Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Guardian Angel, Where Art Thou?

June 11th, 2009, Promulgated by Gen

I’ve been poking around the internets in order that I may provide you some fresh stories. Nothing can be fresher than this little incident. Oddly enough, the source of it stems (albeit distantly) from St. Anne Church and Her Eminence Joan Sobala. One of the priests in residence at St. Anne, a Fr. Peter Abas, was sent to Guardian Angels Parish after the switch last summer. He has been working at this new parish since that time, but his job was terminated. Let’s have a quiz, shall we? Notification was sent by which of the following venues:

  • Bishop’s Office
  • Lay Administrator, Barbara Swiecki
  • God the Spirit

The answer: Lay Administrator, Barbara Swiecki

From what I have gathered (and from a reliable source), Fr. Abas had concluded the Mass when Mrs. Swiecki got up, rang a gong/bell in the sanctuary (I kid you not) and asked for a moment of silence. After a short while, she began to speak and explained that Fr. Abas was no longer going to be at Guardian Angels because the parish couldn’t afford him. To recap: the parish which has reached 110% + in the CMA can pay the wages of a youth director, an adminstrator, a grounds keeper and others, but cannot pay a priest to say Mass. And to top all that, Fr. Abas did not know of his departure until that moment.

Our priests deserve vastly better than to be fired by want-to-be priestesses because of politics. Similair things have, doubtlessly, occured in many other Rochester parishes. I yearn for the day when priests aren’t intimidated by ecclesial bullies. Please pray that Fr. Abas is happy in his new assignment, which, quite certainly, will be vastly better than the one he has endured for almost a year. His new post will be at St. Thomas the Apostle, Christ the King and St. Salome’s in Irondequoit. If you are a parishioner at one of these churches, I have a feeling that you will be in for a treat with this fellow.

I doff my cap to you, Lay Administrator Barbara Swiecki. Never before have we reached your level of unprofessional and immature behaviour.


19 Responses to “Guardian Angel, Where Art Thou?”

  1. Fr. Abas got the gong… maybe Lay Administer Swiecki will get the hook?

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    Do they have a priest on staff any longer??? Or will it just be Barbara Communion services?

  3. avatar Dr. K says:

    I can vouch that they do ring a gong or some sort of bell and have a moment of silence immediately following Communion. This strange practice has been going on there well before Fr. Abas arrived (I saw this peculiarity at Guardian Angels around 3 years ago).

    The news about Fr. Abas being released is quite shocking. Has anyone tried to contact him to get the scoop on this whole ordeal?

    To respond to the previous poster, no, I don't believe that they have another priest on staff. Might we be seeing the final phase of Bishop Clark's destruction of the diocese: the removal of priests from parishes to be replaced as laywoman run communities? Maybe we are…

    ~Dr. K

  4. avatar Bernie says:

    Father Peter Abas is a real priest. He is the best. I hope you have the facts wrong and that he was not notified as you describe. I think a retied priest of the diocese is taking over as "Sacramental" minister. I won't mention his name as I'm not certain.

    They had been doing the "gong" thing at Guardian Angels well before Fr. Peter arrived. Just someone's silliness!

  5. avatar Gen says:

    I've spoken with Fr. Abas. He told me that a dear friend of Barb is to take over. Evidently, he's a retired priest and one that the parish can "afford." Politically, he's the same as Barb. My heart goes out to this priest.

    On the plus side, he has been invited to France to give a presentation on psychology and elderly mentality etc . . .

  6. avatar Gen says:

    And, unfortunately, the circumstances that I heard were true. If only these facts were rumors – then there would be a glimmer of hope. However, I think there is hope anew, for now Fr. Abas is in charge of a much, much larger cluster, which is much, much more traditional.

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    What the heck is going on? that is horrible. I am ashamed I live and worship in Rochester. If I were younger I'd move away from this abuse . Can't we do something instead of talking about? I need a drink!!

  8. avatar Anonymous says:


    What cluster is he in charge of? you don't mean France do you?. when he comes back where will he be living and preaching?

  9. avatar Gen says:

    He will be the "Parochial Vicar" of the St. Thomas the Apostle cluster, on the city's east side. He will be serving with Fr. Tank and Fr. Glen, both very solid ad traditional Basilians. And, yes, he is going to France, as in "oui, vraiment, j'ai dit la France." When he returns from his European sojourn, he will be living (as he is now) at St. Cecilia's with Fr. Leone, another St. Anne exile.

  10. avatar Dr. K says:

    While this is bad news for Henrietta (which has been devolving into a wasteland of heterodoxy, experimentation, and tomfoolery), it is wonderful news for Irondequoit. The Iron. churches are becoming more and more orthodox with the recent arrival of two former St. Anne priests, and St. Thomas the Apostle was orthodox long before that.

    Anyone know if St. Thomas still utilizes the altar rail during the distribution of Communion? It's been awhile since I've made it there for a Mass. To the best of my knowledge, this is (or was) the only church in the DoR that distributes Communion at an altar rail for a Novus Ordo liturgy. God bless them if they still do.

    ~Dr. K

  11. avatar Gen says:

    Dr. K, they do, indeed, use the rail for communion still.

  12. avatar Anonymous says:

    Utterly tacky and disrespectful treatment of a priest. God forgive them…

  13. avatar Dr. K says:

    re: 10pm post

    That's great to hear.

    ~Dr. K

  14. avatar Anonymous says:

    They don't need a priest, they have a perfectly good pretend priest in Nancy DeRycke who is right down the road.


  15. avatar Anonymous says:

    Fr. Glenn is being transferred to to Canada. Fr. Richard Beligotti is going on sabattical. Thus a need for a priest for that cluster.

  16. avatar Gen says:

    Oh, dear. I hadn't heard about Fr. Glenn. It looks as if Fr. Abas has his work cut out for him.

  17. avatar Anonymous says:

    "Fr. Glenn is being transferred to to Canada. "

    I'm pretty sure we have the greater need right now. But, maybe it's for the better for Fr. Glenn.

  18. avatar Anonymous says:

    I attended mass at Saint Thomas, this morning. Father Peter was greeted with congeniality and with respect. As I hear it, he even has an OFFICE there, according to an undisclosed source. At Guardian Angels, he didn't even have a COAT HOOK!

    His homily was enlightening and relative,and the senior citizens in the parish were engaged and smiling,as well.

    It took my breath away to see people kneeling for communion, too.

    We sang Panis Angelicus, as well, which was so pertinent for today's liturgy. Hugh Brodsky is the organist, and he was JUST superb.

    And, the altar boys! So reverent, so dutiful…THEY even kneel at the side of the altar for communion. And, they follow along next to the priest for those who take communion in their mouths…with the shiny gold "host catcher".

    Memories of my youth came up on me…and I cried with reminiscence. Totally a faithfilled experience….

    One last comment…there were many youths at mass today…all dressed nicely and acting like they knew they were in church…to worship. Unlike the Guardian Angels youth group who are encouraged to wear jeans or shorts and T-Shirts to church…which say…"Jesus is Lord…Duh!"

    What is even more surprising is the youth director has been given a "promotion" if you will, and is now running a second youth group in "the cluster"..Incredible.

  19. avatar Anonymous says:

    We can't lose St. Thomas, we just can't!

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