Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Think of the Children . . .

February 1st, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

. . . unless the girls are wearing plaid and the boys are helping them hand out information on Catholic schools.

The following is from a devoted reader:

I too was at the 11:00 mass where Fr. Tanck made the “drive-by announcement.” Many of us knew about the decision and announcement in advance. I didn’t see anyone that was surprised. What irritated me was that this is Catholic Schools Week, and some parents had arranged activities for it. There were children in their school uniforms, waiting to hand out literature and talk to prospective students and their parents about the gift of a Catholic education. At the offertory, the gifts were brought up by Catholic school children in uniform. Was there a mention about that from the pulpit? Absolutely not! (How pathetic is that, dear readers?) So whoever decided on the timing of this announcement managed to strike us in two ways — discouraging Catholic education and sticking it to the good people of STA.
Many STA parishioners are filled with joy that we are being persecuted. ( 7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.) It’s a perfect suffering that I believe will help the people of the Rochester diocese receive the graces we need to be ready for rebuilding the Church some 894 days from now.

It is a noble statement of the faith for St. Thomas, a church whose own school was needlessly shut down, to still take such enjoyment of organizing things for Catholic Schools Week. It is exponentially less noble, dare I say evil, to compound the evil of their losing their school with their losing of their parish? It’s as if the administration said, “Okay, we’ll announce it on the weekend when people will be sad thinking about the closing of their parish school – two birds, one stone.” I certainly hope that it wasn’t this overt, but it makes one wonder.

This reader brings up a valuable point, one from which we can all profit: “Many STA parishioners are filled with joy that we are being persecuted.” Everything happens for a reason – this is no exception. I have often thought of this, seeing the vast numbers of refugees from St. Anne, Our Lady of Lourdes, and other similar parishes, suddenly showing up at Our Lady of Victory. If we were to be discouraged from the faith (as many doubtless are) because of the ineptitude of our diocesan programs and administraitors (TM), we would be falling into the wiles of the devil. He uses things such as this to divide His Creator’s Church, and to swallow whole its children.

If you are a parishioner at St. Salome or St. Thomas the Apostle, you must do two things – first off, put up a defense. Don’t roll over. If you put up a strong front of anger (just as Our Lord did in the Temple) the pharisees of our diocese will take ear. They may still force you to go through indescribable woe, but they will know of the magnitude of their wrong-doings. Secondly – when you decide to leave St. Thomas, possibly at the doing of the IPPG and His Excellency, you must find a worthy home. If your goals are to stay in that area of the diocese, the two most immediate choices (outside the cluster) would be Holy Spirit and St. Stanislaus. If your goals are to find like-minded exiles, go to Our Lady of Victory. If your goals are to keep the other solid parishes in the cluster from closing (i.e. St. Cecilia’s) go there. Do not support heterodoxy and dissent.

And remember that the pain you feel is felt by many in the Diocese of Rochester. Perhaps you gave your heart to your parish. It worthily received it. However, its leaders, being less-than-perfect (as we all are) became ill-suited to be guardians of your joy. Now they are the begetters of your pain and suffering. As the reader noted, take your joy, your heart, and couple it with your suffering and persecution that you may know Christ and learn to lovingly embrace the Cross. There will be splinters from the implement of death, but to revel in the pain is to revel in the glorious mysteries of our faith. For He who was dead is now risen. He was was pierced and beaten is now whole and absolute in his majesty. Take up your cross and follow Christ, if you would His disciple be.

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13 Responses to “Think of the Children . . .”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm new to the area, and tend to agree with what I read here.

    I see St. Cecilia's listed as "solid." Any thoughts on St. Margaret Mary's?

    (No need to chime in on CtK. I already know how I feel about it…)

  2. Anonymous says:

    "Many STA parishioners are filled with joy that we are being persecuted."

    It does kind of feel like martyrdom, minus being murdered. We are being attacked for our traditional practices, but we will not relent. We will seek out parishes that will open their arms to us and our traditions, and will continue the St. Thomas way there. If the bishop is going to destroy orthodoxy and tradition in this diocese, he's going to have to shut down every single parish, because we are not backing down.

  3. Gen says:

    I would say, Anon 2:29, that St. Margaret Mary is about 90% solid. They did have a Santa Claus Mass, as well as some kind of female dancer for Midnight Mass on Christmas, but I tend to think that these things are more of a cluster-pushed initiative rather than something that Fr. Horan thought up. The church is a beautiful one, and Fr. Horan is a great priest. SMM still has the old altar, under a beautiful canopy, and there is unlimited potential there for great things. I would say it's safe – just be ready to cringe once or twice a year.

  4. Bernie says:

    There is another choice in Irondequoit, St. Josaphat Church on Ridge Road. It's a Byzantine/Eastern Rite church (of Ukrainian extraction) but a Catholic Church (in union with Rome)none-the-less. (It's not within the jurisdiction of the Rochester Diocese.) You would have to get use to a different liturgy but that could be rather enriching. The Eastern Rite Catholics are not as vulnerable to liturgical abuses as the Latin Rite and so you could probably find peace for some time to come. Also, the parish has a Catholic school. As far as I know there is no canonical difficulty in joining such a parish.

  5. Matt says:

    Find out when Fr. Erdle is the main celebrant, then attend over at St Margaret Mary. He's fantastic. I haven't been to Mass with Fr. Horan in years, but he seems like a reasonable guy. He's also a pretty good confessor.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Where does the money (invested) from the closed churchs go?

  7. Dr. K says:

    "Where does the money (invested) from the closed churchs go?"

    I'd imagine it goes to the new parish which will be formed (Christ the King, St. Margaret Mary, St. Cecilia). It's easy to say "Close! Close!" when you know money from the sales of the closed churches will soon be heading into your own bank accounts. Selfishness and greed most likely played a role in the IPPG decision. I bet the Msgr. Burns fund will also be stuffed into their accounts.

    ~Dr. K

  8. gretchen says:

    Fr. Erdle celebrates at St. Margaret Mary? I wondered what had happened to him in the years between my moving away and moving back… I remember him from when I was really little. He baptized my baby sister!

  9. Anonymous says:

    My heart goes out to the parishioners. You don't know how bad it feels to lose your lifelong parish, until you lose your own parish. It is so sad that Bishop Clark is doing this to his own parishioners.

    Do you know of any attorneys or a group of parishioners at St. Thomas or St. Salome, who would file a lawsuit against the Diocese of Rochester and challenge the New York State Religious Corporation Law, that is protecting Bishop Clark?

    Follow the money trail.

    The parishioners paid to build and maintain these parishes. Not one dollar of Bishop Clark's personal money was invested, but he is the President (dictator) of each parish corporation.

    Don't forget that the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Attorney General's Office (Andrew Cuomo) are here to protect the parishioners from financial fraud committed by the Diocese of Rochester. They don't mind receiving anonymous letters.

  10. Anonymous says: doesn't allow anonymous comments at the present time, so I wanted to share my comment regarding his article titled "DOR's Available Priest Projections".

    The 7th comment by the The Well Done Review, talks about a possible slow resurgence in the diocese after Bishop Clark retires.

    And my comment is:

    The wealth in the Diocese of Rochester will certainly help speed up a good "resurgence" in the Diocese of Rochester. We are blessed financially.

    We have many wealthy parishioners. There is more wealth here than you know about or could imagine.

    Yes, there are a few of the top names who have been very generous to the Church, but there are thousands and thousands of low profile parishioners, who drive small cars and live in small houses, but have millions invested in savings accounts and stock portfolio's. The small credit union ESL quickly grew to 3.9 Billion dollars. This is a good indicator.

    A new orthodox bishop who will stop closing parishes and schools, would easily raise money to maintain our buildings and maybe buy back a few that were sold.

    I think that you will be surprised how quickly Bishop Matthew Harvey Clark's name will be forgotten and all of his destruction will have been in vain.

    This note is being emailed to several email addresses at the Vatican. Keep them informed.

    It is true, that the squeaky wheel eventually gets the grease.

  11. Matt says:

    @anon 10:00 AM

    I pray every day that you are correct

  12. I was wondering if a independent (Catholic) private school could rent the former school building(s) from the parish?

    Could a group of parents set this up? Could the parish donate some money to it on an ongoing basis as a charity?

  13. Anonymous says:

    For 30 years this wheel has been squeekin but so far, no grease!

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