Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

St. Thomas the Apostle Update

January 26th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Update 1/29/10: The IPPG has brought down the hammer on St. Thomas and St. Salome.

Here are interesting passages from the December 16th minutes of the Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group concerning the presentation of St. Thomas the Apostle’s proposal to remain as a standalone parish apart from the IPPG parishes. The entire document can be accessed online here:

Emphasis added.

Summary of STA proposal presented by Margi Ochs:
A.Reviewed attendance figures and number of households.
B.STA Parish Council disagrees with financial assumptions of the IPPG.
C.STA proposal states that they should stand alone. Proposal based on theology, beauty of the church, adoration chapel and other unique ministries [So basically a “personal parish” idea such as what exists at Our Lady of Victory]
D.STA proposal states that the IPPG process is flawed.
E.Unique STA ministries could continue within the cluster but STA?s efforts would be ?diluted?.
F. STA would increase numbers by evangelization and stewardship programs.
G.Former STA Parish Council members have clarified to Margi that they resigned from the Council because they did not feel their position would be heard or accepted by the others on the STA Parish Council. A letter from a former PC member regarding his resignation was read.

(and now the IPPG does their lip service and comes down with the iron hammer as expected)

Group discussion regarding STA proposal.
A.Role of IPPG is to do the best job possible and then pass final proposal on to the Bishop for consideration and making the final decision.
B.Dissenting parish councils such as STA can ask that their proposal be included as an addendum when the final IPPG proposal goes to the Bishop.
C. Questions were discussed regarding deferred maintenance costs.
D.The value of any parish proposal will be based on how it contributes to one Irondequoit parish. STA, in its proposal, has rejected the one parish model and believes the parish can continue to exist standing alone from the rest of the Irondequoit faith community.
E. IPPG Consensus: move forward combining all communities as one parish. [And there it is…]
F. Margi Ochs to go back to STA community with this decision.

Was there any surprise at all that the IPPG was not going to listen to the people of St. Thomas? The IPPG is a group of hand-picked ‘yes’ (wo-)men to help the leaders protect the parishes of Christ the King, St. Cecilia, and for some reason, St. Margaret Mary. This process is indeed flawed, as the “Big Three” are the ones running this show and making the decisions for the other two parishes. This is a terrible process, as it is pitting parish against parish. According to Interstate Catholic, the official decision of the IPPG will come down this weekend. Given the results of the interchange recorded in the above minutes, does anyone expect it to be anything other than the closure of St. Thomas and St. Salome?

Cleansing Fire predictions: Ok folks, here is what is going to happen over the coming year. Fr. Tanck will announce this weekend that St. Thomas and St. Salome will close in 2010. He will give a lot of lip service about how this was a tough decision and he feels the people’s pain (Remember, his parish of CTK will not close in this process. The Diocese needs to stop appointing cluster leaders from within cluster parishes so that there are no pre-existing biases). Do not be surprised at all if he gives a snarky comment or two when he does this. We have been reading all of his bulletin articles, and his jabs at the people of St. Thomas are quite clear, both directly and indirectly. There will be a strong, vocal negative reaction to this, and likely the people of St. Thomas will begin a canonical fight. This probably will not go well. [It is best to neither lash back with words or actions, as neither will do any good, and you will only regret what you have done later]. The bishop will give lip service as well, maybe schedule a token discussion with Fr. Dr. Hart where he’ll nod his head and then say ‘we have a shortage of priests’ and the situation in Irondequoit will not be improving any time soon (for he is the eternal optimist). Nothing good will come of this meeting. Following this, the bishop will write a letter saying he supports the decision of the IPPG, and he understands how hard it was and how many people will be hurt, but that we need to move forward in hope, blah blah blah, Church is not individual parishes. He will more or less fall back on the decision of the IPPG to keep his hands clean. Be prepared DoR; Irondequoit attendance will plummet within 6 months of the closures. We have seen this result countless times already.

So, what are the people of St. Thomas to do? If you take the canonical approach, I think there will be disappointment, although it may delay matters slightly. Another approach could be to walk out of the parish the moment Fr. Tanck announce St. Thomas will close and not return. Send the message loud and clear. Peacefully vote with your feet, and vote with your wallets to let the diocese know your disapproval of the entire flawed, and biased process. Wouldn’t it send a great message if the attendance the week after the announcement was under 200 and the collections under $1,000? Our Lady of Victory and St. Stanislaus are ready to welcome you. There is room at the Saturday Mass (the Sunday ones, especially 10 AM are full).

One more CF prediction: The IPPG may “reward” St. Salome’s cooperation by keeping them open as a multi-purpose facility. Thus i
t is possible that only St. Thomas will be shut down for good.

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9 Responses to “St. Thomas the Apostle Update”

  1. Gen says:

    So much idiocy. If a parish can freely support itself, let it do that. OLV does, as do many parishes, orthodox and not. It makes no sense why they should reject the proposal from St. Thomas.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We at St. Thomas will always feel that we are being punished for our desire to receive the Eucharist on our knees.
    Also, our last pastor admonished us saying, "You genuflect too much!"

  3. Gen says:

    "Blessed are they who are persecuted for my name's sake."

    I couldn't agree more. Your parish is a shining example of unobtrusive orthodoxy.

  4. Obviously like anything in this cheap,God-forsaken shoddy diocese, the outcome was all fixed from the beginning. I'm not at all surprised. The bishop is a cruel man (?) to allow this travesty to go on. What moral person would allow this total charade to go on. He is knowingly leading his flock on. He is no real shepherd, but only in name. No morals and no scruples.

    In the article, you mentioned the word "cluster"…there is another word that sometimes follows "cluster" that I think is more appropriate to use in this case.

    STA parishioners…I still wouldn't give up. They is exactly what they want you to do. Sometimes victory comes when you least expect it. Pray to OUr Lady of Victory. If you don't win, you fought valiantly. Logistically St. Stanislaus Church (Latin Mass)comes before Our Lady of Victory. Look at me trying to sheep steal!!!

  5. Gen says:

    Two converging paths to orthodoxy, Choir. No fears.

  6. Matt says:


    I enjoy that I don't get funny looks at STA when I kneel and receive on the tongue. I get funny looks at most places. Also, people scowl when I change lines to receive from a priest (or, at worst, a deacon)–I'm not a big fan of EMHC's. But hey, I do it anyways (kneel, that is)

  7. Anonymous says:

    I Was scolded for changing lines to receive the host from a priest, when i USE to attend at ST.Anne.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Cluster ——?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Your predictions are correct. They shouldn't even bother meeting with Fr. Hart, everyone knows it's a joke. It's a done deal, as it was his decision as much as anyone else.
    Bishop Clark is the face in the media, but the real problem is the one behind the scenes.

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