Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Brogan Stays at St. Mary Downtown

March 25th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Apparently poor leadership is worthy of reward in Rochester. In news that shouldn’t come as a shock to most readers, Anne-Marie Brogan will continue on as  lay pastoral administrator of St. Mary downtown. For those unfamiliar, St. Mary is a self-described progressive parish who has a long history of grooming  some of the diocese’s greatest progressive visionaries, as well as promoting every liturgical abuse under the sun. Attendance has fallen sharply during Ms. Brogan’s tenure. By their fruit…

In news that may come as bit of a surprise, Fr. William Donnelly, the present “Sacramental Minister” of St. Mary, will retire this June. Fr. Donnelly was previously pastor of the parish before taking the demotion. Fr. Robert Kennedy will provide sacramental coverage for St. Mary in addition to administering the cluster of Blessed Sacrament and St. Boniface. Another priest yet to be named will assist.

It’s a shame that Fr. Kennedy isn’t going to lead St. Mary, because the parish sure needs help with the condition known as “Crowded Sanctuary Syndrome” or CSS:


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31 Responses to “Brogan Stays at St. Mary Downtown”

  1. A Catholic says:

    “Crowded Sanctuary Syndrome”- that’s a common one in the DOR. Another liturgical annoyance I’ve noticed at St. Mary’s and Blessed Sacrament could be called the “Anti-Pronoun Syndrome” or perhaps “pronounphobia”- an inability or fear of using the pronouns He or Him to refer to God because of the dictates of inclusive language. This makes for some rather awkward sounding homilies, especially coming from people who are otherwise well-versed in speaking the English language.

  2. Louis E. says:

    Brogan still could be looking for work in a couple of years…

  3. Dr. K says:

    That is an appropriate term used by the magisterium.

    Here are some appropriate titles for priests: Pastor, Rector, Pastor Emeritus, Parochial Vicar, Parochial Administrator, Chaplain. Calling a priest “Sacramental Minister” takes away much of what a priest is and is responsible for and leaves him left with nothing but administering the Sacraments. We know that a priest is so much more than that.

  4. Dr. K says:

    I take it you’re unaware that Canon 517.2 requires that a priest always be appointed to direct the pastoral care of a parish?

    From Ecclesiae de Mysterio: “this is participatio in exercitio curae pastoralis and not directing, coordinating, moderating or governing the Parish; these competencies, according to the canon, are the competencies of a priest alone…The same canon, however, reaffirms that these forms of participation in the pastoral care of parishes cannot, in any way, replace the office of Parish Priest. “

    When you call your priest “Sacramental Minister” you are stripping him of the priestly duties of “directing, coordinating, moderating, or governing” a parish. The title is inappropriate as it incompletely describes the duties of a Catholic priest. This title turns the priest into a Sacramental Pez dispenser.

  5. Dr. K says:

    “Can. 519 The parish priest is the proper pastor of the parish entrusted to him. He exercises the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share, so that for this community he may carry out the offices of teaching, sanctifying and ruling with the cooperation of other priests or deacons and with the assistance of lay members of Christ’s faithful, in accordance with the law. “

    Again, a priest is responsible for far more than administering the Sacraments. Stop drinking from the DoR Kool-Aid.

  6. Abaccio says:

    The fact of the matter, anon, is that a priest should never, ever, EVER be subservient to a layman. If a priest wishes to hand a given duty (under his direction) to a layman on the parish staff, he is free to do so, but it is his right as a priest to oversee the entire parish. What we’re doing locally is emasculating the priesthood, making these good and holy men subservient to heterodox laywomen (and occasionally laymen). There’s meaning in a title.

  7. Dr. K says:

    If all the laywomen ( in religious communities or not) decided to stop serving our parishes…

    That’s right, the progressives have done a wonderful job driving men away from assisting in our parishes.

    Just for fun: How many of the pastoral associates in the DoR are men? I bet you can count them on one hand.

  8. Dr. K says:

    Many men that I have spoken to say that they couldn’t afford to be in professional church ministry.

    But women can?

    Before you answer, keep in mind that not all female lay administrators/ministers are married and benefit from double incomes.

  9. Ben Anderson says:

    This is not 1950 anymore.

    I assume you’re the same anon painting with broad strokes the portrait of the typical orthodox Catholic across other posts? Honestly, which end of the spectrum is graying more – the orthodox side or the progressive side? Which one is the future? Is it really only a bunch of old-timers clinging to their pre-V2 traditions? Or is there a younger generation who realizes the dangers of moral relativism, or making God in our own image, or in simply using religion as a crutch or motivation to make the world a better place? Has this younger generation realized that religion w/out teeth is no religion at all. Belief in a God who requires nothing of us quite rightly leads to belief in no God at all.

  10. Abaccio says:

    I’ve advocated this before…could you please go by some handle, anon…I can never keep you all straight! Also, DrK brings up a good point. Why should women be able to afford it better than men can? Also, I did not suggest that all women should stop doing their jobs and sit home and bake. I said that a priest should not be subservient to a heterodox laywoman. Those are very different statements. We are called to serve Christ, to serve others…sure…but not to serve your heretical boss. Clearly, we have no problem with orders fulfilling their charism, with layfolks going out and evangelizing, catechizing, etc…as the laity are supposed to do. Joan Sobala should not be in charge of a parish and bossing around a priest who must “assist” her. Nor should Nancy DeRycke, Ann-Marie Brogan, Irene Goodwin, Charlotte Bruney, and Bill Rabjohn. Canon law is clear on this.

    You seem to be looking at one half without its necessary other half…mercy without justice, or some such. You cannot just use a word (like “serve”) and say that’s that. Just as any Baptist sounds like an ignorant arse by saying “look, there was a baptist in the bible, see!” when they read about John the Baptist, you sound absurd when you take words out of context and paint with such broad strokes.

  11. Dr. K says:

    There was a time when there were enough priests to do it all. No longer…so, what is a Church in need to do???

    The bishop needs to ordain more priests. Pretty simple if you ask me. But no… he has rejected candidates loyal to the Magisterium; calling them “rigid.” He has rejected candidates who were bombarded by progressive lay persons with questions about women’s ordination and who gave the right answer. He has dismissed countless men from discernment because they don’t share his extremist views on lay ecclesial ministry.

  12. Dr. K says:

    From men rejected by Bishop Clark.

  13. Dr. K says:

    Why would they tell you?

    Why not? Don’t friends share things with one another?

    And consider this…Maybe there was a good reason, but they would not divulge this to you.

    Perhaps in one or two instances, but all of them? When you hear the same thing over and over, there is probably some truth behind it.

    .there are a number of psychological quirks that have no place in priesthood. Maybe the bishops in the past should have been MORE conscientious before approving a man’s ordination.

    I’d argue that our bishop has in several cases ordained men he shouldn’t and rejected those who should have been ordained (and were sometimes ordained elsewhere). I’m not going to name names, but I can think of eight men off the top of my head who should not have been ordained priests by Bishop Clark.

    Also, this diocese is not the only one suffering from a shortage of priests–it is endemic to our age and culture.

    Dioceses which are orthodox and have bishops who actively promote priestly vocations tend not to have this problem.

  14. Dr. K says:

    2009 numbers-

    Denver: 73 seminarians per 525K Catholics
    St. Louis: 109 seminarians per 538K Catholics
    Lincoln: 109 seminarians per 95K Catholics
    Madison: 26 seminarians (up from 6 five years ago) per 277K Catholics

    Compare with….
    Rochester: 6 seminarians per 309K Catholics

    Also, the number of seminarians in NYC increased to 148 in 2009, up from 49.


  15. Abaccio says:

    Anon, the numbers speak for themselves. In addition, you seem to be ignoring the meat of what I said. Did I say “priests need to do everything”? NO. I simply said that they, by canon law, have the right and responsibility to run their respective parishes. Laywomen do not have that right nor that responsibility. A priest can give whomever he wants whatever non-sacramental role he wishes. If he want’s to send a “pastoral associate” around to do…whatever, he can. That does not mean that he and the “pastoral associate” should essentially exchange roles and that he should turn into an Acme Sacrament Machine.

  16. Dr. K says:

    So, is there a “mole” at Mass taking pictures just to post on this site? That’s sacrilege.

    No, these are from their Facebook site.

    The fact that you would take greater offense at documenting a liturgical abuse than the abuse itself speaks volumes about you.

  17. Dr. K says:

    I think that taking pictures during Mass by a member of the congregation, or anyone is very rude.

    And liturgical abuse is no problem? Gotcha.

    However,do you think that the children feel closer to Jesus at the altar or not? What is it all about anyway–didn’t Jesus rebuke the apostles who felt it was disrespectful for children to approach Him?

    I refer you this image:

    About half the children appear disinterested. This is not about children wanting to be closer to Christ; this is about progressive priests inviting kids up to the altar because they are trying to create an image of inclusivity and blur the distinction between the priesthood and the laity. The only one who has any business being at the altar during the consecration is the priest. These children do not know any better, but the priest does.

  18. Dr. K says:

    It gives the impression that everyone is performing the consecration, when in truth only the priest has this power, by virtue of his ordination, to transform the bread and wind into Christ’s body and blood.

  19. Christopher says:

    I have a related question. Is it wrong in general to take pictures at a mass without a flash? And how bad of a stink eye would i get from Fr. A if i held up a camera phone on him during a homily?

    Does the Vatican allow photos during mass?

  20. Dr. K says:

    Does the Vatican allow photos during mass?

    If not, then there would be no photos of weddings, baptisms, ordinations, etc. The Catholic Courier would be unable to snap photos for their newspaper. The diocese would be unable to post pictures of their liturgical dancers to the DoR website. There would be no televised Mass on Sunday mornings. And so on. As long as one is not being a distraction, like standing in front of the altar with a camera, I see no issue.

  21. Abaccio says:


    Go see the Pope sometime. Cameras, cameras EVERYWHERE! I once even saw a priest processing in with a camera (March For Life Youth Mass), taking a video of his surroundings. I thought that was a bit much…I tend to feel incredibly uncomfortable worrying about pictures while praying the Mass, though…Ergo, I don’t ever do it.

  22. Choir says:

    I, for one, think people can be pretty darn stupid, especially poorly catechized Catholics. When I was in the seminary, I had to conduct “Communion Services” and people would call me Father, or “Father, that was a nice Mass, but wasn’t something missing” I reminded them that it wasn’t a Mass, it was a Communion Service. They would mostly respond, “Okay, Father, I’ll be at your Mass the next time”. AARRGGHHH!

    Okay, because I’m a guy, maybe I can see that they thought I was a priest, even though I always said I was a seminarian and NOT a priest, they still insisted on calling me “Father” even after some gentle correction.

    So on the days I didn’t conduct the Communion Service but one of the nuns did. The same people would refer to the Communion Service as “Sisters Mass”. She never corrected them; I did. “Thank you, Father, but Sister give good homilies at her Mass.” How maddening, but I was always kind and gentle (despite my nature).

    Can people be stupid?…YES, YES, YES! Do we have a problem with catechesis? You answer that now.

    For the 40 years or so, what most people have learned about the Catholic faith, you could put inside a fortune cookie. We are “stiff-necked generation” and we don’t want to hear the truths of the Catholic faith. Like Pavlov’s dogs, we have been condition to a new order of Catholicism.

    This diocese has reaped what it has sown: three generations of almost totally illiterate Catholics. We sacramentalize them; but not catechizing them. No wonder so many Catholics leave for other churches.

    Do I pray for these Catholics? Sure, and the Bishop and the chancerycrats too. The DoR gets hit with a tidal wave from Lakeshore Community Church and our diocese does SQUAT..NADA..NIENTE..NULL. The diocese is in a stupor with their collective heads in the clouds while the plan the next inter-faith dialogue. Stupidity goes to the top of the diocesan ladder.

    Oremus pro invicem.

  23. Dr. K says:

    –If a Catholic thinks that the children invited up to the altar and the priest are doing the same job, they really have had a problem with catechesis!Or else, as I said, they are just plain stupid.

    So why ask the kids to stand around the altar and imitate the priest?

  24. Choir says:

    Then why not be inclusive and have everybody around the table (it’s really an altar). It is your conjecture that it “helps children feel more a part of the celebration”. I wonder if the children think ‘I have to be right up on the “table” to be a part of this celebration’. How lame is that? So is it true then that the children expect to go right up tight close to that altar at each Mass? No idea of sacred space exists?

    So, if the children aren’t in very close proximity to the altar (not table) then will they not “feel” (I hate that overused word “feel”) a part of the celebration (Holy Sacrifice of the Mass). Priests are ordained; not blessed and he consecrates the wine and host into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

    I believe all of this is done as a last ditch attempt at trying to get people to stay in the Catholic Church. This is so gimmicky. What happens when this particular gimmick wears off then? Think up another one, then another one, then another one. Why don’t you go back to the Catholic Faith practice once and for all. This is sheer idiocy to keep doing more innovations and expecting different results.

    You all have been marinating in the Novus Ordo sauce for decades. I’ll pray for all ya’ll.

  25. Abaccio says:

    Choir: I always say that the only reason people invent new rituals is because they don’t understand the ones they already have. I think, in reading some of these comments, I’m certainly correct in that. If these folks had the faintest inkling of the beauty and effects of the Holy Mass, they wouldn’t be screwing with it.

  26. Anony says:

    Is there official Vatican documentation somewhere that says how far the congregation must be from the alter during consecration?

  27. Dr. K says:

    Are the children who do not stand around the altar somehow less involved in the Mass? What about adults?

    What happens when these kids get too old to stand around the altar. Will they feel like they are becoming less involved in the Mass to sit in the congregation with everyone else?

    I’m not sure if your parish does the whole children’s Liturgy of the Word thing, but if they do, how does separating children from the worshiping congregation aid in including them in the Mass?

    Do the kids get to stand behind the ambo when the priest proclaims the Gospel so they can see what the priest is doing? Are the kids invited into the sacristy so they can see the priest prepare for each Mass?

  28. Dr. K says:

    Is there official Vatican documentation somewhere that says how far the congregation must be from the alter during consecration?

    I am not aware of any specific distance. The topic of lay persons standing at the altar during the consecration was addressed in my comment here. Here is the Vatican statement on this:

    ““Assuredly, the Eucharistic celebration is the act of the entire community, carried out by all the members of the liturgical assembly. Nevertheless, everyone must have and also must observe his or her own place and proper role: “In liturgical celebrations each one, minister or layperson, who has an office to perform, should do all of, but only, those parts which pertain to that office by the nature of the rite and the principles of liturgy.” (SC art. 29). During the liturgy of the eucharist, only the presiding celebrant remains at the altar. The assembly of the faithful take their place in the Church outside the “presbyterium,” which is reserved for the celebrant or concelebrants and altar ministers.” (Notitiae 17 (1981) 61)


  29. Christopher says:

    Here’s a good EWTN article on it:

  30. Christopher says:

    More links:

    Only the presiding celebrant remains at the altar during the liturgy of the Eucharist. The Holy See says the following:

    “In liturgical celebrations each one, minister or layperson, who has an office to perform, should do all of, but only, those parts which pertain to that office by the nature of the rite and the principles of liturgy” [Sacrosanctum Concilium art.29].

    “During the liturgy of the Eucharist, only the presiding celebrant remains at the altar. The assembly of the faithful take their place in the Church outside the “presbyterium,” which is reserved for the celebrant or concelebrants and altar ministers.” [Notitiae 17 (1981) 61]

    It should be noted that the Church makes no exceptions to this rule, nor are any special dispensations given. “No one, whether lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, deacon, priest, bishop, or even a national conference of bishops, is able to authorize changes in the liturgy that conflict with what has been approved by the Holy See” (Mass Confusion pg. 25). Canon 846 says: “The liturgical books approved by the competent authority are to be faithfully observed in the celebration of the sacraments; therefore, no one on personal authority may add, remove, or change anything in them.”

    If you need further counsel on this issue, I recommend you contact The St. Joseph Foundation, 11107 Wurzbach Suite 601B · San Antonio, Texas 78230-2570 Telephone: (210) 697-0717

  31. annonymouse says:

    Anonymous – first, your lack of civility is putting at risk the ability to post on this site for many who choose not to, or for one reason or another can not, divulge their real identities. Second, the seven or so kids who go to Mass at St. Mary’s ought not be gathered around the altar for the consecration, can we not agree on that? The consecration, indeed the entire liturgy, ought to have a sense of mystery and awe and decorum – seven kids looking bored around the altar ruins that. Not that the self-described “progressives” at St. Mary’s likely mind. Oh, and Miss Brogan oughtn’t be in the Sanctuary, either.

    The saddest thing is that there are only seven or so kids around the altar. Perhaps the more traditional parishioners keep their kids back in the pews. Or perhaps there are only seven or so kids at Mass at St. Mary’s.

    And boys, tuck your shirts in at Mass, please.

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