Cleansing Fire

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Celebrating in Irondequoit?

June 11th, 2011, Promulgated by Monk

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha parish in Irondequoit is “celebrating” its one year anniversary with a “birthday party” on Pentecost Sunday. Father Tanck wants the parish to worship together, so he has spent thousands of dollars renting a huge 1000 seat tent on the grounds of Christ the King Church complete with tables and chairs for a one-time Mass tomorrow. This is despite the fact that the parish has a 1000 seat St. Thomas the Apostle church that sits empty simply because Fr. Tanck doesn’t want to use it! STA also has a vast convenient parking lot as compared to the deplorable parking situation at CTK. I guess the old adage is true that it is easy to spend other people’s money! Is Father Tanck celebrating the destruction of five viable parishes? Is he celebrating two unused but “open” churches? Is he celebrating the fiscal “crisis” of the parish as described in his letter to parishioners? Or maybe he is celebrating the 1500 + parishioners that have disappeared in less than a year? In a few weeks the parish will lose two of its priests, Fr. Leone and Fr. Horan with no announced replacements. The parish is over $100,000 short of its CMA goal. Regarding Pentecost, Fr. Tanck stated in the parish bulletin “It is the same Spirit that fell upon us and formed us into a new community of disciples a year ago when we became Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish.” A “spirit” sure fell upon Irondequoit a year ago but I am not sure it was the Holy one!

Fr. Tanck's Tent


St Thomas the Apostle Church (1000 seats) Fr. Tanck refuses to hold weekend Masses

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26 Responses to “Celebrating in Irondequoit?”

  1. avatar Eliza10 says:

    For tomorrow’s Sunday Mass of Obligation, I recommend the 4pm “Thanksgiving Mass” on this Feast of the Pentacost, celebrated by the just-ordained Fr. Scott Caton at the stunningly beautiful, un-wreckovated (c.1874)St. Michaels Church on N. Clinton, just north of downtown near Clifford (you can see its massive steeple from quite far away). If you haven’t seen this beautiful church, this is a wonderful time to see it. There will be very special music as well.

  2. Pentecost.

    Not “Pentacost.”

    My apologies for getting all grammatically medieval on you.

  3. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Oops! Pentecost!

  4. Eliza 10 -Thanks for the Pentecost mass info at St. Michael Church with Fr. Scott Caton. You are right about St. Michael’s being a stunningly beautiful church. I’m sure that mass will be extraordinarily special being celebrated by this newly ordained priest.

    Monk- Your article further validates my point regarding decisions, even from a business standpoint, making no sense, and also that no consideration appears to be given in spending parishioners hard-earned money. It’s a downright shame that St. Thomas Church sits there being unused with its vast seating capacity and ample parking space. I hope there is some way that church can be reopened again. As for as Fr. Tanck’s celebration appears to be as much a Pen-A-Cost celebration as a Pentecost celebration. (No blasphemy intended). Regardless of the situation, and regardless of where everyone will be, I wish all of you a very blessed Pentecost with the same fervor as the very first Pentecost. God Bless All Of You!

  5. avatar militia says:

    As an outsider who has never met the man, from everything I’ve read, Fr. Tank seems like a very sick man. But I think I read somewhere that he isn’t even a diocesan priest. If that is true, what is wrong with his order letting him do all these inappropriate (I wanted to say crazy) things to a great parish? Who are the main donors to that order and do they know? It sounds like a vendetta of some sort. I hope people have gone up the chain in his order to make the point that he is destroying life, not giving it (like the Pharasees when Christ wanted to cure the man with the withered hand.) How sad to have destruction as the main work of someone’s vocation, but in an order it taints the other priests as well.

  6. avatar Anonymous says:

    And there is no mass this Sunday at St. Margaret Mary’s due to the circus event they are holding at CTK. This is just insane. I have to find another church for my family to attend.

  7. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    You really can’t make this stuff up – no matter how hard you tried.

  8. avatar JLo says:

    Changes, changes, changes, ever running down hill in Irondequoit; even Pentecost, which the Church leader there now makes out to be Tentacost.
    We refugees from that place refuse such “leadership”… we still celebrate Pentecost: Happy Birthday, Holy Mother Church!!
    +JMJ

  9. avatar Mike says:

    I don’t know what Fr. Tanck paid for his tent and chairs but this local company will rent you a 60 x 160 foot tent (suitable for 960 people) for $3,195. Also, 1,000 folding chairs will cost you at least another $1,250, giving you a minimum bill of some $4,445.

    It would have cost him nothing to use St. Thomas.

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 130153 – There is no Saint Margaret Mary parish anymore. SMM is just a worship site. You are at the whim of Father Tanck. The entire Irondequoit planning process was insane. Why do you not expect insane behavior now?

  11. avatar Anonymous says:

    Mike,
    The tent was set-up on the parking lot. There is considerable additional expense to setup a tent on asphalt vs the grass.

  12. avatar Anonymous says:

    This is down right wrong! I now understand what the people at STA are going through. This stupidity is destroying SMM, my parish, and now I am forced to look for another place to attend Sunday Mass. How can a priest in good faith not have a Mass at a church on a Sunday?

  13. avatar Mike says:

    Anon-9153,

    I’ve heard the same think about asphalt set-ups. It seems that the anchoring process is more complicated and therefore more costly.

    Anyway, I was just trying to come up with a ballpark estimate, not the precise bill.

  14. avatar Anonymous says:

    Anonymous – 130153. Your parish was already destroyed a year ago. It is unfortunate that the other parishes in Irondequoit didn’t see that it wasn’t just St. Thomas the Apostle’s fight.

  15. Hey, don’t forget the IPPG when complaining about what stayed opened and what closed.

    They are tipping their hand as to where the final worship site will be in a few years.

  16. JLo: I like your term, “Tentacost.”

  17. avatar Monk says:

    Interstate Catholic – Yes, Fr. Tanck’s tent is a foreshadowing of his vision of the future. He and the IPPG discussed at their meetings the desire to have one mega-church in Irondequoit.

  18. avatar Louis E. says:

    “In a few years”,however,there will be another bishop…who might not see eye to eye with Tanckism.

  19. avatar Anonymous says:

    The three parish cluster in Gates has similar issues with our new pastor since the cluster. He is effectively destroying the parish life of at least one of the three churches and shows no remorse at this. It actually seems to be working out exactly as he planned. I encourage parishoners to speak up about these priests and I would love to see a parish present the Bishop with a vote of no confidence in these priests who are determined to drive Catholics away from their churches.

  20. avatar JLo says:

    Anonymous-12585, what makes you think the bishop doesn’t already know?! Don’t you think such as your pastor and Fr. Tanck are doing the bidding of Bishop Clark? I do. It will take a new bishop, one who loves Holy Mother Church, to bring the DOR back from the brink we’re teetering on. +JMJ

  21. avatar A Catholic says:

    Eliza10- not a big deal, but the current St. Michael’s Church building was dedicated in 1890, not 1874. 1874 might be more around when that parish started and they orignally had another building. My grandfather went to school at St. Michael’s back in the early 1900’s. It’s amazing to see the beauty of such a Church that many German immigrants saved their pennies to help build. What a sacrifice it must have been and what a contrast to today, where Mass in a tent (“Tentecost” as JLo put it:) is deemed acceptable.

  22. If you Google Fr. Norman Tanck’s name, it appears as Fr. Norman Tanck CSB (Congregation of St. Basil) – He is a Basilian Father. The order is centered in Canada. If you wish to contact the current Superior General of the order with your concerns, here is his name and address:

    Rev. George Terence Smith CSB, Superior General
    95 St. Joseph Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3C2, Canada

    Phone: +1 416 921-6674

  23. avatar TL says:

    This seems like a good time to remind everyone that the St. Thomas the Apostle Benevolent Association is still fighting the closure of St. Thomas (STA). When we received word that our appeals on the merger and closure of STA had been rejected by the Congregation for the Clergy (CC) our canon lawyer immediately filed an appeal. Bishop Clark had written to the CC stating that STA is open for “baptisms, funerals, daily adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Rosary, occasional celebration of the Mass, etc”. The CC stated that because the church is still open for public worship and the Bishop has assured them it is not closed, there is no cause for appeal. (I suppose it’s possible that this past weekend they forgot STA is still available for mass?) You can help support STABA’s efforts, particularly our legal fees, by mailing a fully tax deductible donation to STABA, PO Box 17664, Rochester NY 14617. Thanks!

  24. avatar Anonymous says:

    STA is open for “baptisms, funerals, daily adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Rosary, occasional celebration of the Mass, etc”. The CC stated that because the church is still open for public worship and the Bishop has assured them it is not closed, there is no cause for appeal.

    Since STA is “not closed”, doesn’t this also mean that it cannot be sold?

  25. avatar Thinkling says:

    Just a heads up. This thread has been picked up by Tito Edwards’ thePulpIt.

  26. It seems hard to believe that Fr. Tanck overlooked or forgot that St. Thomas the Apostle was still available for mass. It seems more likely that he devised plans according to his vision of the cluster and celebration of Pentecost.(I wonder what the likelihood is that Fr. Norman Tanck celebrate mass at St. Thomas the Apostle?)

    In regard to the year of St. Michael Church – The original church which probably has the c 1874 date, is in back of the original church. It was made into a church hall. The church hall, which is also handicap accessible, is used for church functions and is rented out for parties/celebrations.

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