Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

The Numbers Are In

October 4th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

The Northeast Rochester cluster of parishes, which includes Our Lady of the Americas (Corpus Christi), Our Lady of the Angels (St. Michael and Our Lady of Perpetual Help), and Light of Christ (St. Andrew and Annunciation), has released their 2009-10 financial and attendance figures. These numbers could play a significant role in deciding which churches will remain open in the upcoming consolidation of churches into a single parish.

Below is a handout that was sent to us by a Light of Christ parishioner. All relevant financial figures are included in these charts:

First, here are the official attendance numbers by site:

+Corpus Christi- 382

+St. Michael- 316

+St. Andrew (approximation)- 246

+Our Lady of Perpetual Help- 246

+Annunciation (approximation)- 150

Given these figures, one can see that Corpus Christi and St. Michael churches are in the upper tier for attendance, followed by St. Andrew and OLPH. Annunciation is far behind, averaging approximately 150 people per weekend. This is somewhat due to their using the smallest church building and having only one weekend Mass.

Next, we will look at some significant financial figures. Below are the total net revenue/loss figures for each site (note: Light of Christ is combined, so I am not certain what the figures are for St. Andrew vs. Annunciation):

+Corpus Christi: +$37,325

+Our Lady of Perpetual Help: -$54,106

+St. Michael: -$90,801

+Light of Christ: -$223,035 (or roughly -$115,517 per church)

Below are past due debt numbers for each parish:

+Light of Christ- $32,393

+Our Lady of Perpetual Help- $103,373

+St. Michael- $315,179

+Corpus Christi- $528,154 (note: The number has risen from $450,000 in 2008. This rising debt, even after closing Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and closing/selling St. Francis Xavier, could present some serious concerns for the planning group.)

So what do all these numbers tell us? For starters, the N.E. Rochester parishes are in significant financial troubles. This is especially the case for Corpus Christi, which is in massive debt despite the sale of St. Francis Xavier to a local Moslem group.The most financially stable is probably Church of the Annunciation, but if you take into account all the factors (small size, poor seating situation, lowest attendance by far), it is clear that the DoR shouldn’t make the determination solely on finances.

I am still sticking to my belief that Corpus Christi and St. Michael are the two best churches to keep open. Should a third remain, then either St. Andrew or Annunciation could be included.

Here is a possible Mass schedule (assumes two billingual priests):

Two site option (Corpus Christi/St. Michael)


Corpus- 4:00 PM

St. Michael- 5:00 PM


Corpus- 9:30 AM

St. Michael- 10:00 AM (Spanish)

Corpus-  11:00 AM (Spanish)

St. Michael- 4:00 PM

Three site option (Corpus Christi/St. Michael/St. Andrew or Annunciation)


Corpus- 4:00 PM

Annunciation/St. Andrew- 5:00 PM (just one Mass at site three with two at St. Michael due to large size of church being able to handle fewer Masses)


Corpus- 9:30 AM

St. Michael- 10:00 AM (Spanish)

Corpus-  11:00 AM (Spanish)

St. Michael- 4:00 PM

Three site option w/ even distribution of Masses


Corpus- 4:00 PM (Spanish)

St. Andrew/Annunciation- 5:00 PM


St. Andrew/Annunciation- 9:30 AM

Corpus- 10:00 AM

St. Michael- 11:00 AM (Spanish)

St. Michael- 4:00 PM

I just don’t believe that Our Lady of Perpetual Help should be included in the new N.E. Rochester parish due to the following: 1) It’s very close proximity to other parishes, 2) Low attendance, and 3) The growing and young Spanish-speaking population @ St. Michael. I don’t think Annunciation should be included for the obvious reasons that we’ve looked at already, but if cost is a prime motivator, then Annunciation could find its way into the final plan as the third church with a single weekend Mass.

Anyway, let me know what you think about all this. The decisions will be made by the end of this month, so we’ll learn soon enough what the planning group recommends (around October 25th) and what Bishop Clark will ultimately decide to do.

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4 Responses to “The Numbers Are In”

  1. The plan calls for keeping three churches in the cluster open for the next five years.

    The planning group also looked at crime statistics in the areas around the church buildings. That could also be a factor in what stays open or closes.

  2. Dr. K says:

    That’s great to hear that they are hoping to keep three churches.

    Did you get any impression as to which ones they are leaning toward keeping?

  3. The planning group was looking for feedback from the parishioners now that they have the data on attendance/finances.

  4. Dan says:

    What happened to the 350,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Rochester that the diocese talked about during the renovation of Sacred Heart Cathedral?

    You know the answer. Bishop Clark chased most of them away with the closing of 50 Catholic schools and about 35 parishes, against the will of the parishioners.

    The worst thing that any so-called Bishop could do to his diocese, is close a Catholic school or parish.

    I don’t want to hear about the lack of money. We have been suffering with closures for the past 30 years and this is the end result. Bishop Clark chased the parishioners away and they took their money with them.

    The wealth in the Diocese of Rochester is more than most residents will ever imagine.

    I will use Eastman Savings and Loan in Rochester as a small example. This credit union is closing in on 4 Billion dollars in assets. Yes, that is a “B” as in BILLION.

    The Cleansing Fire web site is doing a wonderful job of exposing the truth.

    Please consider spreading the email address of this web site to the many Catholics who have computers. Catholic senior citizens also have computers and will come to this site. Business cards or small flyers can be printed on your computer at home.

    Please forward this web site to all Catholics on your email list.

    Help save our diocese.

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