Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Proof That Heterodoxy Does Not Pay

September 15th, 2009, Promulgated by Dr. K

So it has come to this. In her most recent “Just Between Us” bulletin column, Sr. Joan Sobala, Pastoral Administrator of St. Anne/Our Lady of Lourdes and a person described by the Women’s Ordination Conference as being “key to the survival and the success of the movement for women?s ordination”, is begging her parishioners to increase their financial giving to their respective parishes.

Her letter, with emphasis:

“Dear Parishioners and Friends,

This weekend, with the support of our pastoral councils and finance councils, both Saint Anne and Our Lady of Lourdes are setting in motion a process leading to enhanced sacrificial giving on the part of all parishioners. [Interesting way to say, “we need more money”]

In order to keep our parish life vibrant and our ministries available to all in our parish world, we ask that everyone prayerfully consider a small increase in your weekly offering to our parish. Think of it as a way of saying “thank you” to God for all that God has given our families, our selves, our parish over the years.

This weekend, Betty Thomas at Saint Anne and Matt O’Connor at Our Lady of Lourdes will talk about the need for an increase in ordinary income, why it is necessary at this time and the impact increased sacrificial giving will have on the future vitality of our much-loved parishes [Hopefully not during the homily]. Next weekend, (Sept. 19-20) Ellen Wrona at Our Lady of Lourdes and Fred Johnson at Saint Anne will discuss guidelines for giving and show how this process will unfold [Not during the homily, correct?]. Finally, Fr. Tyman at Lourdes and I at Saint Anne will complete this trilogy of talks and move us through a Commitment Weekend on September 26-27 [Seriously, this won’t be during the homily, will it?]. At that time, each parish household will have the opportunity to make a commitment in support of our own parish. Though Lourdes and Saint Anne are doing this process at the same time, each is doing it independently, without financial overlap.

For over 75 years, each of our strong faith-filled parishes have grown, changed, contributed to new and enduring initiatives.

This is our time to build a strong Saint Anne, a strong Lourdes for the future.

Thank you for sharing this special time with your fellow parishioners and staff.”

Could this desperate move to increase sacrificial giving by parishioners be at least partially attributed to the fact that the Pastoral Administrator has transformed a bastion of orthodoxy in the wasteland which is our diocese into a haven for liturgical abuses such as lay preaching and excessive lay commentaries by an alb-wearing nun during the liturgy? Could it be due to the fact that she has driven away life-long powerful members of the parish with deep pockets who kept it humming for so many years? St. Anne was doing somewhat adequately before the new administration came aboard and implemented its changes, you tell me.

Tags: ,


15 Responses to “Proof That Heterodoxy Does Not Pay”

  1. avatar Gen says:

    Duplicity is one thing that makes me cringe harder than most.

    While we must love the sinner, we must also condemn the sin. Hypocrisy is one of the major things which Our Lord stressed time and time again as being contrary to the Kingdom of God.

    I am hesitant to "name names," but if you're reading this you probably know the direction in which this can be taken. The people who have remained at St. Anne and Our Lady of Lourdes are either apathetic, schismatic or too elderly to leave. The majority, spanning all three categories, at first expressed their outrage. One gentleman who once expressed his, and I quote him, "hate," for Sr. Sobala is now driving her to various meetings. (Thanks to S.C. in Rochester for this tidbit.)

    How can someone be so duplicitous, and yet still go to church with a clear conscience?

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    What, no offensive video from Sr. Joan containing a guitarist strolling down the aisle of St. Anne singing "give me the money"?

  3. avatar Anonymous says:

    Here's the solution for their money troubles: Sister Joan retires tomorrow.

  4. avatar Gen says:

    So true. So true.

  5. No longer will we "pray, pay and obey" especially to those who lead us astray. Sorry Sister Joan, the wallet just slammed shut.

    Sister, put down the microscope and pick up the mirror, if you understand what I mean.

    Mediate on the headline – Heterodoxy Does Not Pay – as you walk the labyrinth. It's real simple.

  6. avatar Matt says:

    can we get a Pope Joan retirement watch going? Presumably heretical nuns have to submit their resignation by age 75 too, right?

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    For our sake, let's hope Joan takes early retirement (age 70), if not receive an early dismissal from Bishop Clark's successor.

  8. avatar Mike says:

    FWIW, Sr. Joan is up for the Downtown Community Forum's first ever "Worker in the Vineyard" award.

    If you have $50.00 to burn – or $100.00 at the patron level – you can listen to her acceptance speech in person.

    Perhaps she'll explain why she's destroying the vineyard to which she's currently assigned.

    Details here.

  9. avatar Gen says:

    Sr. Joan is, as far as I know, 72 right now. I believe that retirement age for what she is is 74. If anyone is willing to do some digging on dates etc . . . I would greatly appreciate it.

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    The answers to both of your questions are "NO". What is driving this need is primarily the result of a study of giving practices of registered parishiners not in keeping with increased costs of maintaining a parish and its DEBT. Yes, Debt. The debt taken on by a former "white collar wearing priest" that completed a brick and mortar homage to himself and left the flock to figure out a way to pay for it. St. Anne was in the "poor house" long before the arrival of Sr. Joan (I should know as I have actively kept an ear to parish financial matters.) The prior pastor, a wonderful priest but poor administrator, chose never to address the financial failings and used ALL savings and investments to keep the the debt payments current. Now that there are no more savings, much of the budget goes to keep the debt current. All in all, Sr. Joan inherited a financial fiasco, she did not create it.

  11. avatar Anonymous says:

    If the former Priest was still there his congregation would have pulled together to fix what had to be fixed. Now there is no one left to ask. St Anne Church was one of the most respected churchs in the DOR. Sadly it has become a church of convience for those who live near by.

  12. avatar Bernie says:

    I have to agree with Anonymous at 4:55 that the parish was not in good financial health when the new administration took over in June 2008. (I don't agree with the subjective editorial comments, however.)But it's also true that the current administration has made the situation far worse. Her insistent non-mandatory high profile involvement in the liturgy drove many of us who were actively involved with the parish –and generous financial contributors– away. She can't say she wasn't warned this would happen! And, she has done nothing to repair the damage to entice us back. (It's too late, now.)I suppose she felt she had to stand up for her principles just as we had to stand up for ours. As to those who shared our feelings but elected to stay –I cannot judge. Perhaps the good Lord has a plan He didn't share with me.

  13. avatar Anonymous says:

    Anon 4:55, I strongly disagree. Sr. Joan has done nothing at all to stabilize St. Anne. She has driven people away because of her preaching and liturgical abuses. How you can say "no" to that baffles me, and speaks volumes about your ignorance with regard to the present situation at St. Anne.

    I don't appreciate you speaking that way about Frs. Lioi and Leone, good and holy men who greatly improved the St. Anne campus, and at least give it a fighting chance for survival against Our Lady of Lourdes.

  14. avatar Gen says:

    Anonymous 4:55.

    I was a parishioner of St. Anne Church under Fr. Lioi and Fr. Leone, before business took me to glorious Albany. Your assessment of the finances is completely and deeply flawed. Have you done any research, save that of your own short-sighted rantings? I think not.

    If you had, you would have noted the following: Fr. Lioi built the social hall and atrium at a tremendous cost, more than anticipated. HOWEVER, along with the project came a plan to have everything paid off, in whole, within 10-15 years. But, Bishop Clark in his infinite wisdom, removed Fr. Lioi before he could implement this plan. Fr. Leone inherited the matter. You try to make it sound as if he was an incompetent fool. Well, "anonymous," I should have you know he was not. He continued to lower debt, but his leadership of the parish was deeply rocked by his deployment to Kosovo and his military training. The acting pastor, Fr. Abas, also continued to reduce the debt. The amount by which he reduced it was impressive, and he also reached 100%+ in the CMA. However, with rumors of clustering already leaking into the parish, many people stopped paying off the bills for what they perceived to be something which Lourdes would end up having control over.

    You have no right, no reason and no authority to criticize these priests. They did more to save that parish than anyone else. You were not on the parish council. You were not on the finance committee. You were not on the Stewardship Committee. Since when did someone who lacked the honor to criticize in person become the voice of reason? Since when did an anonymous poster have the unmitigated gall to slander two of the most noble priests of the Diocese of Rochester? Since when was respect for the ordained ministry of the Church thrown aside for the sake of financial bickering?

    Kindly refrain from posting your hateful and villainous attacks here. Go start your own blog if you have such contempt for these two men. I would admonish anyone who would do such a thing. Yes, we poke fun at the bishop and his administrators, but we don't make things personal. Your behaviour was completely boorish, and I will not tolerate another attack on any priest. The only time we here at CF reprimand a priest is when he slanders the name of another priest or the Church. Not when he is removed from his parish, exiled to Groton, and then slandered by weak-willed people who care more for their own glorification than that of the truth.

    The matter is finished.

  15. avatar Anonymous says:


Leave a Reply

Log in | Register

You must be logged in to post a comment.

-Return to main page-