Cleansing Fire

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More Fruit of Clustering Parishes

March 8th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Remember the lie that clustering was supposed to promote stronger, more vibrant parishes?

From Holy Ghost church, who clustered with St. Helen and St. Jude last year:

Click above to enlarge

I’d like to offer a few observations/comments.

First, below is the downward spiral in attendance which has taken place since the parish clustered with two other communities. This demonstrates once again that less Masses offered will result in less attendees.

2009 official October attendance: 655
2010 October attendance (roughly, per above column): 500
2011 attendance figures (beginning with most recent): 407, 455, 430, 444, 477, 477, 577- Average: 467 (-188 since clustering)

Were we to better utilize the diocese’s retired priests, specifically the ones who wish to help out with at least one weekend Mass, then the problem of fewer Masses yielding fewer attendees would not exist (as of yet). Also, there is no reason why the priest retirement age should be 70 in this diocese when it is 75 most everywhere else. Why does Bishop Clark get to serve until 75 while his priests have to submit their retirement at 70? Why do lay administrators like Sr. Joan Sobala get to run parishes past 70 when priests of the same age are forced to retire? Pure hypocrisy.

Second, isn’t it sad how the CMA tax cripples parishes and drives them into debt? Couldn’t the surplus money collected by the heavy givers be used to alleviate the burden of the less financially blessed parishes?

Third, isn’t it also sad that a parish would take a census with the hope that they have less members than last year so that they can reduce their CMA tax?

Fourth, will other parishes get the chance to have their tax lowered by the diocese? For example, the Irondequoit parish which has closed two churches. It doesn’t make sense that two churches which no longer offer Masses should have to pay thousands of dollars in CMA tax.

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4 Responses to “More Fruit of Clustering Parishes”

  1. Awful. St. Helen was my first childhood parish. While the neighborhood certainly has changed, the clustering combined with the goofy liturgical practices there — I left a Mass a few Thanksgivings ago when the celebrant-priest littered the altar with scraps of paper containing scribbled holiday thank-you messages — almost assures its closure. How sad. St. Helen’s is where I made my First Communion and Confirmation.

  2. avatar Eliza10 says:

    “Were we to better utilize the diocese‚Äôs retired priests, specifically the ones who wish to help out with at least one weekend Mass, then the problem of fewer Masses yielding fewer attendees would not exist (as of yet). Also, there is no reason why the priest retirement age should be 70 in this diocese when it is 75 most everywhere else. Why does Bishop Clark get to serve until 75 while his priests have to submit their retirement at 70? Why do lay administrators like Sr. Joan Sobala get to run parishes past 70 when priests of the same age are forced to retire? Pure hypocrisy.”

    Wow! This is SO WRONG! This is evidence there is something seriously wrong with Bishop Clark. Can the new Bishop call back these priests out of retirement??

    It really is true, as the evidence bears out – Bishop Clark does not WANT priestly vocations.

  3. avatar Dr. K says:

    almost assures its closure.

    St. Helen’s attendance has witnessed a surprising increase since the Vietnamese community moved there from St. Anthony of Padua a few years ago, far greater than I was anticipating.

    The priest you mention has since moved to a parish in Greece.

  4. avatar Eliza10 says:

    This information, that Bishop Clark forces priests to retire at 70 while he chooses to stay on as the destructive but contented Bishop until he is 75, is really bothering me. It takes a real sense of narcissistic entitlement to do this. And I keep seeing other examples of Narcissist traits here at the DOR. Its some kind of infestation I think!


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