Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


St. Bridget Church to Close

December 22nd, 2009, Promulgated by Dr. K

The Democrat & Chronicle today ran a two page piece on the state of St. Bridget church, a poor inner-city community that’s part of the Diocese of Rochester’s black ministry. You may remember that Cleansing Fire reported last week on how St. Bridget’s attendance has been averaging around 30 people per weekend since the Fall. Well, it looks like the parish will soon be voting on when to sell the church and to where they will settle once the sale is finalized. One option mentioned in the D&C; article, and the one which makes the most sense, will be to consolidate the two black ministry churches of St. Bridget and Immaculate Conception at the I.C. site in Corn Hill. Combined, the two parishes will still only have roughly 110 parishioners, but it’s better than the current situation.

The article also refers to other area closures. Here is what is written:

“Since 1995, 24 churches have left their buildings and moved into other locations.

There also have been 14 consolidations since 2002 in which two or more churches merged.”

Our diocese is rather small compared to several others, so a number such as 24 closed churches in the past 15 years raise a serious red flag. In the larger dioceses, you will see maybe upwards of 30 closures where there are struggles, but 24 for the Diocese of Rochester? We’re losing Catholics at an alarming rate. This attitude from the DoR is also not helping matters:

“”The days of a church on every corner and a thousand people filling the pews have come and pretty much gone…” Mandelaro said. “We have to face the realities of the future and find the best configuration, the best right size” for churches.”

Complacency is not going to get people back in the pews. ‘This is the way it is and there’s nothing we can do about it’ is not going to save souls. Come on, is there really nothing we can do to get people going to church once again? Is the diocese really so committed to its failing progressive vision of a woman in every alb and a Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion in every aisle that it’s unwilling to explore tradition and orthodoxy as a way to revive pitiful attendance numbers? We need to think back to when things were last working in this diocese, and employ some of the techniques used at that time. Until then, prepare for a smaller, more progressive Catholic population in Rochester.

Less people = less money… Maybe that line will wake up the DoR.

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4 Responses to “St. Bridget Church to Close”

  1. "When things were last working in this diocese"…that would be under Bishop Kearney in the early 60s, right before Vatican Council II.

    A thinking-chancerycrat would suggest the Catholics Come Home program. It's a huge suggest in those diocese where it has been tried, like Phoenix for instance. The insanity is the diocese does the same things year after year and expect different results. How crazy is that?

    And I suppose to trust this diocese with my money. I don't think so.

  2. avatar CPT Tom says:

    My parish is actually kicking off "Catholics Come Home." I was quite surprised to see this in this diocese.

  3. avatar Rob says:

    The D & C article sounded fairly confident that churches will be closing in Irondequoit. Last I checked, there has been no plan approved by all the parishes and no plan sent to Bishop Clark. Christ the King has no right to shut down St. Thomas. Such a decision must either come from St. Thomas themselves, or the bishop.

  4. avatar Nerina says:

    CPT Tom,

    That's great news! I'll be interested to see how it works since I've suggested the program in the past to my priest. He's not one to go out and do something without seeing it in action first. I'll pray for your church's success.


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