Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

St. Irondequoit

February 25th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

I had the privilege to speak with several members of St. Thomas the Apostle recently, and among the innumerable bits of stupidity concerning the IPPG, the diocesan norms, clusterings, etc. was this little morsel. I’m sure it’s on the Irondequoit Catholic website somewhere, but I hadn’t been aware until I was told by these parishioners that the IPPG refers to the eventual “parish” as “St. Irondequoit.”

Naturally, this isn’t some massive infraction of Canon Law or any such thing. It’s not a matter of right or wrong. It’s a matter of insensitivity and, well, stupidity.

Why is is a matter of stupidity?

Because everyone knows that Irondequoit is merely a “Blessed” while Webster is a “Saint.” Keep your canonized suburbs straight, IPPG. We’re still waiting on one more miracle in Irondequoit until it can become “St.” Irondequoit. (Sarcasm off)

In other things St. Thomas, I thought that I should mention that the grave of Monsignor Burns, the founding priest of the current church, has become a focus for local prayer and pilgrimage. I stopped by the tomb a few days prior to this post, and counted dozens of crosses like you would see on the side of the road, marking the spot of a loved one’s death. These simple crosses bear phrases such as, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” and “Msgr. Burns, intercede for STA.” There are rosaries draped on the arms of these crosses, small flower arrangements, and many other signs of devotion as well.

I ask you, IPPG and certain of you who have the audacity to call these people “angry” and “vindictive,” is humble prayer a sign of vengeful dealing and cold-hearted Christianity? Is it proof that the people of St. Thomas are the conniving, vindictive Catholics that you think they are? I think not. 

The people of St. Thomas deserve better than what they have received. When parishioners spoke out to Fr. Tanck because they didn’t feel loved or cared for, the response was closing the confessionals. What sick form of pastoral care is that, to deprive the faithful of the sacraments? Sure, maybe something came up. Maybe someone was dying somewhere and Fr. Tanck had to rush off. I don’t know. All I do know is that no provision was made for the faithful to receive the sacrament of Confession. In the words of a friend, “Oh, yes, that’s something the Cur? of Ars would have done. He’d shut down the confessionals to show the people how pastoral he was. Oh, wait, that’s flawed logic, isn’t it?”

Although I am not privy to every single detail regarding this matter, I do know for a fact that the people of St. Thomas and St. Salome have been treated unfairly. These two Irondequoit churches, the only two without debt, are the ones that have been recommended for closure. The people have been vilified and stereotyped as disgruntled traditionalists who hate the bishop. I can assure you that I have never met warmer or more charitable people in my life than I have on my visits to St. Thomas the Apostle. To let the actions of one or two individuals create a false image of a parish, one that is used against these people who mean so well, is to permit Our Lord’s side to be pierced one more time. When you attack a parish, when you recommend its closure for no reason other than “it’s best for the people,” you attack a part of the mystical body of Our Lord.

When we lose a parish, not only are our hearts pierced, but also the heart of He who died for us.

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7 Responses to “St. Irondequoit”

  1. Dr. K says:

    Maybe St. Irondequoit was just a temporary cutesy title until they ask the remaining parishioners to submit names for another cutesy title. I'm expecting a very non-traditional name, such as "God's Peace", "Peace from East to West", "The Lord's House", or something would one expect an inner-city non-denominational church to call itself.

  2. Louis E. says:

    "Forward in Faith Community"?

  3. Gen says:

    My personal vote would go to "Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Roman Catholic Church."

    Yeah – like that would ever happen. We'll probably get (if things go poorly) a parish called "Jesus Loves You Just the Way You Are Worship Community."

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wel, we can call the cathedral: St. BS and I don't mean Blessed Sacrament.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In all seriousness…thank you. TL – Parishioner, St. Thomas the Apostle ROMAN CATHOLIC Church

  6. joelhouse says:

    It would make a perfect mosque. Isn't that what we want to do: close a financially successful parish and sell it for pennies to the Moslems?

  7. VCS says:

    Well, joelhouse, you are in agreement with Mr. Bob Moore, the IPPG Finance Committee chairperson.
    See his comments below (excerpt from the IPPG meeting minutes June 17, 2009). His comments were addressed to the IPPG committee with his recommendation to close and sell St. Thomas the Apostle parish. All they want is STA's $$$ and destroy Catholic orthodoxy in the process!

    ?St. Thomas could probably only be sold to another church looking for that grandeur and ornateness. But there is plenty of room for parking and other activities. Too bad the Turkish Mosque has already moved.? Bob Moore, IPPG Finance Committee Chairperson. June 17, 2009.

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