Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

A Nod of the Miter Goes to . . .

April 28th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

. . . Fr. Frank E. Lioi, for his noble defense of the people and parish of St. Thomas the Apostle Church. As you all know, the matter at hand is the closing of St. Thomas and St. Salome. However, common sense begs the question “Why, when we’re moving towards super-churches, are we closing the biggest one in Irondequoit?” Fr. Lioi stated the following. Seeing as how I wasn’t in the room, it’s not word-for-word, but it’s as exact as my sources have told me.

“Bishop Clark, I don’t see the purpose in keeping open a church which resembles a temporary basketball court, and closing a permanent, sacred, consecrated building.”

The basketball church is either St. Cecilia’s or Christ the King – no offense to anyone from those parishes. What he means is that architecturally, they cannot sustain (nor were they meant to) a large group of parishioners. They were supposed to be temporary structures, and have become the lasting ones.

It is also interesting to note that there was a clear and definite majority (if not unanimous) who wanted to see St. Cecelia close in order that the larger, more stable parish may survive. Could it be that, led by solid priests such as Fr.’s Lioi and Leone, the argument for a more logical plan of action could win out? Let us certainly hope so.

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12 Responses to “A Nod of the Miter Goes to . . .”

  1. Bernie says:

    Hurray! Leave it to Fr. Lioi to say it exactly right.

  2. Dr. K says:

    That's amazing. It's great to hear that there are priests out there going to bat for St. Thomas where their "pastor" has failed them. From what we have been told, other priests at the Presbyeteral Council agreed with Fr. Lioi's sentiment. It doesn't make sense to close the biggest church in town (and possible the diocese) when we're moving toward fewer, larger churches in Rochester. STA needs to be maintained somehow, whether Irondequoit goes with 4 church buildings, or three.

    Bravo, Father!

    ~Dr. K

  3. VCS says:

    A couple of points….not only is St. Thomas the Apostle the largest church in Irondequoit but one of the largest, if not the largest church in the entire diocese! It can comfortably seat 1000 people.
    Also, are you sure the reference to the "basketball church" was St. Cecelia? It may be Christ the King church. My understanding is that the CTK Church was designed to be a gym for the school and that a "real" church would be built eventually. CTK church sure looks like a gym design! The parish never did build a "real" church building and instead built another gym on the back of the existing gym church! St. Cecelia is a small church but its simple architecture appears to be that of a church design.

  4. Gen says:

    My source on the council said it was St. Cecilia, but CTK may be an option. I'm not entirely certain.

  5. VCS says:

    Gen, I am pretty sure it is CTK. Fr. Tanck had CTK renovated a few years ago to make it look more like a church….of course with typical modern updates such as a "gathering space" in the back, a "babbling brook", a tiny altar table, and the choir space upfront and more prominent than anything else, and of course the tabernacle relegated to the far corner of the church right next to a main door way into the church! Very disgusting to watch the school children parade by Jesus as they enter the church through this doorway (not their fault). CTK uses the church for all kinds of functions un-related to worship.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In all the IPPG meetings, I never heard a discussion regarding the "sacred", "consecrated" "history", "beauty" or any other truly Catholic spiritual criteria factored into their decision making. It took a good holy priest at the 11th hour to dare to bring up the sacred in all this church-closing rot!

  7. 1000 seat churches in the suburbs should be the norm, give the acute priest shortage in this diocese.

  8. Matt says:

    I say we put Fr. Lioi in charge of STA, and see how profitable and well-attended it is in 6 years…10 bucks says it not only remains viable, but IMPROVES

  9. RochChaCha says:


    You are of course assuming that the Bishop does not assign a pastoral lay adminstrator to the church and then relegate Father Lioi to 'sacramental minister'.


  10. Gen says:

    Fr. Lioi wanted to be pastor at STA, but was instead sent to Groton.

    Look how the bishop treats his chosen ones.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well, Fr, Lioi is faithful to the Majesterium. These people want him as far away from influencing their sheep. So they put him in relative isolation. I am not surprised. But the people of Groton will benefit. Immunity from all the nunsense in most of the diocese.

  12. Anonymous says:

    FRF Lioi is currently at St Marys in Auburn.

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