Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Behold the Fruits of Diocese of Rochester Clustering, Part III

June 10th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

It’s been a couple of weeks now. Let’s review the attendance figures in the Rush-Henrietta cluster to see if they have improved, worsened, or remained constant since the reduced Mass schedule began on May 23rd.

Church of the Good Shepherd

G.S. attendance before reduced Masses

G.S. attendance before reduced Masses

G.S. attendance first week of reduced Masses

G.S. attendance next two weeks

St. Joseph (Rush)

St. Joseph attendance before reduced Masses

St. Joseph attendance after reduced Masses

St. Joseph attendance last week

Data not available for Guardian Angels.

It appears that attendance may be permanently reduced in the Rush-Henrietta cluster. For three straight weeks, the parishes of Good Shepherd and St. Joseph (Guardian Angels figures are unknown) have experienced significant declines in attendance from pre-clustering totals. Good Shepherd has long averaged attendance in the 800s, but they have yet to crack 630 since dropping down to two weekend Masses.

This is a trend we have witnessed in almost every other clustering and merging of parishes in the Diocese of Rochester. Basically, when we consolidate churches, we lose Catholics. The attendance totals diocesan-wide have been in a free fall since the decade began. What is the diocese going to do to combat these declines in attendance? Nothing they have attempted so far appears to be working, so what is there left to do? Soon the DoR will attempt to consolidate the Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group (IPPG) parishes. Are we anticipating a different result there?

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2 Responses to “Behold the Fruits of Diocese of Rochester Clustering, Part III”

  1. avatar John F. Kennedy says:

    Here’s my take on this. While I don’t live in the DOR, I have been monitoring this site and several others for several years and I think I know the kind of “Catholicism” is practiced and promoted there.

    Many parishes, but not all, have become VERY Protestant in their faith and worship. So when their parish church closes, they just go to another church, whether or not it is “Catholic.” They have been lead to believe that there isn’t much difference between them.

  2. avatar Nerina says:

    John, your assessment could certainly be part of it. I assume a similar pattern has occurred with other clustering but we continue to do the same thing anyway. Isn’t that the definition of insanity (doing the same thing and expecting different results)? But honestly, my own priest once said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that it didn’t really matter where people went to church as long as they went. My friend once commented that she felt bad for non-Catholics because they were being deprived of the fullness of Truth – the fullness of God (especially in being denied the Eucharist) and my priest actually laughed at her. He could not understand why she would be sad, and she could not understand why a Catholic priest wouldn’t want everyone to come home to the Church (big “C”). So John, I think you’re right.

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