Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Reason #42,751 Why Rochester Needs Change

February 15th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

You gotta check out this Sr. Joan Sobala love-fest:

The reason I am directing you to this page is not so much the photographs, but the captions affixed to them.

“Sr. Joan plans for the next weekend that she will deliver the Gospel at Saint Anne parish.”

“She preaches about once a month”

“Although many parishioners oppose it, Sr. Joan also says the Gospel from time to time since she has been given the title “Pastoral Administrator.””

“Sister Joan is still the coordinator, whether parishioners approve or not.” [They don’t. That’s why some 200 have left St. Anne alone]

What Roman Catholic bishop would allow this disobedient crap to take place in his diocese? Oh, right… ours.


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19 Responses to “Reason #42,751 Why Rochester Needs Change”

  1. Kevin says:

    Ugh, seeing those photos of her in the sanctuary at OLOL is upsetting. I remember going there as a little kid when Fr. O’Connor was the parish priest, then a cousin got married there as well just before Fr. O’Connor retired and he remembered my family. Sad.

  2. Kevin says:

    Plus, with “many” parishioners opposing her delivering the Gospel reading and still coordinating “whether parishioners approve or not,” I would have thought she would reconsider her thoughts. It baffles me how she can be so blind to the opposition of her.

  3. Kevin says:

    Also, sorry to comment a third time so soon, but I didn’t notice the caption of one of the photos close enough. I don’t think it’s something as simple as “tradition” that says only the priest delivers the Gospel. I think that Emily McKean should take not.

  4. Jim R says:

    The ironic thing about the captions on the pictures is that Ms. McKean says Sr. Joan is a member of the Franciscans when, in fact, Sr. Joan is a Rochester SSJ, i.e., a Sister of St. Joseph.

    Funny how those who know little about Catholicism (or even researching facts)so often have enough chutzpah to presume to tell the world about a church as complex in its organization and praxis, and as nuanced in its theology, as Catholicism.

  5. Faithful says:

    I have to give you folks credit: The Diocese might not be preserving the Faith, but the people ARE. This is a testiment to the people in Rochester: they know what Catholicism is and is not.

  6. Mike says:

    Jim R,

    I took that to mean that Sr. Joan, in addition to being an S.S.J., was also a Secular (or ‘Third Order’) Franciscan. It’s my understanding that any Catholic may become a Secular Franciscan.

    See here.

  7. Jim R says:


    Perhaps you are right, but I think it more likely I am. (Increasingly I no longer give such folks as Ms. McKean the benefit of the doubt – Mea culpa!)

    It seems to me that it would be very odd that Ms. McKean would identify Sr. Joan with the “Franciscan Order” and neglect to mention Sr. Joan is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester if she knew Sr. Joan were an SSJ. Possible – but extremely odd and IMHO unlikely. Actually, I think Ms. McKean got it messed up because of the picture of Sr. Joan with an actual Franciscan and then never bothered to check her facts. Pesky things facts.


  8. Jim R says:

    BTW is there a Franciscan Motherhouse in Rochester? Ms. Mckean indicates that Sr. Joan goes there. I can’t find one. Indeed, the only motherhouse for an order of religious listed on the following site is the SSJ’s:

  9. Jim R says:

    QED Quod erat demonstandum End of proof

  10. Gretchen says:

    “Although many parishioners oppose it…”
    “Sr. Joan preaches… to a small group of people who attended mass.”

    What an unbalanced equation this is!

  11. James says:

    Have any of you tried to contact this Emily McKean about her work? Maybe she could better explain what she was trying to convey by taking these photos of Sister Joan. Sister Joan, also, can’t be judge because you don’t seem to understand the position she has within our parish. You misinterpret her intentions, and twist them into something horribly evil, something Un-Godly.

    How Catholic of you.

    You have not taken the time to appreciate the good things she has done. I think that you are all chauvinistic men who can’t stand to see a woman in power. Wake up, it’s 2011.

    Galatians 3:28:

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

  12. TL says:

    James, I am most certainly not a man, chauvinistic or otherwise, and you will find many of the regular writers and readers of this wonderful blog are women. Having said that, I must say it grieves me to see women grab for perceived power while the weakened priesthood in Rochester abdicate their responsibility and authority to them. The priesthood is fatherhood — and you cannot give fatherhood to women. As for Sr. Joan’s intentions, perhaps some people do misinterpret her intentions. Is she sorrowful that she has to do a priest’s job? Does she lead you in constant prayer for vocations to the priesthood? Does she defer her leadership duties at every opportunity in favor of a priest? Like a single mother abandoned by her husband, is she doing her best in a tough situation while looking forward with hope to the day when her children will once again have a father? I would very much like to know if that is the case.

    Wake up James, it’s almost 2012.

  13. anonymous says:

    Is this the Sr. Joan that was in Corning?

  14. Dr. K says:

    “You misinterpret her intentions”

    “”If Women’s Ordination Conference is giving up the struggle for renewing priestly ministry, then I cannot buy in,” said Sister Joan Sobala, SSJ, of Rochester, NY. … “I want us to live and celebrate the discipleship of equals-and I want us to continue the struggle within the institution.”” – From here.

    I think we know very well what her intentions are every time she dons the alb and delivers the homily at St. Anne and Our Lady of Lourdes. She wants to be a priest. She wants to carry out the “struggle within the institution.” This is exactly what she is doing, and one must be blind not to see it.

  15. Dr. K says:

    Is this the Sr. Joan that was in Corning?

    I’m not sure. She has served at St. Mary downtown, Lourdes, St. Anne, St. Felix (Clifton Springs), St. Francis (Phelps), and the U of R Newman center.

  16. CPT Tom says:

    No this is a different Sister Joan. The one in Corning retired after her assignment here.

  17. wtf? says:

    The thing that strikes me as odd about this is that there is a post earlier about how jesus treated women as equals when society would not. now society, kind of, treats women as equals and the church won’t even allow them to be ordained. seems pretty unequal to me. does that not go against teachings of jesus? just a thought.

  18. Dr. K says:

    the church won’t even allow them to be ordained

    You’ll have to blame Christ for that one.

  19. Ben Anderson says:

    The modern rallying calls of our society just prove how far gone we are:

    seems pretty unequal to me

    difference of roles does not equate to inequality. It really is that simple.

    “fallacies do not cease to be fallacies when they become fashions” -GK Chesterton

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