop.
    How long Lord how long….

  21. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Just the possibility is a rich gift on this Feast of the Epiphany! I don’t need to know why Bishop Clark would retire early (a sabbatical is a good enough reason for me!), I just want too know we are DONE with his administration and onto what Pope Benedict picks for us. Bishop Perry sounds WONDERFUL!

  22. avatar Diane Elizabeth says:

    Sounds like he would be a perfect match for our city….it would be the Breath of air we have been looking for…

  23. avatar Anonymous says:

    I’m wondering what good it would do for us in having a new bishop. Even if he tried to change our sad diocese, wouldn’t he face rebellion from most of our priests? It definitely couldn’t be any worse than what we have already, but I can’t see the priests in our diocese conforming to our new bishop. He would have to change St. Bernard’s right from the get go. Get rid of Sister Schoelles would be the first thing. Man what a mess!

  24. avatar Dr. K says:

    It’s going to be martyrdom (hopefully not physical death!) for whoever is assigned here to clean up this mess.

  25. Deo Gratias if this is true.

  26. avatar Scott W. says:

    I’m wondering what good it would do for us in having a new bishop. Even if he tried to change our sad diocese, wouldn’t he face rebellion from most of our priests?

    That is a concern, but then again if your priests are already in rebellion, making it official only makes it possible to do something about it. If it did result in a bloodletting, I’ll use my parish choir as an example: It’s bogged down in mentality that many parishes have: playing bunches of trivializing hymns as a kind of payment for the right to occasionally use music more appropriate and edifying. As a result of this, the talent in the choir stinks and it doesn’t have to because there are a number of very talented people available. But being in the choir is a significant committment in terms of time and effort, and when you are programming fluff, it drives the talent away like garlic to a vampire. BUT, start programming good stuff, and suddenly those burnens to contributing are small potatoes. Likewise, should a bishop have to pink slip a significant number of priests and bring in orthodox ones, they might be short-handed, but the massive support from the laity could work it out not to mention that the pool of vocations would start flowing again. Build it and they will come.

  27. avatar anonnymouse says:

    Dear Anonymous: What a poor, poor attitude! We are a RESURRECTION people! The new bishop will have much to do, without question, but it has to start someplace. We are stuck in Good Friday, watching the diocese die a painful death. But the Holy Spirit is in charge, and will bring new life. If Bishop Perry is the choice, I wish him all the best. He cannot undo 30 years overnight, but I pray that he has the courage, fortitude and yes, even the “pastoral skills” necessary to turn the Church in Rochester around.

  28. avatar Snowshoes says:

    Oremus! Happy Epiphany,and Happy Baptism of the Lord! Oh, and Happy St. Raymond Day! I’m thinking of our dear Patron Saints, Ss. John Fisher and Thomas More. They witnessed with their lives and deaths the love of God, and His Holy Church. We are so blessed to have Fathers at every level. As St. John says, he who does not love his brother who he can see, does not love God who he cannot see. The mark of a Catholic is that he obeys our Holy Father the Pope in all matters of faith and morals: this is the love of our brother who we can see to which St. John the Evangelist refers… Oh Lord, please give me this grace to never stop loving You, and to always obey your Vicar on Earth, Pope Benedict and his successors. Dear Patron Saints, pray for us and for our dear Bishop. Amen.

  29. avatar Jim C says:

    The church I attend is filled with people and not dying, it is filled with life and joy. I do not see a dying church. I see young families and children in the pews and enjoying the mass. Do you really think some new Bishop is going to come and make sweeping changes by removing all lay pastoral administrators, or have more masses said in Latin, or make people kneel before Communion? If you really think these things are going to happen then I fear you are setting yourselves up for something that is impossible, even the new Bishop will have to deal with available number of priests and the willingness of his congregation to accept or reject change.

  30. The church I attend is filled with people and not dying, it is filled with life and joy. I do not see a dying church. I see young families and children in the pews and enjoying the mass.

    What use are statistics that reveal plummeting Mass attendance rates, an unprecedented crisis in priestly vocations, and parishes closing by the score when we have someone named “Jim C” to tell us how great things are at his parish?

  31. avatar Dr. K says:

    The church I attend is filled with people and not dying, it is filled with life and joy. I do not see a dying church.

    Look outside your church and see what’s going on throughout the rest of the diocese. Good Shepherd, St. Anne, Lourdes, most of the city, Irondequoit, St. Thomas More, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton have all experienced serious declines in attendance.

    Do you really think some new Bishop is going to come and make sweeping changes by removing all lay pastoral administrators [YES], or have more masses said in Latin [Depends on the bishop. Wouldn’t be a ton more, but maybe a few], or make people kneel before Communion? [This would not be possible for any bishop aside from the Holy Father. Communion on the tongue alone would be possible if the bishop believes there exists a risk of profanation.]

    You truly underestimate the power of a Catholic bishop. Look at the many changes Bishop Clark has implemented in this diocese. Who saw that coming back in 1979? A new bishop can easily put his stamp on the Diocese of Rochester and impose his policies the same way his predecessor did.

    even the new Bishop will have to deal with available number of priests

    The lack of availability of priests can be corrected by having an inspirational, orthodox figure in charge of this diocese. Young men will respond positively to a solid male role model at bishop. Also, having a bishop who actually wants priests will help. Have you spoken with one of the young men rejected for perceived rigidity by Bishop Clark?

    the willingness of his congregation to accept or reject change

    This is irrelevant. If something is wrong, like the Diocese of Rochester’s use of lay administrators, than it is wrong. Lay administration as it exists in Rochester will end regardless of what Joe Pewsitter thinks. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but this is not a democracy. Even if it were, I’m sure more people who be against lay administrators than in favor of them. How are the lay administrator led parishes doing, by the way? I think the people have voted with their feet with a resounding NOT IN MY CHURCH.

  32. avatar Sister Emily says:

    JIM C. To answer your questions. YES! We really really do.

  33. avatar Jim C says:

    I do go to church in Irondequoit and ever since they closed the two parishes my church has been packed every Sunday, it is nice to go to a full church. The main reason attendance is down has more to do with changing demographics and other activities scheduled on Sunday than Alter Girls being allowed to serve mass. The Catholics have moved out of the city and are moving out of the inner ring suburbs, this has had an impact on people attending mass in churches in those areas. More and more youth sporting functions and activities are now being held on Sunday morning and more families are choosing other activities over church (sad but true). IF the use of lay ministers is so wrong then why has the Vatican allowed it to go on in Rochester for the past 30 years? I just don’t see lay ministers going away, I guess we will just have to disagree on this and see what happens. As far as people voting with their feet if the Bishop comes in here and rubs people the wrong way then you will see a lot more people walk away from the church than there has been in the past 30 years. You must remember that today people have choices; it is much more acceptable to choose a new church that meets their spiritual need or just sleep in on Sundays.

  34. avatar PJL says:

    Jim C. – There are so many things that I disagree with regarding your last post it is obvious we are viewing things from way different ends of the spectrum. But the last thing you said I think sums up our differences the most. The most important “spiritual need” of every catholic should be receiving the sacrament and you cannot do that without priests. The problem with the democracy minded catholic is that while churches in the “outer suburbs”, who are loaded with cash with liturgies appealing to the social needs of these communities, is that these parishes do not produce any vocations. Without priests there is no sacrament. The numbers show that orthodoxy and tradition produce vocations.

    It is important to have a strong community but the leadership in this diocese has not allowed tradition minded parishes to operate in a way which fosters growth. A new administration, that is open to tradition, can inact change that should open up the minds of people who think the church in suffering because of its inability to “keep up with the times”.

    The are still alot of catholics in or near the inner ring of the suburbs who don’t go to church but not for the reasons which you have stated. Let us pray that a new administration will lead these catholics back to the communion rail.

  35. avatar Jim C says:

    @ Rich L – I am only telling you what I see in parish, I find your comment to be very condescending.

  36. avatar Anonymous says:

    They called me to say that I won the $380,000,000 dollar lottery and then called back to say they made a mistake. Sure, I was disappointed, but the suspense of waiting to see if this rumor is true is KILLING me.

  37. avatar Abaccio says:

    Jim,

    You are 100 percent correct. The nominal reason people have stopped showing up is because they’ve found other things to do. We contend that this is not the REAL reason. People are not CONSCIOUS of the REAL reason they fall away (namely, that Satan is very active). They’re tempted to sleep in, or replace Mass with some (other?) social event. WHY?! Because Mass is seen as fundamentally a social event by many who have been raised in a community-centric parish that believes it’s all about the horizontal, instead of the vertical. Now, we also believe that the decrease in behaviours that are from God (namely, the humble reception of the Sacraments, proper Liturgy) have allowed Satan’s agenda to shine through–now more than ever, many ostensible Catholics are “lukewarm,” just as was warned in the Apocalypse of John.

    Jim, simply put, I’m sure your opinion is not whimsical and thoughtless. It is, however, incorrect. How do I know this? The facts in the entire rest of the country show this to us. In Rochester, we’ve lost 30 percent of our flock in the past decade alone. In Lincoln, NE, they boast 62 percent weekly Mass attendance. Rochester is the most “progressive” diocese in the country. Lincoln is the most “traditional.” We’ve seen dozens of dioceses which were lead by Clark-like ordinaries receive more Orthodox Bishops in the past 10 years and seen the faith THRIVE as a result. Hence, Rich’s comment. To people that KNOW the state of the Church and keep up on these things, you sound like you’re just SAYING THINGS without actually knowing what you’re talking about. Rich’s comment is certainly no more condescending than your attitude towards tradition and proper liturgy. Perhaps you should wonder how you have been offensive before you start criticizing others’ tone.

    -Abaccio

  38. avatar Daniel Kane says:

    The last two days included a Vatican Holiday and then the weekend. Give it some time. If it is still dead in a week, then you can declare it so. It is unprecedented for the Vatican to make an announcement on Epiphany or a weekend. Tuesdays were the traditional day for such announcements (under JPII). The expected slowness of “Vatican Time” is amplified by the post-holiday backlog. Two American days is nothing in Rome.

    There is much time. One should not think that the Vatican would act over a Holiday or a weekend for a routine appointment. I am confident that Benedict XVI hold all his people close to his heart and he will send us a shepherd after his own heart in due time.

  39. avatar Nerina says:

    JimC,

    I live in the outer suburbs (Victor) and our Mass attendance continues to fall each year. Our schools, on the other hand, are bursting at the seams. I agree that people are choosing other activities v. going to Mass, but Abaccio argues (convincingly, IMO) why that dynamic takes place.

    One of the blog’s contributors, Mike, is the king of statistics and can definitely dispel the “demographic shift” argument. While city churches may be experiencing a true demographic crisis, the suburban churches that you assert are on the receiving end of the shift, are in a similar crisis. I’ll grant you that there are exceptions to the general trend. Simply put, Catholicism is dying in our diocese and Bishop Clark is almost singularly responsible for its demise. I pray our next Bishop will undo much of the damage by preaching the Gospel in full, demanding more from priests in terms of fidelity to Christ’s Church and Her teachings, and restoring the liturgy to its once great glory (whether expressed in a reverent NO or sublime EF).

  40. avatar Bill B. says:

    I think those wanting immediate change are in for a bit of a wait. A new bishop will come in and see for himself what is going on and if changes are needed, he will do it in the order he feels, not us. We have to give that to him. We have to trust that the Spirit will move all closer. The Pontif said it himself that the church can be a smaller and more spiritual church. Let time heal the wounds; let’s not cause more wounds. In some respect we are waiting for the carrion to enter the picture before the hunted is down. Do the “pray and pay.” When the new bishop arrives, “obey.”

  41. avatar Jim C says:

    Hey Abaccio I pray that one day soon you and I are seated in the same pew during Mass because I am going to grab your hand and hold during the Our Father.

  42. Jim C: And I found your comment and its sequels to be self-centered and thoughtless.

  43. avatar Jim C says:

    Rich You and your friends are not Christian let alone Catholic. You are a glorified sect of zealots. I use to be pro-traditional Catholic but because of you and this website I am turning more liberal. I would compare you to the people at Spiritus Christi except that the people at Spirtus are more accepting of other people’s point of view. I am done with you and this web site and will never read it again.

  44. avatar La Sandia says:

    The concern about Mass attendance, while important, is not the only issue. If we did a survey in these “packed” and “vibrant” churches, how many of the people there would assent to the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence, the all-male priesthood, Salvation outside the Church, and on moral issues such as contraception and homosexuality? Getting people in the pews is good, but it is only a first step.

  45. I am done with you and this web site and will never read it again.

    Next, you’ll go to your room, play the Jonas Brothers real loud, and scream “I hate you!” at your parents.

  46. avatar Dr. K says:

    “I use to be pro-traditional Catholic”

    Somehow I doubt that.

    I am done with you and this web site and will never read it again.

    And that.

  47. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Bill B

    The Pontif said it himself that the church can be a smaller and more spiritual church.

    In my opinion what b16 meant by this was to first do what’s right and then worry about church attendance, etc. When you put God second, your main goals ultimately fail. That’s the paradox of what our diocese had tried to do. The results are exactly the opposite of the goal. And it’s exactly because they put God and Truth second. When you put God first and worry about the results later, more often than not, he will bless you with great results. But you shouldn’t expect it. Even if the results aren’t great, you should keep doing what’s right because …. well it’s the right thing to do.

    The concern about Mass attendance, while important, is not the only issue. If we did a survey in these “packed” and “vibrant” churches, how many of the people there would assent to the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence, the all-male priesthood, Salvation outside the Church, and on moral issues such as contraception and homosexuality? Getting people in the pews is good, but it is only a first step.

    exactly! getting people into the pews isn’t the top priority. saving souls is. And the latter doesn’t necessarily follow from the former.

  48. avatar Dr. K says:

    The last two days included a Vatican Holiday and then the weekend. Give it some time.

    Maybe, but I’m growing less confident as the days pass. The diocese is adamantly denying that Bishop Clark is retiring early. Given what I know about the man, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Bishop Clark handcuff himself to his giant sanctuary organ and require a police escort to take him out of the Cathedral.

    The possibility still exists that Bishop Clark will request a coadjutor to succeed him upon his retirement. Such an arrangement would produce a smooth transition, and frankly would be a noble act of departure. He still would be able to serve until July 2012, but the transition time following his retirement would be quicker and less tumultuous. Let’s see if he is compassionate and “pastoral” enough to request a coadjutor.

  49. avatar Nerina says:

    This made me laugh:

    Given what I know about the man, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Bishop Clark handcuff himself to his giant sanctuary organ and require a police escort to take him out of the Cathedral.

    Thanks, Dr. K.

    Jim C, I’m sorry that you were offended by some of the comments. I think it is good to get other perspectives, but I think you are seeing that many of the people here actually have a good grasp of the reality of our situation. Look through some of the older posts which talk about demographics and you will see what the numbers show. I agree with LaSandia above that attendance is only one (albeit an important)concern. While I think getting people to Mass is critical in reviving the Church we have much work to do in terms of catechesis. Having luke warm people in the pews is a poor substitute for earnest and faithful, though imperfect, congregants.

  50. avatar Abaccio says:

    “Hey Abaccio I pray that one day soon you and I are seated in the same pew during Mass because I am going to grab your hand and hold during the Our Father.”

    Since my hands are folded throughout the Mass in the exact same way a Tridentine Latin Mass Altar Boy would have his folded, you’ll have a rough go of that, Jim. It’s too bad you’ll never read this comment, since you’ve vowed never to visit our beloved online apostalate ever again.

  51. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Dr.K wrote: “Given what I know about the man, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Bishop Clark handcuff himself to his giant sanctuary organ and require a police escort to take him out of the Cathedral.”

    LOL. I wouldn’t say I know him but my impressions do agree with this picture. I get the sense of one who loves his place. I do not get the sense of one who loves teaching of Christ in His Church – teaching that is not of this world, and won’t win you any popular acclaim.

    I was in Phoenix recently visiting family who have been regular members of St. Timothy’s, Fr. Dale Fushek’s Church, for some years now. But with the new Bishop Olmstad and his excommuication of Father Dale, some changes have been made there. I was there ten years ago and you would certainly describe it as “filled with people and not dying, …. filled with life and joy”, as Jim C says of his Irondequoit parish. But really, St. Tim’s was ten or more times more “family and joy-filled” than anything in Rochester. But like Rochester, there were many liturigcal abuses.

    Father Dales leadership was comparable to that of the excommunicated Father Callan, in that he was a charismatic leader, a personality figure. Like Callan, the now ex-communicated Father Dale has now started his own church, founded on the exodus of Dale loyalists from St. Tims.

    So Bishop Olmstead has put new priests in charge at St. Tims, and I wondered what it would be like now. I am glad to report that you can still call it more “family and joy-filled” than any parish I have seen in Rochester. I was thrilled to see the Tabernacle had been now put in the central place on the back wall (last time I couldn’t find it) and an artist had been commissioned to paint a beautiful mural surrounding it – see it here: http://www.sttimothymesa.org/mural/

    I was told the parking lot is not near as full as it had been in Father Dales time, but my standards, I had never seen such a giant packed lot. And Christmas lights were “sparse” compared to before, I was told, as Father Dale spared no expense loading the church and parking lot with impressive and festive light displays. But I had never seen that, and my impression at this visit was amazement, as I had never seen such a lit church and parking lot. So apparently attendance is down, but its still well-packed.

    The older priest gave a meandering homily, but it was filled with only good things. (I am accustomed to meandering homilies here in Rochester, but here, with those rare exceptions, no good thing is said! The homilies here are good only as a sacrifice of time, boredom and frustration to offer up…).

    Still no kneelers at St. Tim’s, and like many parishes here they are still standing for the Consecretion, but people did knell on the slanted floor after receiving communion. And still there is the teaming gaggle of Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers that flock the alter at Communion, as is the long-standing tradition at St. Tim’s, where participation of the people is most ardently embraced, but I imagine change is being introduced pastorally, giving people time to get used to things. The EEM’s were reverent, and I understand that there has been a lot of new training for them, with much emphasis on reverence.

    So I expect the same in Rochester with a new truly-Catholic bishop. He will change things and that will offend some people so there will be some attrition but there will be steady new growth to far surpass the attrition. I predict the growth will come fast. IMO, uncatechized, unshepherded Rochesterians have a huge hole waiting to be filled with Catholic truth. I think they thirst. I think they will sop up truth like a sponge.

    There was an article in the Phoenix Republic about Bishop Olmstead, here, http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/12/27/20101227bishop-thomas-olmsted-dedicated.html An excerpt: “Olmsted had already drawn public outcry for declaring that a surgery performed at the hospital was contrary to church teaching. He was asked about the further criticism he was likely to face.

    “I try to pray each day to find my identity in Jesus Christ,” he said. “Praise or ridicule do not matter. I am called to be faithful to the church.”

    And truly, you can see when you read the article that he is saying exactly who he is. Yes, he is not afraid of offending people. He stands to pray outside abortion clinics. He speaks against gay marriage. He is unafraid of being extremely unpopular because his identity is in Christ. What a man of integrity. It makes me want to swoon. How wonderful it will be if we get a Bishop of whom the people will say, “He is a man of integrity”.

  52. avatar Eliza10 says:

    I think I shared elsewhere that my hand, folded in prayer, had been grabbed against my will during the Our Father before. (Not at Jim C’s parish and not by a man). I chose to not reclaim my hand but let the woman have it since she wanted it so bad, figuring it would be more of a scene otherwise(thus distracting distracting others in their reverence – because even if their form of reverence was incorrect, only God knows their hearts, and their actual reverence might well have been greater than mine).

    I am reminded of a story I once heard of St. Brigid and her nuns who visited a monastery on a Friday and were served meat by the monks. St. Brigid ate it along with her hosts and scolded her nuns later, who had refused to eat the meat on a Friday.

  53. avatar Matt says:

    I once had explained to me that it is best to eat the meat in charity than turn it down in piety. I argue just the opposite–it becomes a teachable moment. If I am invited to dinner on a Friday, I simply have an opportunity to explain fasting and abstinence!

  54. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Matt, I guess you just have to discern in the situation you are in. If it can be a teachable moment that’s great. Some might take it as a personal insult or that you feel you are holier than them. Then they might feel a bit put out since they went to effort to entertain you. Hopefully being gracious and appreciative of their efforts can counteract that sentiment.

    I always feel its a fine line when I am not following a particular parish’s invented practices (or should I say, practices promulagatd by DOR) for example, when I fold my hands when they like holding them. I know some will think I think I am holier. I try to give people friendly looks after Mass as a way of giving little assurrancs I am not judging their worship style (which I think is not their fault, but just what they have been taught by our DOR). I also feel that if they are going to be liberal open-minded persons they can tolerate that I have a different worship style than they are used to seeing in their parish.

    Another problem is when everyone making a chain across the aisles, and I am breaking it. It is way too distracting to my prayer to be a part of creating this chain and I am sure I am not the only one who is distracted – so being a non-participator helps those others, I think.

  55. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Thanks for that info Eliza10. I took a look at the mural – it sure is something!

    “I try to pray each day to find my identity in Jesus Christ,” he said. “Praise or ridicule do not matter. I am called to be faithful to the church.”

    how refreshing!

  56. Would you mind asking Diane Elizabeth to remove her profile image? I am artist Todd L Thomas. Permission for use of the image was not granted. The watermark with my name and copyright info is right on the image.

  57. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    sure, Todd. I removed it. Sorry, Diane Elizabeth – you’ll have to find an un-copyrighted image.

  58. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Anyone feel like this (checking on bishop updates)?

  59. avatar Anonymous says:

    [Comment deleted by moderator]

  60. avatar Eliza10 says:

    The comic is funny and I can relate but personally patience, born of necessity, is getting to be more of a habit for me. I do feel very happy and hopeful about the gift of this ray of hope that came on the Feast of the Epiphany! I keep looking, too, but with a content kind of hope…

  61. avatar Jim says:

    Jim M. here: That peanuts comic says it all, Ben…thanks for the chuckle!

  62. avatar B says:

    Just a point of correction. There is nothing like “hanging up” the mitre for a bishop in the Catholic Church. Bishops wear their mitres even to their graves. So, do not expect Bishop Clark to surrender his mitre to anyone or to put it away upon retirement. Besides, he also gets to keep his Crosier, even if he has to use it with someone else’s permission after his retirement. Thanks.

  63. avatar Ed says:

    It will certainly be interesting to see if this is True. Will Bishop Perry even be able to use our current Cathedral? I think not. If he is as conservative as I have seen, he will have to either renovate the cathedral again or choose one of our other few unwreckovated churches as the cathedral.


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