Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

More on the demise of St. Francis Xavier Church

June 8th, 2010, Promulgated by Choir

Terribilis est locus iste

I first reported on this on June 2 when a friend went into St. Francis Xavier and reported what he saw.

Yesterday, June 7th, a different friend stopped into the same church and reported to me what he saw.

First off, my friend said the Moslems were very gracious to him. Couldn’t have been nicer. My friend, and myself, have a HUGE problem with the diocese of Rochester and Bishop Clark and NOT with the Moslems.

First off, two marble statues (one of the Blessed Mother and the other of St. Joseph), were knocked off their pedestals and had their faces jack hammered off. The pews were disassembled (it’s hard to reassemble them once taken apart. Special vises are required) and were being sold for $100 a piece. The copper crosses on the top of the steeple still have to come down. The organ has been rendered inoperable by the sanding dust from the sanders that are being used inside the church.

All the angels on the cornices had their faces jack hammered off too. Most of it is in the dumpster. My friend did salvage a small angel who had survived. What’s up for sale is the Gothic part of the old reredoes from Rochester’s original cathedral, Saint Patricks. This is all Carrerra marble with finials (see picture above for example).

All the canvas paintings that for years had been adhered to the walls of this sacred house of God, have been ripped off the walls and are all torn up.

If you want a church bell, put in a bid. That’s up for sale too. My friend put in a bid for the outside stone statue of St. Francis Xavier. The “Hic Domus Dei, Porta Coeli” is still in intact, but that, my friend was reassured, will be totally defaced. The four stained glass windows in the sanctuary are to be sold as a set of four. They are quite stunning. All the windows in the nave have to go too. Also, up for sale is the “rose window” above the organ in the rear of the church. And, last, but not least, some very nice oak cabinetry, including a plain, but adequate vestment case.

The diocese of Rochester is negligent in maintaining a stewardship that has been entrusted to them. While the church itself hasn’t been consecrated, it has been blessed and consecrated to the worship of the Triune God. If this sale absolutely had to happen (I don’t believe it did , if we had more priests, this probably would not have needed to happen), why couldn’t the diocese sell or give the remain artifacts to other Catholic churches in the 12-county diocese.

Oh yeah, the old Holy Family Church on Ames Street on the westside has been sold to a Spanish Pentecostal Church. The church still houses a magnificent (albeit old organ) and probably one of the best collection of Austrian/German stained glass windows in the diocese.

Terribilis est locus iste: hic domus Dei est et porta coeli: et vocabitur aula Dei.

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17 Responses to “More on the demise of St. Francis Xavier Church”

  1. Gen says:

    I don't care if they're Muslim, Jewish, Lutheran, Satanic, or Agnostic. What they have done to that building is atrocious, and shows how little respect they have towards the Church. To have bludgeoned the faces off of beautiful statues shows such a disregard for true beauty that I don't know what to say.

    We have lost so much – how much more will we lose before we're left with nothing but sand-blasted churches that now serve purposes other than praising Our Lord?

  2. Bona says:

    Shouldn't the parish cluster or the Diocese see to it that sacramentals are repectfully salvaged or, if necessary, destroyed if the church is being converted to secular or non-Christian use. The Knights of Columbus have flag retirement events and the Jewish community buries worn our Torahs.

    I suppose the carousel at Irondequoit Mall would be treated with more respect.

    It is sad to think of the interior of St. Thomas the Apostle being jack-hammered, but that is what we may be facing next.

  3. Gen says:

    Exactly my sentiments, Bona. It's a disgrace that the DoR didn't act more thoughtfully.

  4. When the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium was conquered, many priests and other people were killed in order to take the churches and convert them all to mosques.

    This Church was sadly SOLD to them. It has a bit of a Judas sound doesn't it.

  5. JFK – Quite like the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. I have bad thoughts of the diocese of Rochester selling St. Thomas the Apostle to the Muslims and seeing a big crescent hanging outside of St. Thomas. They did it in Istanbul; they could do it in Rochester. This is a fight for Western Civilization which has been circling the drain for quite awhile now.

  6. Monk says:

    From Fr. Jason Gray Regarding Canon 1222: "First, the church can be given over to profane but not sordid use. Therefore, a church can be used for a secular purpose, but not for a sacrilegious, immoral, or scandalous purpose. The presbyteral council might be asked whether they believe the faithful would be scandalized by the new purpose of the church building. The demolition of a church building is not a sordid use.
    Particular attention must be paid to the altar in the church. An altar does not lose its dedication or blessing when the church is relegated to profane use (c. 1238 ?2). Dedicated or blessed altars can be used only for divine worship (c. 1239 ?1).The code does not prescribe any further formalities for the other furnishings in a church. However, any objects that have been blessed or used in the celebration of divine worship should be treated with respect in accord with their sacred character. Any sacred vessels, vestments, liturgical books, and other sacred furnishings should be removed. If they cannot be used in another church, chapel, or oratory, or if they cannot be reverently stored, they should be destroyed." SOURCE: Fr. Gray, Jason A., Some canonical aspects of the closing and sale of a parish church; available from;

  7. Anonymous says:

    Here is the actual Canon:

    Can. 1222 ?1 If a church cannot in any way be used for divine worship and there is no possibility of its being restored, the diocesan Bishop may allow it to be used for some secular but not unbecoming purpose.

    ?2 Where other grave reasons suggest that a particular church should no longer be used for divine worship, the diocesan Bishop may allow it to be used for a secular but not unbecoming purpose. Before doing so, he must consult the council of priests; he must also have the consent of those who could lawfully claim rights over that church, and be sure that the good of souls would not be harmed by the transfer.

  8. Anonymous says:

    And here is another interesting canon:

    Can. 1171 Sacred objects, which are designated for divine worship by dedication or blessing, are to be treated reverently and are not to be employed for profane or inappropriate use even if they are owned by private persons.

  9. Lou says:

    "…They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion." NOSTRA AETATE.

    Yes, with such devotion they smash Our Mother's face off and break her body to pieces. This makes Jesus happy?

    There is a need for some serious reparation here. Get out the rosaries!

    If we call ourselves Catholics, this should be a wake up call. These people mean business.

    God is one. He is unchangable. He is Truth. He cannot contradict Himself. Think about it.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Yes, with such devotion they smash Our Mother's face off and break her body to pieces.

    I believe they smashed a statue which is made of plaster or stone, not her actual face or body which according to our dogma has been assumed into heaven.

  11. Lou says:

    Can. 1171 Sacred objects, which are designated for divine worship by dedication or blessing, are to be treated reverently and are not to be employed for profane or inappropriate use even if they are owned by private persons.

    Would it be okay w/ you anon, if you let me have a picture of your earthly mom so I can do the same to it? After all, it wouldn't be her real body I'd be so zealously insulting.

    Maybe I could have a laugh or two to myself while I do it -because you were such a sap to give me the picture in the first place.


  12. Anonymous says:

    St John Bosco School could use the vestment case.You can contact the school, located at First Baptist Church in Fairport, NY

  13. So the old Holy Family Church, now Pentecostal, will be in competition with Holy Apostles?

    I'll say it again, Holy Family should have been the church that stayed opened in that cluster.

  14. Dr. K says:

    "I'll say it again, Holy Family should have been the church that stayed opened in that cluster. "

    100% agreement here.

    ~Dr. K

  15. I once heard Patrick Madrid speak about a debate he had with a Protestant regarding a crucifix.

    The preacher?s position was that we shouldn't have any reverence for the crucifix, that it was just an object and it was a form of adaltry.

    Most of the audience agreed with the Protestant preacher. Patrick said Ok then, I want all who think that come up here and spit on it. Suddenly, it got quiet. No one was willing to spit on it or be irreverent to Christ on the Cross. They now understood or at least had an appreciation of why Catholics have reverence for the cross and what and who it stands for.

    The same is true for a statue of Our Lady. It is more than a statue, just as a Bible is more than just a book.

  16. oops. That should have been "idolatry"

  17. Dr. K says:

    The following is a comment posted by Anonymous to the old blog:

    It is disgusting to me that Diocesan leaders would allow any religious objects to remain in a closed Catholic church, especially a church that was being sold to worshippers of another faith. There are numerous salvage companies that deal with the resale of all manner of religious objects. It seems to me that in these days of financial drain, wouldn’t it benefit “the diocesan coffers” to try and sell whatever they could from a closed building? What amazes me is the fact that two marble statues were left inside the building then destroyed. New marble statuary can cost in the thousands of dollars. What about showing some kind of respect for the families who very likely made extremely generous contributions for the church to make the initial purchase of marble statues? Perhaps it is not relevent to our Bishop that many families in the area have ties to some of our older churches, and would want their ancestor’s contributions treated with a bit more respect…

    For the time being, I will copy and paste comments posted to that blog over to this one. Eventually, no posts will be brought over.

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