Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Consider Our Lady of Victory “Fertilized,” Sr. Sobala

July 2nd, 2009, Promulgated by Gen

It was a year ago to the day today when Sr. Sobala remarked, “If they disagree, let them fertilize other parishes.” Well, they most certainly have, sister.

Let’s compare two bulletins, shall we? I’ll let you decide which is which:

Bulletin 1:
Collection- ~$4500
Remarks from the administrator on liturgy, the year of the priest

Bulletin 2:
Collection- ~$3400
Remarks from the administrator on the Fourth of July, graduations, and “evolving society.”
Numerous typos – ex. “Have a great summer1”

Some additional information for your ponderance:
Bulletin 1 comes from a parish that is firmly placed in Tradition and attracts people from all over the diocese. Bulletin 1 has seen an increase in collection money grow steadily and surely since last summer when “new administrations” began. Bulletin 2 comes from a parish that was once firm in Tradition, bringing in well over $8000 per weekend, often times much higher. Bulletin 2 comes from a parish which boasted almost 500 attendees. Bulletin 1 is from a parish that usually has a little less than that per weekend.

Have you guessed the parishes yet? Give up?

Bulletin 1 = Our Lady of Victory, Rochester, NY
Bulletin 2 = St. Anne Church, Rochester, NY

Sr. Sobala, I think that you hold more influence than you give yourself credit for. The people of your parish have most definitely fertilized another one. Keep up the good work, for it is making secure the parishes that ought to be made secure. In this humble blogger’s opinion, St. Anne is more likely to close (and vastly more likely, at that,) than is Our Lady of Victory.



13 Responses to “Consider Our Lady of Victory “Fertilized,” Sr. Sobala”

  1. Anonymous says:

    OLV fits the definition of the "growing parish" that Bishop Clark has mentioned in the past. St. Anne of today does not.

  2. Anonymous says:

    St. Anne Church and that whole Mt. Hope Ave. area will be sold to the University of Rochester someday.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please don't give Bishop Clark any ideas about selling St. Anne's.

    He will close the parish and that will be another million dollars going south.

  4. Bernie says:

    I'm a parishioner at OLV (formerly of St. Anne Church) and $4500 seems maybe $100-200 higher than average. It dips below $4000 more often than it climbs close to $5000. Frankly, I don't think the collection at OLV has increased as much as it should have with the increase in parishioners. St. Anne Church has electronic transfer –which is counted only once per month– and so the actual take per week is probably at least a few hundred more than the $3500 you mention. St. Anne parish is definitely in serious financial trouble, however. I don't say that with any satisfaction. We have many friends who have remained there and so I hope it all works out for them. They have remained but they are not happy and that's sad. The financial situation at St. Anne Church was not particularly healthy before the change in administration but since the change it has worsened dramatically with the flight of parishioners to other parishes. I give St. Anne Church perhaps three years before it is closed. Just a gut guess. The only unfortunate aspect of OLV is the lack of a parish program outside the liturgy. We miss that, although the people there are wonderfully welcoming in every respect. It is such a pleasure to go to Mass there every week and not come out totally annoyed, disgusted, and discouraged.

  5. Gen says:

    I can sympathize.

    I think it's quite telling that, even with a "worst case scenario" of a low week at OLV and a high one at St. Anne, the ratios are still completely off. St. Anne has many, many more officially "enrolled" parishioners than OLV, yet they bring in only a fraction more. For a larger parish such as St. Anne to bring in less than OLV even once is a tremendous sign of the times.

  6. Dr. K says:

    I just dug up St. Anne's financial figures and attendance from roughly 1 year ago. On June 26/27 2008, the collection was over $6,000, and attendance at 675 (click here). This year was quite a different story. The collection for this past weekend was under $4,000 and attendance was down to 482.

    Heterodoxy does not pay.

    ~Dr. K

  7. I'll beat the Eastman School has its eye on the church because of the splendid Konzelmann organ. Musica Spei already rehearses there and gives concerts. It has ample parking and a very nice social hall. Plus, I believe, that a St. Anne's parishoner was or is on the Eastman staff.
    My .02 worth.

  8. Gen says:

    That's one positive thing about St. Anne's dilemma. If it does close, it will not be snatched up by some radical Protestant sect. It'll be utilized, probably, as a temple to music.

    "When in our music God is glorified . . ."

  9. Anonymous says:


  10. DF says:

    Funny, that's what I said when Joan was talking at our parish council meetings.

  11. Bernie says:

    I believe that all the liturgical shenanigans that have been going on in our diocese has resulted in a gradual heightening of awareness of the faithful of the importance of orthodoxy, and of respect for the universality of the church in her theology and liturgical practice. People who once thought they must be the only ones uncomfortable have discovered that there are many people who feel and think just like them. They have begun to find each other as they have gone from parish to parish looking for some sanity. As the number of sanctuaries of sanity have shrunk they have landed together in just a few places and have formed something like a critical mass. As an educated, informed and orthodox group of laypeople they are in a position to influence the future direction of the Rochester diocese. Their more liberal –and dissenting– fellow Catholics now in positions of power are aging. A large number of their parishioners are only minimally committed Catholics. Their parish incomes are drying-up. The specter of a possible reversal in leadership direction just a few years away must be raising some concerns about the security of the careers of those running the diocese as well as those administrating parishes. The only parishes in the diocese that are growing are those that are orthodox in liturgy and theology. What's interesting is that they include large numbers of educated and informed people who are often young and respected professionals. There is also a surprising number of young, large families. Was all this a result of Sister's "fertilization" concept. I'm not sure if that is the right word for what has actually happened but one thing is certain: The change in administration at St. Anne Church last July may have been the cause of one of the final stages in the forming of a critical mass of orthodoxy in this diocese. I think the future looks good.

  12. urbanfiber says:

    Is it too soon to bring up the topic of the "traditional" novena to St. Anne, nine evenings starting July 17, 2009? This year, instead of having one novena leader, there will be several speakers, including: Father George Heyman, Sister Mary L Heffernan, Sister Jody Kearney, Sister Barbara Moore, Dr. Joseph Kelly, Sister Patricia Schoelles, Sister Joan Sobala and Father Gary Tyman. The theme is "Insights from the Gospel of Mark". It should be interesting to see how the attendance is this year…..

  13. Gen says:

    Count me out.

    Funny, I can visualize good St. Anne and her husband St. Joachim saying the same thing . . .

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