Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Diocese of Rochester Pastoral Appointments Update – 4/13/11

April 13th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Here is the latest Diocese of Rochester pastoral appointment update. If you notice an error or have information to share, please contact us at:

Appointments known so far (to take place by the end of June):

Fr. John Yaw Afoakwah from Parochial Vicar of Blessed Trinity parish (Waverly, Newark Valley, Apalachian, Owego) to reassignment in Ghana.
Charlotte Bruney from Pastoral Administrator of St. Vincent De Paul (Churchville) to Pastoral Administrator of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Brockport).
Fr. Joseph Canh from Vietnamese Ministry at St. Helen (Gates) to transfer to Boston Archdiocese.
Fr. William Darling from Parochial Vicar at St. Mary (Canandaigua) to Pastor of Our Lady of the Snow (Cato, Port Byron, Weedsport).
Fr. Augustine Chumo from Sacramental Minister of St. Michael, St. John, St. Patrick (Clyde, Lyons, Savannah) to Pastor of this community. Sr. Diane Dennie, SSJ will no longer be Pastoral Administrator.
Fr. William Donnelly from semi-retirement/Sacramental Minister of St. Mary downtown to retirement.
Fr. John Gathenya from Parochial Administrator of Our Lady of the Snow (Cato, Port Byron, Weedsport) to Parochial Administrator or Pastor of Holy Family (Auburn). Fr. Gathenya replaces Fr. Michael Conboy, presently serving as Parochial Administrator.
Irene Goodwin from Pastoral Administrator of St. Mary of the Assumption (Scottsville) to Pastoral Administrator of St. Mary of the Assumption/St. Vincent De Paul (Churchville)/St. Columba (Caledonia).
Fr. Timothy Horan from Parochial Vicar of Blessed Kateri (Irondequoit) to Pastor of Holy Trinity (Webster).
Fr. Leo Huyen to Vietnamese Ministry at St. Helen (Gates).
Fr. Robert Kennedy from Pastor of Blessed Sacrament (Rochester) to Pastor of Blessed Sacrament/St. Boniface (Rochester) and priestly duties at St. Mary downtown (Rochester).
Fr. William Leone from Parochial Vicar of Blessed Kateri (Irondequoit) to Pastor of St. Jerome (East Rochester).
Fr. William Michatek from Pastor of Holy Trinity (Webster) to retirement.
Fr. Kevin Murphy from Pastor of St. Louis (Pittsford) to retirement.
Fr. Robert Ring from Pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes (Dundee, Naples, Penn Yan, Prattsburgh, Rushville, Stanley) to Pastor of St. Louis (Pittsford).

“Free agents” – Active priests without an assignment come June, excluding those known to be on leave. Most recent assignment in parentheses.

Fr. Ted Auble (St. Vincent De Paul)
Fr. Richard Brickler (St. Boniface)
Deacon Scott Caton (ordination in June)
Fr. William Endres (St. Mary of the Assumption)
Fr. Peter Enyan-Boadu (Nativity Blessed Virgin Mary)
Fr. Steven Lape (St. Jerome)
Fr. Michael Mayer (St. Pius X)
Fr. Mickey McGrath (St. Columba)
Fr. Laurence Tracy (St. Frances Xavier Cabrini)

Total: About 9 free agent priests

Remaining openings – The following is a list of openings yet to be filled or about which we have little to no information

(1) Parochial Vicar at Blessed Sacrament/St. Boniface and St. Mary downtown

(2) Sacramental Ministers at St. Vincent DePaul/St. Columba/St. Mary of the Assumption

(1) Sacramental Minister at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(1) Pastor at Our Lady of the Snow [Update: This position has been filled. A new opening may now exist at St. Mary in Canandaigua]

(1) Pastor at Our Lady of the Lakes

(1-2) Parochial Vicars at Blessed Kateri

(2) priests in unknown roles at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

(1) Parochial Vicar at Blessed Trinity

(1) Chaplain at Rochester Institute of Technology

Total: About 12 known openings

Status unknown –

-Fr. Morgan Rice, CSB (Blessed Kateri)

Notes and commentary:

-With approximately 12 (known) openings and only 9 (known) available priests, there are not enough priests to fill each vacancy. More clustering could soon take place.

List of openings above does not include hospital/prison/nursing home chaplaincies, so there may be even more positions to fill.

-The structure of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini is a mystery at this point. Will a lay administrator be assigned or a priest pastor? Will Fr. Tracy stay on or retire? Where is the diocese going to find two Spanish speaking priests for this parish now that Fr. Panepinto has been suspended?

-Fr. Brickler, the former Pastor of St. Boniface, is a few years over 70. Will he retire? His retirement would mean one less available priest in “free agency.”

-Fr. Morgan Rice, CSB was supposed to stay in Rochester for one more year. Well, that year is up. Will the Basilians assign him elsewhere, or will they let him stay a little longer? If he is reassigned, Fr. Tanck will be the only active priest in Blessed Kateri parish. Also, since Christ the King no longer exists as a parish, do the Basilians still have an affiliation with that community? Do they even need to supply priests for CTK?

-There are a few parishes in the area with more than one active priest on staff who could probably get by with one less. Peace of Christ has 3 priests offering 6 Masses, St. Charles Borromeo has 2 priests offering 4 Masses, and St. John the Evangelist (Greece) has 2 priests offering 4. It is possible that Bishop Clark will move one of these Parochial Vicars and, in the case of the two Greece parishes, request that the parishes cut their Mass offerings from 4 to 3.

-Deacon Scott Caton is expected to be ordained to the priesthood in June. Remember, his situation is unique in that he is a former Protestant minister with a wife and children. It is unlikely that he will be given a pastorate since he will continue with his teaching job to support his family. Expect for him to be assigned close to home so that he doesn’t have to relocate. Possible assignments include: Nativity as Sacramental Minister, Blessed Kateri as a Parochial Vicar, or Blessed Sacrament/St. Boniface and St. Mary downtown as a Parochial Vicar.

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52 Responses to “Diocese of Rochester Pastoral Appointments Update – 4/13/11”

  1. Dr. K says:

    I believe it.

    Would that mean he is not in the running for the Parochial Vicar position?

  2. Abaccio says:

    Now that Fr. Leone is assigned…Can I call up the DOR and beg for Fr. McGrath at OLOL?

  3. Abaccio says:

    Bishop Clark’s retirement will go a long way to stop it.

  4. And then there are the unknown extern priests that may or may not be coming to stay for a few years.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Two priests applied to Brockport but a lay person,Charlotte Bruney is assigned to our parish. WHAT IS GOING ON??????
    To see priests available as “free agents” while these 2 lay female are assigned it’s heartbreaking.
    I am wishing for the impossible: can’t somebody do something? It’s a nightmare.
    How many souls are going to be lost? I would not want this on my conscience.

  6. Bill B. says:

    It appears that masses will still be said, parishes will still be open and a deficit of priests still exists. With priestly six year terms (2 allowed), we should be OK for a while. By that time a new bishop will be here and he will have had time to give analysis to the situation here. If he is worth his salt, he will move deliberately at his own pace. Within the six years, the priests in thier 70’s now will want to retire, the externs mentioned may be here and the kids in seminary now will need pastor training. If we help, maybe it will go without too many problems.

  7. Dan says:

    If God were to present himself to you today and say: Please help me save my Church. Would you do everything in your power to help him or would you look the other way?

    Get the message of Bishop Clark’s negative actions out of Rochester.

    For those of you who may have a little extra time, here are a few suggestions that are right at your fingertips on your computer.

    Search out email addresses and post them on Cleansing Fire. Include the major TV news stations, the orthodox Bishops in the United States and all of our politicians. Don’t forget to include the local Democrat and Chronicle and the local TV stations and radio stations. Most of the local reporters always opposed Bishop Clark’s negative actions.

    Send copies of the Cleansing Fire articles to any Vatican email addresses and newspaper.

    The Papal Nuncio should be bombarded with copies of the articles.

    I mentioned our politicians above because Bishop Clark receives millions of dollars per year in state and federal funding (taxpayer money). The last time that I checked, the Catholic Family Center received 15 million dollars from New York State taxpayers.

    Money always gets Bishop Clark’s attention.

  8. Diane Harris says:

    In 2005, at the pastor’s request, I chaired a committee to conduct a survey in OLOL (a 6-church cluster) and I processed all the data. Out of a claimed 1500 households (exaggerated number, we believe) there were 422 individuals responding, and I processed 340,000 data points. I have a HUGE amount of information on opinions and input from the pew.

    The majority response from people in the two largest churches (St. Michael in Penn Yan and St. Januarius in Naples, which had 3 and 2 weekend Masses, respectively) was their willingness to go to only one Mass each, so that other churches could stay open. Among the 4 smaller churches was a willingness (when only 2 priests i.e. 6 Masses were available) to rotate Masses so that they could all also stay open. There was a real “givingness” on the part of the people in the pew to try to do their best to keep other churches from closing, breaking up communities, and risking souls. Quite frankly, those folks had a better understanding of the meaning of a church to its parishioners than the hierarchy seemed to have.

    The pastor, Fr. Ring, ignored all the input and went ahead to close two churches, and a third is in danger. And, the number of priests STILL hasn’t dropped to 2 for OLOL, as there is the pastor, Fr. Ring, and Sacramental Minister Fr. Jeff Tunnicliff, and retired priests Fr. Wiant and Fr. Jack O’Connor. (yes, Fr. Jack goes away for a few winter months, but has been otherwise available.) The Finger Lakes area is a favored retirement area of some priests (e.g. Fr. Kevin Murphy wants to retire to his cabin in the Bristol Hills), so a flow of retired priests is likely to continue. (Fr. John Mulligan’s weekend summer residence is in Middlesex, on Canandaigua Lake too.)

    With two churches now closed, sometimes the average has been 2 Masses per priest. That is why Our Lady of the Lakes, OLOL, is sometimes pronounced “Oh, well; Oh, Well.” Go to the DoR website and run your cursor over the counties and number of parishes by county. When you get to Yates it will say “1” parish; that is all OLOL, and OLOL also includes Ontario County up to north of Stanley and Steuben County down to South of Prattsburgh. Over 700 square miles with 7 Masses. That, my friends is Pastoral Planning in the DoR. Oh, and the Bishop is getting an award for this? Oh well; Oh well.

  9. Dr. K says:

    Dr. K, Why would you even think of reducing 4 Masses to 3? Have you ever attended Mass at those two Greece parishes to see that those Masses are well attended? Those churches also hold daily Mass every day.

    Yes, I have. St. John’s is often 1/3 full. They have two priests offering 4 weekend Masses which comes to 2 a piece. That is not efficient!

    The solution Dr K puts forward to this whole mess is to cluster parishes and cut masses. Translation: cut the availability of the Holy Eucharist to those who want it the most. Makes about as much sense as Bishop Clark’s plans.

    Not so much a solution as a necessity. This diocese is going to witness its priesthood cut in half over then next 9 years. We are going to go from around 100 active priests today down to about 50 in 2020. Obviously we need to nurture more vocations to the priesthood, as that is the only real solution to the problem. However, at the same time we’re going to have to deal with present realities. Look at where we are right now. We have more openings than available priests! Imagine how much worse this is going to get in the coming years, regardless of how well we are able to grow our seminarian ranks in the early part of our next bishop’s tenure. Remember, it takes a good 5-6 years for a man to become a priest. Don’t expect instant gratification.

    We need to cluster all our churches so as to make better use of the priests we have. The only other option is what the bishop has done, and that is to merge parishes together and dispose of churches. We can’t be selfish with our Mass times. We will need to temporarily decrease Mass offerings from from 4 to 3 or 3 to 2 so that we can keep our churches open.

  10. MD says:

    Better idea, Doc

    How’s about Bp. Clark drops this stupid “3 weekend masses” rule, and 1 priest plus a retired priest can handle a 4-Mass parish?

  11. “This diocese is going to witness its priesthood cut in half over then next 9 years.”

    I said it before, I’ll say it again. Just get the clustering and the closings over with. Or the next bishop will be blamed for something that isn’t his fault.

  12. annonymouse says:

    Anonymous 1:12 – exactly what “bigger fish to fry” does the Nuncio to the United States have than the issues in Rochester? Shouldn’t the Nuncio to the U.S. be concerned with what is happening to the Faith in a rather large U.S. Diocese (350,000 or so Catholics?)

    What’s going on here (the precipitous deline in the Catholic Faith in our diocese, by EVERY objective measure) should be a giant concern of Rome and is precisely what the Nuncio is sent to the U.S. to deal with.

    Pray tell, 1:12, what are all these bigger fish / bigger fires?

  13. liz says:

    Does anyone know anything about father Tim Horan?

  14. liz says:

    Praise God- I love my church but couldn’t stay if we were given a non-traditional pastor. Thank you for letting me know.

  15. “The church is struggling to keep up with financial isssues and funding.”

    Not a problem reserved only to the Catholic Church. Several articles on the Internet are about US churches in bankruptcy.

  16. A Catholic says:

    Anon 3:49- “charity and love” does not mean to ignore problems, brush things under the rug and not speak up against foolish decision-making by those in authority. I haven’t agreed with the tone of everything posted on Cleansing Fire, but overall it provides a needed service for Catholics weary of wandering this desert of dissent in the DOR.

  17. Dr. K says:

    Where charity and love prevail, this blog is never found…

    This comment lacks charity, and has nothing to do with DoR pastoral assignments.

  18. dbb says:

    My impression of Dcn Scott Caton is that he is somewhat of a tradationalist, and if he becomes parochial vicar at St. Mary downtown… That would be quite interesting.

  19. Dr. K says:

    It would be interesting to see, but I wouldn’t wish it upon him!

  20. anonymous says:

    Anon 2:36
    Regarding Fr. Horan, “orthodoxy” is a relative term in the DoR. I wouldn’t describe Fr. Horan as “very orthodox.” He is relatively orthodox, but unfortunately weak. He needs our prayers and yes, Holy Trinity is fortunate considering the alternatives.

  21. Best wishes to Dr. Caton, no matter where his assignment is. What is the date of his ordination?

    And does anybody know how many Permanent Deacons are being ordained this year?

  22. Kathy says:

    Fr. John Afoakwah is going to return to Ghana not Nigeria.

  23. militia says:

    anonymity begets animosity.

    I don’t have any problem with people posting under a disguised screen name (I’m doing it), and with the vindictiveness some parishioners have suffered in this diocese, it is not surprising that some people need to have screen names to protect themselves and their families.

    What I have a problem with is hiding in the pool of anonymity. Here’s what I mean. With a screen name, you can follow that it is the same person writing in various contexts, and there becomes a thread of familiarity. But when someone uses “anonymous” as they have in this thread, then they are hiding in a pool of others also named “anonymous” but having very different opinions. One “anonymous” jumps on and does 6 posts in a short period and they create the illusion of six people. I wish anyone posting regularly would simply choose a screen name. Otherwise, readers are misled.

  24. Dr. K says:

    Good point, Militia.

    I may have to look into assigning unique IDs for each anon so we know which anon is speaking.

    Please folks, stay on topic. If you want to criticize us or break out the tired “you’re uncharitable” complaint, then send us an e-mail. Don’t flood the comment box with complaints.

  25. Monk says:

    Part of the solution to fewer priests is to use larger churches. It is ridiculous to create the largest parish in the diocese (Irondequoit) and yet close the largest church in Irondequoit, 1000 seats (or the diocese for that matter). The DoR closes St. Andrews but keeps the Bingo hall at Annuciation open for Masses. The renovation at the Cathedral reduced the seating capacity dramatically. The same can be said for St. Ambrose Church and many other church “renovations” around the DoR. If the DoR really cared about the faithful they would be better stewards of their assets, especially in light of the priest projections over the next decade.

  26. Ben Anderson says:

    When you compare the problems in the DOR to the rest of the country and world– these are but a drop in the ocean.

    hardly! we use metrics like mass attendance, people identifying themselves as Catholics, priestly vocations etc simply because those are measurable. What is really important is how many people are going to heaven. This obviously isn’t measurable, but I think it’s fair to say that getting parishioners to heaven (according to our Catholic faith) has not been a priority. When you dilute the faith and wallow in your okayness, you are saying that heaven isn’t really all that important.

    Struggles to keep up with the progression of society– technology, science, health care- all these areas need official teachings which the church lacks-

    not so sure about that. I think the Church (lay faithful included) has pretty good answers to all of this stuff. Unless you’re referring to the official Church’s attempts to have a presence on the Internet (eg, but that’s more of a missed opportunity than a major problem.

    Its been said before and bears repeating– if Bishop Clark and the policies of Rochester were of concern to the Vatican— they would have out a stop to them by now.

    I don’t think that logic works. In my opinion, the massive rejection of core fundamentals of the Faith by so many in the hierarchy in the west is something unseen before. The rejection of Humanae Vitae is the most obvious and everything fell from there. Rome was not sure how to respond. Should they fight? What would happen? Would they completely lose the Church in the West? Would there be a massive Schism? Should they just continue preaching the truth and see if it’ll die out?

    If you think any of these issues aren’t important to Rome, then you are clueless and don’t follow the Church very well.

    We’ve been talking a lot about church management and that’s obviously important, but I think it’s also worth mentioning what got me first involved in blogging and that is the corporate rejection of fundamentals of the faith. Why does our diocese reject biblical sexual morality? Why does our diocese pretend that accepting other faiths is more important than evangelizing? Do we even believe in Truth anymore? Do we believe in the Sacraments or are they just warm-fuzzies? The Catholic Faith has the potential to offer so much to the world. It is so beautiful in her doctrines, music, worship, prayers, etc. The world needs Catholicism now more than ever and instead of giving the world what it really needs, we destroy what our ancestors have handed down to us and give the world a kitty-cat instead of the bold lion (ala Aslan) that is the Catholic faith.

  27. annonymouse says:

    Anon 5:50 – what does it mean that Father Horan is “weak” and “needs our prayers?” If you’re going to impugn someone’s character, even implicitly, let’s see your name. Otherwise, don’t go posting such things. That is most definitely NOT charitable!

    Aren’t we ALL weak, and don’t ALL priests need our prayers?

  28. annonymouse says:

    Militia, good point. That’s why i’m annonymouse!

  29. Christopher says:

    Well said anonymouse unless anonymous was talking about Father Horan having a health issue and meant it in a charitable way. I don’t know though what was meant by it.

  30. Ben Anderson says:

    anonymous, you mustn’t have read what I wrote – let’s try this again (substituting slightly different words)

    If you think any of these issues aren’t a high priority to Rome, then you are clueless and don’t follow the Church very well.

    ….. Rome has bigger priorities than Rochester– and Bishops Clark’s presence for 30+ years is evidence of that!

    I don’t think that logic works. In my opinion, the massive rejection of core fundamentals of the Faith by so many in the hierarchy in the west is something unseen before. The rejection of Humanae Vitae is the most obvious and everything fell from there. Rome was not sure how to respond. Should they fight? What would happen? Would they completely lose the Church in the West? Would there be a massive Schism? Should they just continue preaching the truth and see if it’ll die out?

    Not removing Bishop Clark isn’t the same as ignoring the issues. Read what Rome has written. Watch a papal mass. They are (and have been for decades) most certainly responding to those like Bishop Clark. Your logic is flawed to say that if Rome doesn’t respond in exactly this type of way, then they must not care.

  31. annonymouse says:

    8:57 – Humanae Vitae is a “non-issue”? I beg to differ. The western world, particularly Europe, is suffering great sociological problems due to its lower than replacement-rate birth rates, all wrought by the contraceptive mentality, including abortion. You cannot violate natural law (GOD’s law) without serious consequences. After 45 years, people are just beginning to wake up to this. And soon-to-be-Blessed John Paul’s writings are still not widely known but contain great wisdom about sexual morality. And what does “technology has grown” mean and how is that germane?

    Not to mention the millions who are living in an objective state of mortal sin, whose souls are imperiled….

    You keep spouting off about the priest pedophile scandal. There is no question that it’s hurt the Church (all evil in the Church hurts the Church). It’s being dealt with.

    But back to your original assertion, there is no question (see Ratzinger’s direct intervention vis-a-vis Corpus Christi) that Rochester is, and has been, on Rome’s radar screen.

  32. annonymouse says:

    9:28 – Priests ARE real people. None are perfect. And all have given their lives to God and the people of God.

    And some are very holy, and very humble, and give their all to their flock.

    And some are filled with self-importance such that no rules apply to them, and they flaunt their dissent and lead many astray, violating the unity of His people which Jesus prayed for.

    So what’s your point?

  33. Mike says:

    In my opinion, the massive rejection of core fundamentals of the Faith by so many in the hierarchy in the west is something unseen before.


    My grasp on Church history isn’t all that good, but didn’t the Church have a major problem with the Arian heresy? I seem to recall it having infected laity, priests and bishops – as well as an emperor or two – over good-sized chunks of the Roman Empire for well over 100 years.

    Of course that was over 1,500 years ago and we haven’t seen anything like it inside the Church (which excludes the Protestant “reformation”) until recently.

  34. annonymouse says:

    9:39 abortion and contraception are fruit of the same evil tree. BOTH thwart the will of God, the very creative act of God! They are different, but both are intrincially evil, according to the teaching of Holy Mother Church. Open your heart.

    NFP is NOT a form of contraception – it does not in any way thwart the creative action of God present in the sexual act. You owe it to yourself to learn and understand why these are different.

    And what are we to make of contraceptives such as the pill that have an abortifacient effect? You say abortion is never acceptable, yet the pill aborts millions! I assume you find the pill to be unacceptable as well.

    Let me ask you this – do you really think God is pleased with, and glorified by, a contracepted sexual act? Or aren’t contraceptive sexual acts really about pleasing ourselves?

  35. annonymouse says:

    As an addendum, the word was “intrinsically” but I mis-typed.

    9:39, I think what you’re saying is that you know better than Holy Mother Church. So you feel free to reject a teaching of the Church’s magisterium? What other infallible teachings do you reject? Where do you get such pride to think your own opinion better than, or more logical than, or more God-like than, our leadership’s?

    What we’re really talking about here is pride.

  36. Scott W. says:

    For what it’s worth, I’ve heard the NFP=ABC so many times that I eventually typed up a Catechism 1749-1761 cheat sheet so to speak and just pasted it when it came up. See The NFP=ABC Canard and Part II where the much missed ZippyCatholic explains the substantial moral difference between doing something and refraining from doing something. And finally, Pius XII’s statement that the possible and acceptable reasons for regulating births is “in truth very wide”.

    What this has to do with pastoral appointments in the DOR, I have no idea. 🙂

  37. “If we’re going to run the church as a corporation, then let’s see some resumes and reference letters!”

    Fair enough. That should include resumes of all paid staff members.

  38. Ben Anderson says:


    My grasp on Church history isn’t all that good, but didn’t the Church have a major problem with the Arian heresy? I seem to recall it having infected laity, priests and bishops – as well as an emperor or two – over good-sized chunks of the Roman Empire for well over 100 years.

    Of course that was over 1,500 years ago and we haven’t seen anything like it inside the Church (which excludes the Protestant “reformation”) until recently.

    good point, Mike. Thanks for keeping my sweeping generalizations in check 🙂

  39. Diane Harris says:

    I heard that there was an announcement at St. Mary Canandaigua this evening that Fr. Bill Darling is going to the Weedsport parishes.

  40. Abaccio says:

    Dr K…

    Don’t forget RIT is supposed to be open. Fr. Cool has hit 12 years at UR, but I doubt he’s going anywhere (he came in 99, I think)

  41. Dr. K says:

    Yea, RIT is listed at the bottom of the opening list.

    Not sure what’s going on at U of R.

  42. Abaccio says:

    Shouldn’t Hunt be on the list somewhere though? Do we know where he’s going?

  43. Dr. K says:

    My guess is that he will not be reassigned since he is a Jesuit and not a diocesan priest. That might not be a bad thing (

  44. catholicmom says:

    We must pray that Fr. Horan will return HT to its’ pre Michatek days…..Since the departure of Fr. Nellis, the faithful families have had to endure inappropriate and liturgically incorrect sacramental preparation, flamboyant marriages celebrated during Lent, but a denial of marriage to a life-long parishoner are just a few abuses that cross my mind. An investigation of those Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, who openly support gay marriage may help. Satan is on the doorstep of this parish…Pray for Fr. Horan.

  45. Diane Harris says:

    I just want to confirm that the rumor I heard last night is true. At 11:30 Mass in Canandaigua this morning, Fr. Mull announced that in June Fr. Darling will become pastor of the 3 parishes in Our Lady of the Snows.

  46. Dr. K says:

    Added him.

  47. “Does anybody know if Fr. Darling was a priest at Holy Name of Jesus Parish?”

    I believe Fr. Darling was once pastor of St. Salome. Not sure if he was ever at HNoJ.

  48. Diane Harris says:

    I know Anonymous is asking a serious question, but unless one is a Canon Lawyer it is hard to know the answer. There is only a very short period to respond after one learns of a decree or of some significant action by the bishop. Often it is just 10 days (counting Sundays has some tricky rules.) Within that time, as I understand it (and I am NOT a Canon Lawyer) one must register a specific request (appeal) to the bishop to undo what he has done. The bishop has much longer to respond; in some cases 30 days but in some as long as 90 days. Our bishop often doesn’t respond so he runs the clock out and the petitioner has to wait for expiration of the time, after which no answer means “NO.” Then there is another short period to re-appeal, and another long period to wait for the bishop’s answer. Then the petitioners can go to Rome. Notice that first (in most cases) one has to go to the bishop twice before going to Rome, even though you know it is a waster of time.

    In Rome, it depends on the subject matter which Congregation (Dicastery) one goes to. I am thinking that in the case of this Comment it might be Congregation for Clergy. But they don’t have to do anything with the request if it wasn’t sent through the Papal Nuncio (Washington DC) by the diplomatic pouch. There are rules about sending copies to the Nuncio, and getting his acknowledgment that it was received. Lots of “documenting.” Complaints need to be set in terms of what Canon Laws are being violated; in the case of a “female pastor” I think there is a basis to complain.

    There may be action by Rome or the Congregation may simply ignore the petitioner. In between is where someone in the Congregation contacts the bishop and something quietly changes, but the petitioner doesn’t know anything is happening, so they continue to write and get ignored. Other times they really are being ignored. Every once in a long while, something good happens. There are also appeal process in Rome, but probably more than you want to know at this point.

    The key issue is to watch the first hurdle–the 10 days (maybe 15 for certain subjects; I don’t know.) It is from the date the decree is promulgated (like an announcement from the pulpit on a Sunday. It is not from the date on a letter or decree or when you heard a rumor.

    Hope there is something here that you can use. And, remember, I am not a Canon Lawyer so I’ve just shared as best I can.

  49. Diane Harris says:

    While you still have a group of people together (the daily Mass people, for example) you have an advantage. In OLOL we had so much division because of pastoral planning and the parish was small and people were afraid and the pastor changed the locks, that some of these options weren’t open to us. But there is value in the community in the pew to stay united! That truly is a tremendous advantage; otherwise the parish will ultimately be less viable by the time the next bishop is willing “to do the right thing”.

    If you have no daily Mass anymore, at least choose one weekday per week to meet together and pray in the church. Perhaps the Rosary one week, Divine Mercy Chaplet another, Stations of the Cross another, Adoration even with a closed tabernacle on another. Among yourselves agree that your prayer is always for a priest to replace the pastoral administrator, so if she is present (very unlikely; do you ever see any of them pray quietly before the Tabernacle? Say the Rosary?) the true intention doesn’t have her locking the doors on you. The key is not to alienate and have even more spiritual things taken away from you, but to keep community together, but –this is important –not making friends with evil. Don’t ever think being “nice” (not a virtue) is going to help. If you go out to breakfast as a group, it won’t help to invite her or to try to become chummy. It never works.

    If you have to listen to her homilies, don’t compliment her unless for something TRULY orthodox, like a homily against abortion or contraception; if she holds less than true Catholic events, don’t attend. Isolation without insult is a better strategy, quite frankly, that trying to be “nice” and getting suckered in. Always stay in prayer, together as well as alone.

    Above all, take care of your own soul. If she is preaching on a Sunday, go elsewhere if at all possible, but don’t ever use the Mass to “demonstrate.” Going elsewhere is better; why would you want to hear a homily from someone who can’t obey fundamental church teaching?

    If she leads a “book club” don’t participate, unless it is truly a Catholic book, but try to have an alternative one at the same time, on something good and holy (the book club selections in some parishes led by pastoral associates or pastoral admins is appalling,) or a bible study.

    If you run into a brick wall, complain to the bishop, over and over again. He will likely do nothing at all, but when the new bishop arrives, resend all the copies of your complaints to him. Better still, when he is named, send to his then current office if possible, to bypass the DoR “round file.”

    The worst enemy of our faith is indifference — doing nothing because it won’t make a difference. (Christ’s vomiting out the lukewarm comes to mind.) We always stand for Him. So complaining about her landscaping isn’t the point. Complaining about a pagan reiki practice, or her preaching from the pulpit are worth complaining. By staying together as a group, you can do more.

    Think of it as a year in exile; in a way, that is what it is. Or as being in the French Resistance. “To the barricades.” That’s why we are the Church Militant. But being passive during that period when the smoke of satan is in the Church isn’t the answer.

    There is a potential light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s pray for each other. Maybe other readers will have some other ideas for you.

  50. Diane Harris says:

    Since I posted above, I’ve had some consulting communications. There is another recourse for you (or you and a group) under Canon 57. Instead of having petitioned the Bishop to change his decision to send a pastoral administrator, i.e. to reverse his decision which it is too late to do, you can begin a new petition simply asking the Bishop to send a priest to your parish. There is not a “do by date” on submitting your request. The Bishop has 90 days and if he doesn’t answer it is “no.” But watch the calendar for carefully counting the dates (not sure about how Sunday works for counting these days.) You only have 10 days from the time he says “no” or from the 90th day if he didn’t answer in order to appeal. If you need Canon Lawyer help, I can make a recommendation.

  51. OLS Parishioner says:

    Fr. William Darling has been named as pastor of Our Lady of the Snow in Weedsport. It was announced in the bulletin last week.

  52. Dr. K says:

    Thanks for the confirmation.

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