Cleansing Fire

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Bishop Matano Celebrates New Year with the Carmelites

January 1st, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

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Click on picture to see clearer images

A rumor spread that Rochester’s new bishop, Salvatore Matano, would be celebrating his first Mass of the new year with the Discalced Carmelites at their monastery in the Brighton-Henrietta-Pittsford area of Monroe County.

You just can’t keep these things secret!

I’m not sure if there was any attempt to keep it secret, it just wasn’t publicized. The chapel was overflowing as it was.

Sure enough, there was the new bishop offering Mass on the occasion of the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. Well over one hundred people, on the chance the Bishop would be there, packed the somewhat small chapel in the monastery. (Many of them are actually there every day for daily Mass.)

Bishop Matano preached a powerful, unhesitating homily on the theme of the sisters’ vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

I did not see him use any notes and yet he never once hesitated or paused. He spoke with knowledge and authority. What he preached was obviously deeply rooted in his mind and heart.

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After Mass he greeted each person at the door, exhibiting a warm and engaging personality and a strong sense of humor.

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Bishop Matano will be formally installed this Friday in Rochester’s Sacred Heart Cathedral. I believe the installation is being covered by one of the local TV stations –YNN? From what I have heard, getting around to the local parishes is one of his priorities so it probably won’t be long before each of us meets him up close and personal.

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30 Responses to “Bishop Matano Celebrates New Year with the Carmelites”

  1. Amy Dorscheid says:

    EWTN is televising Bishop Matano’s installation
    on Friday Jan3 at 2:30 PM on channel 43 in Rochester

  2. CPT Tom says:

    The second photo speaks volumes about the changes ahead.

    – The vestments Bishop Matano is wearing are tasteful and of a traditional fashion. Genuinely beautiul

    – The priest with his back to us is in a cassock…is this the Bishop’s MC? If so, wow, a big change indeed. I guess no more nuns in albs, and I’m thinking there are many priests in the diocese who either better find their clericals, or buy new ones so they can fit in them. Golf shirts and kakis have become passe

    – What a relaxed posture the bishop has, yet an intense connection to the person he is speaking to. The first photo backs up the warmth and engagement of this man.

    – He’s at the monastery, talking about the sisters clostired there. They are the center of his focus, and he

    No pomp no broad announcements of him being there. Yet he is dressed fully as the shepherd, so his flock will know him as he is.

    I look forward to meeting this man. I think he is what appears. Praise God!

  3. y2kscotty says:

    If the “cassocked” person in the photo is Bp. Matano’s MC, then he may very well have a surplice over his cassock, which is covered by his coat. If so, he is in the standard “uniform” of a liturgical minister – and, therefore, I wouldn’t read into this anything about Bp. Matano’s policy on clerical dress. Frankly, I may disagree with many of you when I repeat the time-honored phrase, “clothes don’t make the man”. Unfortunately there are many people who disapprove of Pope Francis’ clothing choices.
    Also, I don’t see that Bp. Matano’s vestments are much different from what Bishop Clark wore. Please, let’s not nit-pick about matters of little substance.
    Oh, regarding “clericals”, I’ll bet that few priests anywhere in the country even own a biretta!

  4. CPT Tom says:


    I’m sorry, but the only priests I’ve seen wear a cassock since I’ve been in this diocese are either traditionalists, or young priests. I’ve also seen cassocks worn by altar servers in a couple of country parishes. Since I’ve only been here for 7 years, having lived in Hartford and NY Archdiocese prior, maybe some one else can confirm how common a cassock is in DOR outside of those groups.

    The pope always wears his cassock with sensible shoes, and while his liturgical choices are sometimes bland, I think they still are miles ahead of the things I saw growing up in the ’70s, or some of the crazy chausibles that John Paul II was subjected to.

    Far as clericals, who said anything about a birreta? I meant Clericals as in black suit or pants and shirt with Roman collar. in the two Archdioceses I’ve lived before here it was MANDATORY for priests to wear clericals when in public. Here in the DOR, my experience is The ones who actually wear clericals on a regular basis usually aren’t from here (either Africans or visiting) or from the other two groups.

    I used to travel extensively, from my experience it is far more normal around the country for parish priests to be in clericals especially priests of an orthodox vein. It’s not a guarantee, but it is more likely that the priest is at least obiedient if they normally wear clericals. Again others will have to witness on what they are used to.

  5. militia says:

    The people in darkness have seen a great light!

  6. CPT Tom says:

    Amen. The dawn breaks on a new era. May God Bless our new Bishop, Bishop Matano

  7. christian says:

    God Bless our new Bishop of Rochester, Bishop Salvatore Matano.

    Am I the only one who thinks Sacred Heart Cathedral has a small seating capacity for a cathedral in a city the size of Rochester? There have been parish churches built in the city of Rochester with seating over 1100. Does anyone know the seating capacity of Sacred Heart Cathedral?
    With all the money that was spent on renovations, too bad they didn’t come up with a plan to increase seating.

    Anyway, I look forward to attending one of Bishop Matano’s masses and meeting him in person.

  8. Ron says:

    And the new Bishop’s first act – appointing Father Hart the Vicar General. Continuity?

  9. CPT Tom says:


    Agreed…like most modern renovations the seating capacity was reduced. Between moving the altar into the nave of the church, which eliminated several rows of pews, and the use of chairs instead of pews, the seating is even less than it could be. There is also the baptismal immersion pool in the back. Does anyone know how much the capacity of the Cathedral from before the renovations and after?

  10. Jim says:

    Ron, that first appointment threw me too! I’ve heard others say that he did that because Fr. Hart can show him the ropes of the diocese. However, once Bishop Matano gets the lay of the land, he’ll make his own decisions, and create his own appointments.

  11. ROBERT says:

    Jim you are correct !
    Since Clark lives next door to Hart, Hart will be short lived ! out parish administrators, get ready to retire !
    For those who play lotto: watch the chairs go at SH along with the pool !

  12. Ron says:

    Jim – maybe. Or it could be a sign that things will not be changing any time soon. I also caught his joke about the greetings he received – with advice about what he should do. I immediately thought of some of the folks here suggesting liturgical/procedural/administrative changes, and wondered if that was his way of saying, “Hold on there – I’LL judge what needs to be done and what is allowed.”

  13. Scott W. says:

    We’d all love to see Bp. Matano roll in like Frodo and company in “The Scouring of the Shire”, but that is a bit unrealistic. I’m going to try to be patient and rejoice that Sharkey is no longer in charge and the Bill Ferneys of the diocese have past their sell-by date.

  14. CPT Tom says:

    For Bishop Matano to keep Fr Hart may be a smart move, especially if Bishop Matano has decided that Fr Hart will blow with the new wind. If so, Fr Hart who knows where all the dirty laundry is hidden would be useful. From what I gather from what I’ve read and heard about the new Bishop, he’s nobody’s fool. He’ll take his time and make changes as he gets he feet on the ground and control of the situation.

    Did you catch his comment to the Deacons about their primary vocation being to their wifes? Word is that he deep-sixed the Burlington deaconate program when he was there. Also while he priased the priests, and religious, he did not talk about the laity at all from a leadership perspective.

    Expect first changes to be small, like matching the norms of the mass to the US norms (ie, Deacons kneeling where they should, Kneeling after the Agnus Dei, etc.) and possibly moving the tabernacles in the Churches to the center of the Sancuary. Real changes will come once he is settled in. By summer I’d suspect..

    We’re reading tea leaves at this point, but change will come, just don’t plan on him to wave a wand and *boom* it’s all fixed in a week.

  15. Mike says:


    One report pegs the seating capacity of Sacred Heart at 800.

    FWIW, a 1968 Courier-Journal article (here, with the first part of the article here) listed the capacity of the pre-renovation building at 1,000.

  16. Hopefull says:

    If I may, I would like to log in with a few observations which might possibly have been missed. Bishop Clark’s resignation was accepted by Pope Benedict 68 days after it was proffered (and that included Pope Benedict’s spending all of the intervening August at Castle Gandalfo.) It was actually rumored that Cardinal Dolan secured a delay of a few extra weeks so that the “Goodbye Masses” could be completed before the resignation was accepted. That rumor has not been confirmed.

    In all the delight and news on November 6th of Bishop Matano’s being named Bishop of the Rochester Diocese, it was easy to miss the nearly simultaneous news of Albany’s Bishop Hubbard’s retirement letter, dated Oct. 31, 2013. As of today, it has been 66 days since Bishop Hubbard submitted his mandatory resignation, after 36 years in the NYS Capitol. It is common understanding that as the list of nominees for successor is collected, other bishops in the state (or other geographical area) have the opportunity to submit at least one name (perhaps only one name for each episcopal opening. It is unclear if this refers only to sitting, active bishops and/or to Apostolic Administrators.) But it would be unseemly to reject out of hand the recommendation of a Bishop Emeritus, wouldn’t it? So it is entirely reasonable to expect that Bishop Clark’s nominee to replace Bishop Hubbard would at least be “on the list.” And who would that be, other than the person he wanted to be administrator of the Diocese of Rochester if he, himself, were not allowed to continue or were too ill to continue? So, when Bishop Clark was passed over to continue as administrator, all accounts (sparse as they are) indicate that it was Father Hart who was also passed over before Bishop Cunningham was named. However, whether in deference to Bishop Clark or for possibly just a sense of stability, Fathers Hart and Condon continued — for more than 15 months!

    So, where is all this going? If indeed (as seems logical) that Bishop Clark would have submitted Father Hart’s name for Bishop of Albany, another explanation for his continuing for a short period as Vicar General of Rochester could very possibly be to keep from lowering his status and prestige as a contender for Albany. A charitable act. By the time Albany is settled, Bishop Matano should have an idea of what he has, and if that is what he wants longer term. It is difficult to imagine when that might be. Likely, under Pope Benedict it would have been sooner rather than later. But since Bishop Hubbard’s early years were working as a “street priest” among the poor, perhaps Pope Francis will cut him some sympatico slack?

    A side effect that will prove interesting over time is the spontaneous applause which Bishop Matano’s announcement elicited in naming the “Very Reverend” Joseph Hart to keep his job. Surely that outburst of applause will be hurried to those who make such decisions on episcopal succession. In the meantime, there is sufficient footage for Bishop Matano to review to assess the relative strength of his own welcome, and pockets of problems, and divisions among the clergy. May he look at it very, very carefully.

  17. y2kscotty says:

    CPT Tom, fat chance that Bishop Clark will wear “clericals” when in public. Sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn’t.

    Regarding his message to the deacons, he is right to say that the primary duty of the married ones is to their wives. He did express appreciation for their ministry. However, I don’t understand why he brought up the matter. Has that been a problem among the married deacons? Maybe someone here can shed light on this. I understand that one of the deacons is now divorced, but it may very well have nothing to do with his work as a deacon.
    There are 43 Permanent Deacons and 47 active diocesan priests and 43 retired or sick priests. in Burlington. He ordained 2 Permanent Deacons in 2009. It may be that “deep-six” may be no more than realizing he doesn’t need more personnel in a diocese whose numbers of Catholics has declined in the past 2 or 3 years. Is the decline in Burlington worse than in Rochester? How many seminarians are there in Burlington?

    Regarding Fr. Hart’s appointment as VG – I see it as no more than Bishop Matano’s very careful and considered opinion that Fr. Hart is the best man for the job. Like you say, he is nobody’s fool. Do not be surprised if in 3 or 4 years, Fr. Hart is appointed bishop somewhere. Bishop Matano’s recommendation would be crucial.

    BTW – does anyone here know who the other bishops were in attendance at the Installation?

  18. gaudium says:

    As a deacon in attendance for the Mass of Installation, I was moved to tears when he asked us to love our wives. His reference, if I remember correctly, was that our witness to the people is through our devotion to our wives. Why would he only bring the issue up if it was a problem? Why look for the most pessimistic motivation possible.

    I would say the divorce rate for deacons is very low. There were two in the Class of ’84 and they occurred very early in their diaconate. I believe that only one man has been ordained as a deacon who was already divorced. Then again, Fr. Bradshaw was divorced and accepted as a candidate for the priesthood with his wife’s permission.

    I think, perhaps, that the most telling sign of liturgical changes to come was the offering of Communion under only one species, except for the priests.

  19. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Thank you, gaudium for your diaconal ministry and thank you for the love you have for your wife.

    The precise statement made by Bishop Matano is as follows:

    “To the permanent deacons who in recent times have taken on increased responsibility for service to the Church, I am also grateful knowing that many of you have families and secular jobs. I appreciate your willingness to serve this Diocese. But in kindness and humility, I remind you who are married, the first vocation is marriage. Love your wives, love your families and be present to them. For in doing that, you are a great witness to the Church.”

    Brother gaudium, you are a great witness to the Church and to her bridegroom, JESUS CHRIST. We have benefited from your devotion to the Lord, to your beloved and to Christ’s beloved bride.

  20. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    My apologies. A phrase was left out in the above quote by the Bishop to the Permanent Deacons.

    “I appreciate your willingness to serve this Dioce with true loyalty and affection for the Church.”.

  21. ROBERT says:

    In 3 or 4 years, Joe Hart will be a “retired” priest of the DOR !

  22. gaudium says:


    Thank you for your kind words and your more complete quote. I don’t know how anyone can think the Bishop was somehow slighting the deacons in his comments.

    For Everyone,

    I believe that Fr. Hart will fully support the direction of our new bishop. He is very loyal to the Church and has a brilliant mind. I believe that he is more traditional than Bishop Clark and deserves our prayers.

    A Blessed Epiphany to you all.

  23. Gretchen says:

    Knowing where the bones are buried often means you had something to do with burying them.

  24. CPT Tom says:

    Maybe the bishop is acknowledging that the Deacons have more duties than they should . In other places I’ve been the Deacons serve usually in the same parish they are from, so they can be with their families, and they they are not looked at as some sort of replacement for priests.

  25. CPT Tom says:

    Gretchen, well yes. If Guadium is correct, Father Hart is of an orthodox (or more orthodox) mind, and a loyal son of the Church, then he will be most useful to Bishop Matano in the future.

  26. ROBERT says:

    You hit the nail!

  27. Richard Thomas says:

    Most priests follow the pack. I only hope most will fall in line with the requests of the bishop. I hope the mavericks don’t give him a hard time.

  28. annonymouse says:

    Hopefull, I could be mistaken, but I don’t think the nomination process works that way. If I recall correctly, each diocese submits three names of possible episcopal candidates every year through the Metropolitan archdiocese and on to the Apostolic Nuncio, regardless of where there are specific vacancies. These, then, provide an available “pool” of candidates for openings as they arise.

    With respect to Albany, I tend to doubt that their next bishop will come from the priestly ranks – in other words, like Rochester, their next bishop will already have been a bishop (an ordinary or auxiliary) someplace else, I would wager. Unlike Rochester, however, I think Francis will not imminently accept +Hubbard’s resignation. I doubt that’s his style. But as I so often am, I could be wrong.

  29. annonymouse says:

    CPT Tom – regarding matching the U.S. liturgical norms, I think you are right on the money with that comment. Watching my DVR of the installation – I noticed that both deacons remained standing at the Agnus Dei while Bishop Matano’s priest assistant knelt (and gave quite a pained look that he was the only one doing so).

    I noted also the Bishop’s hands throughout the Mass. Palms together, fingers not intertwined.

    I believe we will all be seeing a much more reverent liturgy coming to a parish near each of us!

  30. christian says:

    Thank you for your responses and information CPT Tom and Mike. And thank you for the data Mike.

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