Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Keeping the Spirit Alive’

Fruits Indeed…

March 26th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K
Bishops Clark and Hubbard receive the "John Cardinal O’Connor Award"

Bishops Clark and Hubbard receive the “John Cardinal O’Connor Award”

An excerpt from Bishop Clark’s acceptance speech, as printed in the progressive America magazine:

“Fruits of the Council – Prayers for the Church”

My overarching awareness of the experience of 50 years of priesthood and 34 years of episcopal service is that it all began at the same time that Vatican II began. That realization leaves me deeply and abidingly grateful for the wonderful fruits of the council. It also makes me aware that there is much yet to be done. It has been my privilege all these years to walk with people whose faith and generosity make the Kingdom come every day. The lay faithful, women and men religious, our priests and deacons in great number really do get it, that they are gifted by and called to holiness, that they are to participate fully, actively and consciously in the life of the church; that they are to be salt and light for others.

They know that we are in this together. They know that we embrace Christ most lovingly when we embrace the poor, the lonely and the dispossessed. They know that we are part of a faith community which is poorer than God wants us to be without the gifts of all. Such people do continually inspire me, and I believe that God’s gracious providence has contributed to my ongoing, continuing human and ministerial formation through all the years. Shifting into this new phase of my life, I welcome the opportunity to pray in gratitude for the people among whom I have served, and for their continued growth. I shall be praying, as well, that God will inspire us to continuing, ongoing conversion.

Among the prayers and hopes I have for our beloved church are these: the revival of a genuine experience of subsidiarity in the church, so that people at every level are free to do what they do best and what they generally can do better than anyone else; and a fresh realization that pastoral authority is meant to serve freedom and communion, not only by setting legitimate limits but by listening and learning from those it serves. To grow in genuine communion, we need much more honest, respectful, even tough conversation in our church, especially around matters that are disputed. Such conversations need to center more on seeking the Truth than on who holds the power. [There is no point in debating matters which have been settled. This dialogue tactic is an attempt to keep the door open on subjects such as women’s ordination and contraception]

I pray, too, that we will strive always to translate into appropriate structures and significant decisions what our pastoral statements say about women in the church [He really doesn’t know when to give it up]; that we will widen the pastoral embrace of the church to welcome more fully and affectionately our gay and lesbian sisters and brothers [And how do you propose we do this in a way that we aren’t already? Gay marriage? Gay-themed liturgies?]; that we will rejoice that God touches the hearts of our laity with a call to pastoral ministry, not seeing that call as in competition with priesthood [In Rochester, you have made the laity superior to the priesthood. Here a group of super-laity runs parishes, delivers homilies, tells the priest what to do, decides what churches close and stay open, etc.]; that we will be especially attentive and open to the faith experience of people who show every sign of being devoted disciples of the Lord, but who say all too frequently, “I am finding it very difficult to remain a Roman Catholic.”

I conclude by telling you that the beginning of the emeritus life has been wonderful. It allows a continued opportunity for apostolic ministry; it has opened the door for more prayer, study and thought about our pilgrimage together. Even at this stage of looking back over the years, I am profoundly encouraged by what has happened. I am also aware that growth is not always linear or uninterrupted, that we always stand in need of reform. But, my friends, I do believe and know at the very core of my being that the good work our loving God has begun in us, God will one day bring to completion.

Most Rev. Matthew H. Clark

Bp. Hubbard’s speech is also available at the link above.

May these two retire down to Florida upon Bp. Hubbard’s resignation and cause no further harm to the Catholic Church.

Diocesan Lay Pension Underfunded

March 22nd, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

From Gannett:

“Battered by years of historically low interest rates, the pension fund for current and retired lay employees of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester is underfunded to the point that its obligations nearly double its assets, raising concerns about the future of those benefits.

Diocesan financial records for the fiscal year ending in 2012, the most recent year for which records are available, show the fund is only 53 percent funded, with $120 million in future payouts and assets of about $64 million. The diocese publishes the records on its website.

The fund covers about 1,000 retirees and 1,000 current employees, including school teachers and parish and cemetery workers, according to the diocese.

“A funding level of 50 percent is a serious level of underfunding,” said Nancy Hwa, of the Pension Rights Center, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C. “I think the employees and retirees should be concerned, and they should ask the diocese what it’s planning to do (to bolster the fund).”

Diocese Chief Financial Officer Lisa Passero acknowledged the underfunding is concerning, but she said steps were being taken to address the shortfall.

Passero cited parishes and other diocesan employers being made to raise their contribution levels beginning in July and the diocese depositing more unrestricted bequests into the fund [Oh really…?]. She added that the diocese plans to deposit about $10 million into the fund by the end of the year, and that the fund has seen $7 million in investment returns since last summer.

Passero said the fundraising campaign for priests was launched by design — the diocese currently has 25 men preparing for ordination — and that the diocese will shift efforts for lay employees as the priests’ plan becomes fully funded.

To quote the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Diocese of Rochester’s “chickens have come home to roost.” You wanted a bloated lay hierarchy, Bp. Matthew Clark and diocesan powers that be? Now you have to pay for it. Of course the buck will be passed on to the lay faithful, as it always is. While it’s disappointing that the pension shortfall could hurt Catholic school teachers, I’m shedding no tears over the Sr. Joan’s, Nancys, and Anne-Maries of this diocese who shouldn’t have been employed in the first place.

If the diocese is serious about addressing this problem and avoiding it in the future, then cut the bloated lay hierarchy!

The Insult Continues

March 12th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

From the Catholic Courier:

State’s bishops to honor Bishop Emeritus Clark

Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark will receive the John Cardinal O’Connor Award for Extraordinary Service, in honor of his years of commitment to the public-policy agenda of the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s bishops in matters of public policy.

Bishop Clark also will be recognized for his pastoral service, having served more than 50 years in the priesthood, and his 33 years as Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester.

The award will be presented by Bishop Clark’s close friend, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany [These two men are attached at the hip (along with Fr. Tom Powers)], at the end of the annual Catholics at the Capitol Mass at 1:30 p.m. March 20 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. Bishop Clark also will deliver the homily at the Mass.

In its announcement of the honor, the Catholic conference cited Bishop Clark’s commitment of expanded participation of the laity, particularly women, in the life of the church. It also cited his promotion of Catholic social teaching, the diocesan expansion of Catholic Charities, and his defense of church positions on matters of human life [Really?], including opposition to abortion and capital punishment, and family life, including the traditional understanding of marriage [REALLY??].

Pope Benedict XVI has already honored Bp. Clark by accepting Clark’s resignation the moment he returned from summer vacation.

I Can’t Think of Two Worse Bishops to Honor

March 5th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

…aside from Cardinal Mahony.

From the Catholic Courier:

Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark to be honored

Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark will receive Fordham University’s highest honor, its prestigious President’s Medal, during a March 6 ceremony in New York City. Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany also will receive the President’s Medal during the ceremony.

The medals to be awarded to Bishop Clark and Bishop Hubbard are in recognition of their service, which collectively includes nearly 70 years as bishops and 100 years as priests. Bishop Clark was ordained a priest in 1962 and became bishop of the Diocese of Rochester in 1979. Bishop Hubbard was ordained a priest in 1963 and became bishop of the Albany Diocese in 1977.

The medals to be bestowed are “a sign of our immense esteem and gratitude for your graceful and abiding witness through the decades that have wrought enormous challenges within and outside the church,” Jesuit Father Joseph McShane, president of Fordham University, wrote in a letter to the bishops. “You are both courageous leaders who have definitively embraced a preferential option for the marginalized and the poor, faithfully shepherding in a manner that renders you models of episcopal ministry. [GAG!]

Past recipients of Fordham University’s Presidents Medal include the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, who received the honor in 2008. Founded in 1841, Fordham is a Jesuit University with residential campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester.

How appropriate that these two men so closely connected be “honored” at the same ceremony. They have a legacy of destruction in upstate New York Catholicism that may never be repaired.

Change From Within

January 25th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

A reader has kindly directed our attention to an article that appeared in the February 3, 2000 issue of the Diocese of Rochester’s Catholic Courier. In an article about the establishment of a local Call to Action chapter, Fr. William Spilly admits that he and the CTA chapter meeting at his parish (note the “we”) are working within the institution toward the unacceptable platform of Jim Callan’s Corpus Christi/Spiritus Christi. For those who may have forgotten, Mr. Callan was relieved of duties at Corpus Christi in 1998 for blessing homosexual unions, permitting a female “associate pastor” to quasi-preside and don a half stole, and openly inviting non-Catholics and non-Christians to Holy Communion. He was excommunicated latae sententiae in 1999 upon joining the schismatic Spiritus Christi church.

spilly CTA

Click to enlarge

“Father Spilly added that CTA members were united in their concern that the “progressive” positions advocated by Corpus under Father Callan’s leadership were no longer being advanced.
“Maybe Corpus Christi went too fast, too soon, and we wanted to see these issues come about in the church by working in the church,” Father Spilly said.”
-Catholic Courier, 2/3/2000

There should be no confusion about what Father means when he promotes “equality” for gays and women in the Church.

In related news, the local chapter of Call to Action is still alive and kicking. The CTA group protested outside of the DoR’s diaconate ordination in June. Below are photographs of the protest found on their website:


Bp. Clark takes a picture with his seminarians while a disgruntled CTA member pushes her way into the shot.


She appears to be holding a photograph of the “Rev.” Mary Ramerman, former “associate pastor” of Corpus Christi.


An earth-shaking crowd of four.

Marketing Heresy to the Young

January 1st, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

The aging hippies at Sr. Joan Sobala’s Women’s Ordination Conference have decided to market the impossible ordination of women to a younger crowd.

Here is their ridiculous parody of “Call Me Maybe”:

“Mass” at the Call to Action Conference

November 16th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

One more time on the CTA conference that Fr. Spilly promotes and attends:

It’s absolutely disgraceful that any Catholic priest would be associated with Call to Action.


Call to Action 2012 Keynote Speaker

November 11th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

In the previous post we explored Fr. Spilly’s promotion of the dissident Call to Action conference. Take a close look at the list of speakers Father was so kind to provide for us, specifically Patricia Fresen whom he references using the innocent sounding title “theologian”. Ms. Fresen was the keynote speaker at this year’s CTA. So, who is she? Apparently Fresen is a fake female bishop who helped establish the “Association of Roman Catholic Women-priests.”

The title of her address was “Less Pope, More Jesus.”

The bishopess Patricia Fresen

It makes Father’s attendance at, and endorsement of, CTA all the more disturbing.

UPDATE 11/12/12:

Here are some choice quotes from Ms. Fresen’s CTA speech.

1. “The present pope and the previous one are in schism … After all, a general council is the highest authority in the church, higher than the pope”
2. “The only way as I discovered in South Africa to bring about real systemic change is to do something against the system, and that’s what we’re doing [referencing the A.R.C.W.P.]. We claim equality and justice for women”

Related posts: one, two, three

Fr. Spilly Promotes Two Dissident Organizations

November 8th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

Fr. Spilly to attend CTA again

Fr. William Spilly, pastor of the declining St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Hamlin (now averaging 417 weekly attendees), boasted in his parish bulletin last weekend about his upcoming pilgrimage to the notorious “Call to Action” conference. Why is this a problem, you might ask?

Take a look at their homepage to discover CTA’s disturbing endorsements:

  • PRO- GAY MARRIAGE: “We are deeply gratified that Governor Martin O’Malley has joined fellow Catholic governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Christine Gregoire of Washington in signing marriage equality legislation into law.” …and…“We are delighted that another Catholic governor has signed marriage equality legislation into law. Governor Christine Gregoire is a member of the ever-increasing Catholic majority that supports laws assuring fair and equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families.”…and… “We support marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people not in spite of being Catholic, but because we are Catholic. As Catholics, we believe that we are all beloved children of God, and we want the laws of our land to mandate fairness, justice, and equality for all.”
  • PRO- BIRTH CONTROL, ABORTION: “Stand up for women this July 4th and celebrate the fact that the United States promotes religious liberty for everyone, not just bishops.” …and… “The Bishops don’t want to offer contraception to employees at Catholic hospitals and universities, citing religious liberty. But what about the religious liberty and conscience of the employees who work at these institutions who are both Catholic and non-Catholic? Don’t they have a right to decide their health care options?”
  • ANTI- HIERARCHICAL, PRO-DISSIDENT NUNS: ““At a time when the church hierarchy is beset by scandal, faithful Catholics are looking for moral leadership and have clearly placed their vote of confidence with the sisters,” said Jim FitzGerald, spokesperson for the Nun Justice Project and Executive Director of Call To Action.”
  • PRO- HOMOSEXUAL ACTS, MASTURBATION: “The Vatican’s legalistic parsing of Sister Margaret Farley’s work will only enhance her well-deserved reputation as a gifted scholar. Rome’s attempt to steer Catholics away from Just Love will serve instead as a recommendation for all those who seek a sexual ethic rooted in justice and mutuality, rather than in platitudes and abstractions. The positions Sr. Margaret articulates resonates with many Catholics, who seek to live out the values of our faith in the context of real life.”
  • PRO- PRIESTESSES, INVALID ORDINATIONS, INVALID MASSES: “Thirteen cities across the country will see Catholics holding protest vigils during Holy Week in support of women’s equality in the Catholic Church, including woman priests. ” …and… “Sign this petition that will be hand-carried by Fr. Roy Bourgeois, his lawyer and church justice leaders to the Vatican in October as part of a delegation witnessing for women’s ordination.”
  • PRO- RADICAL FEMINISM: “In the last few weeks, we have seen one attack after another against those who help our churches and mission but are denied a voice on decisions that affect them: church workers. March 12th, marks the third anniversary of Bishop Morlino’s firing of Ruth Kolpack–a dedicated church worker who spent 26 years of her life serving her local parish in the Diocese of Madison, only to be fired because she would not recant her master’s thesis on inclusive language.”
  • ANTI- ROMAN MISSAL TRANSLATION REVISION: ” Catholics across the country are about to go through one of the most widespread changes since the reforms of Vatican II: the words we speak at mass are about to change. Call To Action wants to ensure Catholics know the real history behind the mass translations and the Vatican’s unjust maneuvers to get them done. “

And this is just the first page! If you delve deeper into CTA’s archives, you’ll discover a long and detailed history of positions at odds with Catholic teaching.

Former prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, had this to say about Call to Action:

“The judgment of the Holy See is that the activities of ‘Call to Action’ in the course of these years are in contrast with the Catholic faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint. Thus to be a member of this association or to support it is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic faith.”

The long-tenured outgoing bishop of Lincoln, Fabian Bruskewitz, even went so far as to excommunicate members of CTA, with full approval of the Vatican. Yet here we are in the Diocese of Rochester, where diocesan priest Fr. Spilly is permitted to publicly acknowledge his membership in this anti-Catholic organization in a parish bulletin. Furthermore, Father links to CTA’s website on his parish homepage… and it’s the first link!
Surprise of all surprises, he also links to dissenting organizations such as Future Church and Voice of the Faithful. A couple years ago, the schismatic Spiritus Christi church could be found in his parish’s recommended links (see below).
Fr. Spilly reveals his membership in, and promotes, another questionable “Catholic” reform organization in this weekend’s bulletin column – Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. I’ll let Father speak to you about what this organization stands for:

Fr. Spilly on the Association of U.S. Catholic priests

Some highlights –
  • “Re-structuring the governing system of the Church that will ground its leadership in Christ-centered proclamation, service and love, avoiding any tendency of control and fear.”
  • “Accepting primacy of the individual conscience and an end to the present secretive processes where active and loyal members of the Church are perceived as “dissidents””
  • “Re-evaluating Catholic sexual teaching and pastoral practice that would recognize the profound mystery of human sexuality as well as the experience and wisdom of God’s people”
Perusing the Association’s website reveals other troubling comments:
  • “Bishop Tom Gumbleton spoke about how Vatican II changed his ministry from focusing on “saving souls” to answering the call to promote social justice.”
  • “Many of the comments expressed in these gatherings  are similar to those of previous gatherings.  The New Roman Missal was not greatly appreciated.  One mentioned that there was too much concern about the afterlife and not enough about here and now. Some mentioned that there was a sense of fear and intimidation in the church today.  “
  • “Using techniques from the Tampa schedule, the Cincinnati-area priests began with a session lamenting their experiences of the post-Vatican II Church followed by a session on hopes and dreams for the future.The lamentations were similar to those at the Florida gathering: abuse of power, fear, the Roman Missal debacle, the rift between younger and older priests, loss of vitality in the Church, hierarchical arrogance, lack of dialogue”
  • “The convention began with  a session in which priests were invited to verbalize their “laments” about their ministry … Their lamentations included recognition of a climate of fear, a distortion of Vatican II, the return of legalism and clericalism, the manner in which women are treated in the Church, stretching priests to the breaking point, struggles with the hierarchy, and loneliness.”

Why do I write about all this? Take a look at the past two presidential elections. The candidate most at odds with Church teaching won both times, and with a majority of the Catholic vote! Look at our parishes on Sunday and see how empty they have become. Check out the various surveys of so-called Catholics where over 90% openly admit to using artificial birth control. Our nation is descending into cultural rot, and Catholics are going down with it if not leading the charge. Is it any wonder that so many Catholics disregard Church teaching when you have priests like Fr. Spilly openly challenging the Faith in their parish bulletins and homilies? I beg our Apostolic Administrator and the next bishop to put a stop to open dissent from Rochester priests. Unlike what Bp. Gumbleton said at the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests conference, the ministry of the bishop and priest IS to save souls. Please start doing it!

A picture is worth a thousand words

October 17th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

Below is a collage of photographs detailing the 33-year tenure of Bishop Matthew Clark, and the downward spiral of the Diocese of Rochester that took place during his reign. Have fun identifying the various events and personalities. To see the full size collage, click on the image below.

Click on the image to enlarge

Going Out With A Bang

October 15th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

Is it any wonder why Pope Benedict XVI accepted Bishop Clark’s resignation with such haste?

Mass of Thanksgiving, Oct. 13th


Jubilee Mass, Sep. 16th

Bishop Clark Retires : Where are we now and where are we headed?

September 21st, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

Bishop Cunningham and Bishop Clark at the press conference

On this day, September 21 in the year 2012, the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Bishop Matthew Clark. As of today, Bp. Clark is no longer the Bishop of Rochester and he relinquishes any power and privilege that belongs to said position.  The bishop is given the honorary title of “bishop emeritus.” He is still a bishop, just not our shepherd any longer.

At a news conference that took place around 10 AM this morning, it was announced that Bp. Robert J. Cunningham of Syracuse will manage the Diocese of Rochester as Apostolic Administrator until a replacement has been named by Pope Benedict. Sadly, Fr. Joseph Hart will assist Bp. Cunningham in this administration. The diocese is presently sede vacante, meaning that we do not have a diocesan bishop. Our next bishop will be named in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Reflection on how we got here

I have to admit that when I woke up this morning I was shocked to hear that Bp. Clark had been replaced a mere two months after submitting his resignation. It’s a somewhat unprecedented move to have a bishop’s resignation be accepted so quickly, and it’s surely a repudiation of Bp. Clark’s tenure as Bishop of Rochester. Most of us expected a quicker than normal change, just not this quick! So why was the bishop’s resignation accepted after only two months? First of all, the bishop’s fruits have been rotten. Below is a table of figures comparing the state of the Diocese of Rochester when Bp. Clark arrived to when he departed:

Category 1979 2012
Active diocesan priests 341 90
Total priests 584 215
Priest ordinations 4 0
Religious sisters 1,047 443
Parishes 161 105*
Seminaries 2 0
Catholic high schools 9 5
Catholic elementary schools 78 25
Total Catholic school students 76,724 20,603
Infant baptisms 6,742 2,646
Marriages 3,919 1,009

Source: Official Catholic Directory, 1979 and 2012

Second, Bp. Clark has a lengthy and oft-tumultuous history with Pope Benedict; the two have butted heads on numerous occasions. In November of 1986, Cardinal Ratzinger forced Bp. Clark to remove his imprimatur from a sex book written by former Rochester (and now Buffalo) priest, Fr. Matthew Kawiak. The book condoned various immoral activities including masturbation and homosexual acts. Also in 1986, Cardinal Ratzinger banned Diocese of Rochester priest, Fr. Charles Curran, from teaching in Catholic institutions. Bp. Clark famously defended this priest to the bitter end despite Fr. Curran’s repeated dissent on human sexuality. In 1997, Clark received even more scrutiny from Vatican officials concerning his Rainbow Sash Masses for homosexuals at Sacred Heart Cathedral on March 1st and October 5th of that year. Perhaps the pinnacle of the disagreements between these two men came in October of 1998 when Ratzinger ordered the removal of James Callan from administrator of Corpus Christi church. As most readers already know, Corpus Christi had been blessing gay unions, offering non-Catholics and non-Christians Holy Communion, and elevated Pastoral Associate Mary Ramerman to the title of “Associate Pastor” while letting her wear a half-stole at the altar. After Callan’s removal, the parish split and a large number of parishioners formed the schismatic Spiritus Christi church, which now boasts a gaggle of priestesses offering invalid Masses. Mr. Callan commented later about how Bp. Clark held a protective umbrella over the community for many years. The blood of this schism, and the loss of 3,000 souls, rests on Bp. Clark’s hands. The Holy Father certainly recalled these various acts of dissent.

Basically what I’m getting at is, the speed with which this resignation has been accepted is no coincidence. Our cries have been heard, and our next bishop is at hand. Your letters to Rome have made a difference. God is good!

What will happen next

The process of selecting the next Bishop of Rochester is underway. Various priest and bishop candidates will be considered, and three names will be recommended to Pope Benedict to fill this vacancy. The Pope, and the Pope alone, will make the decision. However, the Holy Father will likely receive input from various prominent Catholics such as Card. Dolan, the Nuncio, and the Congregation for Bishops which is led by Card. Burke. It could take several months for our next bishop to be named. After he is selected, the person will be consecrated/ordained (if not already a bishop), and formally installed during an Installation Mass.

Bp. Cunningham will oversee the Diocese of Rochester, in addition to his duties in the Diocese of Syracuse, until our next bishop has been installed. It is highly probable that Cunningham will clear out the Rochester curia so that our new bishop will be able to make his own appointments. I imagine he’d ask for the resignations of all curia members sometime soon. Bp. Cunningham will also tie up any loose ends and prepare a smooth transition for our next bishop.

Remember that Bp. Cunningham is only a temporary administrator. Don’t expect a lot of significant changes in the coming months.


It’s anybody’s guess who will be the next Bishop of Rochester. The process is bound by secrecy, though information tends to get out. After all, the people involved are only human. One rumor which I am sure you have heard is the possibility that Bp. Joseph Perry will be our next bishop. The rumor was that Bp. Clark was offered Perry as a coadjutor early last year, but declined. If this is true, then it is highly probable that Perry will be named our next bishop at some point in the near future. You may be asking, “why not name Perry our bishop now if this is the case?” Good question. My guess is that Perry wasn’t named today because he is needed to assist in the transition in the Archdiocese of Chicago while Cardinal George battles cancer. If Perry is to be our next bishop, he may be appointed shortly after George’s successor is named.

There are a great number of potential bishop candidates. Below is a list I assembled of some of the most likely individuals to be named our next bishop.

Auxiliary bishop candidates:

1. Bishop Joseph Perry, 64, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago

Diocesan bishop candidates:

1. Bp. Alexander Sample, 51, Bishop of Marquette
2. Bp. Michael Jackels, 58, Bishop of Wichita
3. Bp. Robert McManus, 61, Bishop of Worcester
4. Bp. Leonard Blair, 63, Bishop of Toledo

This process isn’t going to be completed in a week or two. There are 15 dioceses in need of a bishop. Some dioceses, such as Tyler, have been vacant for 14 months. Others, such as Las Cruces, have a diocesan bishop serving 12 months past 75. Here are the lists of vacant dioceses and dioceses with bishops serving past 75:

1. Tyler [14]
2. Indianapolis [11]
3. El Paso [9]
4. Bridgeport [6]
5. Portland (Maine) [4]
6. Fargo [4]
7. Oakland [2]
8. Rochester [1]
9. Ft. Worth [1]

Bishops serving past 75
1. Bp. Ramirez, Las Cruces [12]
2. Card. George, Chicago [8]
3. Abp. Vlazny, Portland (Oregon) [7]
4. Bp. Pfeifer, San Angelo [4]
5. Bp. Hurley, Grand Rapids [4]
6. Bp. Kinney, St. Cloud [3]

So, my friends, here we are. We have waited 33 long years for change to come to Rochester and now the day has arrived. Bishop Clark is no longer the Bishop of Rochester, and soon his replacement will be named. Our next bishop will face the unenviable task of resurrecting a diocese in shambles. He will face a strong, ingrained, vocal progesssivism in the local priesthood and most area parish staffs. He will have difficult decisions to make about St. Bernard School of Theology, pastoral appointments, dissent, and a host of other local issues. This man is going to need our support and prayers. Please pray for our next bishop. May he be loving, strong, traditional, and orthodox in faith. Please pray for Bp. Clark. May he have a long, healthy and enjoyable retirement. May the very quick acceptance of his resignation not cause him any hurt or shame.

It’s time to move Forward in Hope. It’s time to Keep the Spirit Alive. Hope and change. Yes we can.

Bishop Clark on His Retirement

September 13th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Earlier this month, Bishop Clark wrote an article which appeared in the Catholic Courier in which he spoke at length about the many questions surrounding his inevitable retirement. As a reader pointed out, it seems that the more that the faithful point out errors and demand their correcting, the more His Excellency reflects on his retirement. Some people will probably raise the objection that, “hey, you’re making the poor guy feel burdened and besieged.” Well, is it really so bad to make a Bishop of questionable orthodoxy squirm a little at the consideration that maybe, just maybe, he has made some unexplainable mistakes? When I went through the Catholic school system here, we were taught that we must all accept responsibility for our actions, and not shirk our duties but “carry them through conscientiously.” I can’t help but realize that there is very little accountability (in the here-and-now) for people who cause as much confusion on the part of their faithful, especially when the people in charge hide behind the same canons that they warp and use for their own devious purposes. As a very wise old dead Roman once said, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” “But who then shall guard the guards?”

This all being said, we need to realize that our Church has been developing organically for two thousand years, and has dealt with much bigger problems than our current Bishop. It survived the French Revolution. It aided in the downfall of Communism. It endured the process of Italian Unification. It stood as a silent witness to the fall of pagan Europe, and then humbly helped rebuild a new Europe in the shadowy uncertainty of the Dark Ages. So, no matter how bad we may have things in Rochester for the time being, and no matter how long the recovery takes, the Church goes on and is always victorious. Bishop Clark’s retirement isn’t going to be as dramatic as the beginning of the Renaissance, or as terribly awe-inspiring as the fall of the Roman Empire, but it serves to remind us that, no matter what, the Church as She is (and not as others would make Her) will go on through the ages. We have endured suffering, but nothing like what our brothers and sisters are enduring in places like China and the Middle East. We languish under the current administration, yes, but we know that it will have a definitive end. That is a blessing not all of the faithful can count on when facing their own calamities.

“A diocesan bishop who has completed his 75th year of age is requested to present his resignation from office to the Supreme Pontiff, who will make provisions after he has examined all the circumstances.”

These words from Canon 401 of our church’s Code of Canon Law are particularly meaningful for me, and for all the people of the Diocese of Rochester, as my 75th birthday is July 15, 2012. On that date, I will submit my letter of resignation to the Holy See after 33 years as your bishop.

On the personal side, I will do so with all the emotions you might expect: sadness that the privilege of serving you as bishop of this wonderful diocese must come to an end; hope that Christ will smile on the work we have done together (will He smile on “us” when “we” lost an entire parish to heresy, closed more than half of our schools, several dozen parishes, and sought to bring “new meaning” to His holy sacraments?); wonderment and anticipation about the journey God will take me on in the years to come; and the ways my ministry will continue. Yet I also will willingly submit my resignation and embrace this new phase of my life with a happy spirit. I am comfortable with the church’s wisdom that the bishop’s office is a demanding one in this day and age, that at age 75 our energies are not what they once were, and that more time for rest, prayer and contemplation is a blessing indeed.

I hope I also will be mindful then, as I am now, that this is not just about me by any means. This will be a significant time of transition for our diocese — for all of us. Quite naturally, we will all have questions, curiosity and interest in what the future will bring.

Already, as I travel around the diocese, people are asking me how the process of naming a replacement unfolds and speculating about the changes or adjustments we may be asked to make under new leadership.

Such questions and interests are the most natural thing in the world and emerge in every diocese at times like this. Reactions vary, of course. Some love change, finding it challenging and exciting; others find it onerous.

Then there is the more personal element. For people who have been pleased with my tenure, this time of transition means one thing; for those who will welcome a new approach in pastoral leadership, it means something quite different. (Recently, a parish staff member at a city church said that “we’ll ride this wave as far as we can” when someone pointed out that norms will actually have to be followed under a new Bishop.” Yes, change will mean something “quite different.” It means obedience.)

But no matter our general dispositions or personal opinions, change is coming. How we move through this time of transition as individuals and as a community of faith is, I believe, of great importance. If we approach it with lively and open faith in God and with prayer for all involved in the process, I am sure we will all be richly blessed. I do believe deeply that it will be a time of special grace and renewal for all of us. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to offer a few of my own thoughts about this process and touch on some questions people have asked me about it.

First of all, I must tell you that I do not know who our new bishop will be, or precisely when he will be named. As indicated, my letter of resignation begins a process through which a successor is chosen. Recently, that process typically takes 10 months, although it is not unheard of that it can take 15 months or longer. Once the letter of resignation is sent, the process and its timing are solely in the hands of the Holy See, which, I can assure you, works prayerfully and carefully to provide good leadership for a given diocese.

Secondly, I pray that this period of transition will be a time of renewal for our diocese. It will be a privileged time for us to remember our story, to name our blessings, to consider how God calls us to further conversion, and to put in good order any matters that aren’t where they should be or where we’d like to have them.

Thirdly, it can be a time in which we can convert our questions, worries, hopes, longings and fears into constructive thought, prayer and dialogue about important themes of common interest that give rise to the questions: How do we understand the office of bishop? (Answer: a successor to the Apostles.) What can we legitimately expect from him, and he from us? (Answer: Obedience to Rome and to the richness we find in Scripture and Tradition.) What is the bishop’s relationship to his priests? (Answer: Priests? What are these “priests” which His Excellency speaks of? Might he mean “sacramental ministers?”) To parish communities? (Answer: Parish communities tend to function better when not prematurely closed or clustered.) How does he link communities together? (Answer: Not by closing churches and rennovating the cathedral at the same time. Not by replacing an altar with an organ. Not by sending heretics into our churches to run them and ruin them. Not by closing thriving schools and churches. Not by engaging in ecumenical prayer services when your own flock has unmet needs. Not by having a mistress-of-ceremonies whose words have stifled more vocations in this Diocese than we can possibly imagine.) Are there ways in which we can prepare ourselves so that when he arrives the new bishop will come to know a diocese actively engaged and not passively marking time until his arrival? (Answer: Yes. We can actually meet the Holy Father half-way and show him that, contrary to what our Ordinary does, we will follow him.)

Next month I hope to delve into some of these areas in more depth. Let it suffice for the moment to say that I think we will be well-served if we make this a time of peaceful and prayerful examination of ourselves, our parishes and other places of ministry. How are we doing? What ought to change? (98% of what we see in this Diocese ought to change.) What is God asking of us?

To that end I have set some priorities to which I want to devote time and energy in the time remaining:

* To leave our diocese in as stable and positive financial condition as we can manage. Just now I have been quietly raising funds working to strengthen our financial resources for the education of our seminarians and the support of our senior priests.

* To continue to work together daily in our common quest for a deeper spiritual life. One common goal here, I hope, will be our very best effort to receive and celebrate the new Roman Missal this coming Advent.

* To be responsible in meeting the challenges of the day and not leave to my successor difficult problems because they are too hard or too unpopular to take on.

* To keep working at the interfaith and ecumenical work we have undertaken and to encourage others to join us in this work.

* To maintain our tradition of supporting our sisters and brothers in need, through direct human service and advocacy.

* To work toward creating as honest, warm and hospitable an environment as we possibly can manage, as we welcome our new bishop.

A bishop is a successor to the apostles whether retired or not. Under the church’s traditions and laws, leaving office removes from an individual bishop his power and jurisdiction over a diocesan church, but he remains a bishop forever with bonds to the universal church and College of Bishops, and certainly with a special bond to the diocese of which he was shepherd and to those faithful who were once entrusted to his care. It is not retirement in the usual sense of the term.

So, as “bishop emeritus” — the title given bishops after leaving office — I intend to be as helpful as I possibly can to the church of Rochester and to the new bishop, in ways still to be discussed and determined.

I will relinquish the bishop’s quarters at Sacred Heart Cathedral to make it ready for the new bishop when that time comes, but it is my hope and intention to remain in the Greater Rochester area. I have not as yet settled on where that might be. Personally, I am hoping to continue ministering in the Diocese of Rochester visiting parishes, supporting our pastors and sharing in the Eucharist with our people. I would welcome opportunities such as confirming our young people; helping our ministry in our nursing homes and health-care facilities; and offering whatever spiritual counsel I can in retreats and spiritual-growth projects, a role I have come to enjoy every much.

One important task I already know that I can and will fulfill is to pray constantly for the concerns of each of you individually and of this wonderful diocese as a whole. It has been said that one of the most cherished activities of a bishop emeritus is a “ministry of intercession,” that the closest bond and most important responsibility before God that a bishop emeritus has toward those who were once entrusted to him and to whom he has devoted his life is that of prayer. I could not agree more.

I will write more about this theme over the next months as July 2012 approaches, and I will try to keep you as informed as I can about this transition time.

This will be an interesting and unsettling time, but I pray you will remember that we are guided in every journey by the Holy Spirit. As we enter this new journey together, pilgrims on a new venture for Christ, let us be radically open to the Spirit and to each other’s dreams for the future.


More Obfuscation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

August 9th, 2011, Promulgated by Abaccio

We’ve seen this before.  We’ve seen it at St. Monica, St Mary Downtown, and at countless other parishes.  A large poster at Camp Stella Maris shows Fr. Brian Cool doing the same thing, a practice he even uses at the University of Rochester with young adults during some Daily Masses.  Now, it seems, Our Lady of Peace in Geneva has joined in on this racket–inviting children to stand around the Altar during the Eucharistic Prayer.

Now, it is noteworthy that this picture comes from 1st Communion at the Spanish Mass–this illicit practice (and use of children to promote a heterodox liturgical and theological agenda) is not simply contained within the old, white subset of the population.  The hand-colored altar linen and the blurring of the lines between the priest and the first-time communicant both indicate a mindset that goes like this:

1) The Mass is fundamentally a communal meal.
2) The closer you are to the table, and the more involved in the actions involved in “preparing” that meal you are, the more it will mean to you. (This is the next illogical step from the one that states, “active, conscious participation means talking and doing things, rather than kneeling and praying.”)
3) This Mass, the focus is fundamentally on these four girls.
4) If children create something, even if its senseless, tasteless, and inappropriate, we should definitely utilize it at Mass. (Similarly with hand-drawn stoles made of cloth and magic marker)
5) Quiet reverence bores children.  They will be far more engaged if they can get up and do things.

This fifth point is especially incorrect.  Young people by the thousands at the National Catholic Youth Conference were reverently praying during Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, then kneeling in the streets of Kansas City for a Eucharistic Procession–and loved it!

When, from the first time they receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, children are taught that it’s snack time, THEY WILL FALL AWAY.  They can have snack time at home while watching football.  The only way to encourage a holy, Catholic Faith is to teach the TRUTH: That the Eucharist is Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.  It is GOD.  Not a symbol, not a reenactment play of the Last Supper, not communal snack time.  It is a re-presentation of Calvary, where Our Lord was brutally, painfully murdered, caked in blood and dirt for me, for you, and for each and every one of us wretched sinners.  Until children are taught that you need to be ready to receive Our Lord each and every time you do so both physically (by, for instance, fasting) and spiritually (be in a state of Grace), they will not be transfixed by the incredibly awe-inspiring moment of consecration.  Instead, they will find Mass boring, and fall away from the Church.  Bad Catechesis is the leading cause of atheism, conversion to protestantism, and agnosticism.  When the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is used for improper Catechesis, the effects are clear.  This is precisely why Mass attendance in the Diocese of Rochester is at 23% and falling, whereas Mass attendance in the much more liturgically orthodox Diocese of Lincoln, NE is over 62%.  A blessed Day 340 to all!

Chalk It Up To Whimsy, I Suppose

July 22nd, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

A short while ago, we posted several clips from the recent Requiem Mass for Otto von Hapsburg, a Mass celebrated in the Ordinary Form (i.e. Novus Ordo), but done so according to all the norms provided by the liturgy documents. There was not one potentially-illicit aspect of the Mass, because it was offered in a spirit of humility and obedience. Someone once told me, perhaps it was even a commenter here, that “if a priest cannot be obedient to the Mass, he cannot be expected to be obedient to anything or anyone else.”

So, naturally, this made me start thinking about the whole liturgy debate. I have a love for good liturgy, no matter what Rite or what Form, just so long as it is offered for the greater glory of God. And, evidently, Cardinal Schönborn does as well. But before we go any further, let’s just look at the following two clips and discern which one reflects the timelessness of the Mass and the splendor of the Heavenly worship of God by the saints and angels:

2011 Requiem Mass for Otto von Habusburg:

2008 Youth Mass:

I should point out a few things for the sake of fairness. Perhaps the Cardinal was somewhat forced to do the latter Mass, not informed before-hand as to what it would entail. And, in addition to this, at least the young people were attentive and engaged at the Mass . . .
But guess what, folks? It’s still wildly inappropriate. Contrary to what some diocesan middle-school religion teachers tell their students, the Mass is a re-enactment of the sacrifice of Calvary, as made possible and whole by Our Lord’s Resurrection the following Sunday. It is not a celebration of the empty tomb. It is not a celebration of the community. It is not a celebration of diversity. It is a holy sacrifice, a celebration, which is intimately united with the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Son of God. Okay, great, the young people were in church (sorry, I mean “worship space,”) and participated in the Mass. Do you think that any one of them actually realized that? I can just imagine one of these teens coming home and saying to his mother, “Hey, mom, I went to this awesome concert last night, but OMG, some really retro old guy was talking to a piece of bread – the dude held up the concert for like 5 minutes! . . . Oh, that was Mass? Are you sure? SNAP! I’m set till Christmas then!”

All kidding aside, these two Masses demonstrate what is wrong with the Church at the moment. You have people reading the documents of Vatican II and interpreting them how they themselves would have them interpreted. But these things are not up for “interpretation,” but instead, are to be implemented without bias. Dove-tailing with Bernie’s recent post about “Before and After,” I must say that even though the second video, the Youth Mass, is what appears to be in the “Spirit of Vatican II,” the former video, the Habusburg Requiem, is more in keeping, nay, is almost perfectly in keeping, with the true Spirit of Vatican II. It looks older and feels older because, guess what – it’s supposed to. The Mass is not supposed to be something socially-relevant to every successive generation, but something timeless which transcends and binds them all together.

One final thought, if you’ll indulge me: as I re-watched both of these videos, I was struck by a line from “A Man for All Seasons” which was spoken by Thomas More about his soon-to-be son-in-law Will Roper. Like the Cardinal, he had the right overarching idea, but his approach to achieving and perfecting it was always changing, and changing dynamically, at that. When Roper asks for the hand of More’s daughter in marriage, More refuses on the grounds that Roper is a heretic (which, at that moment, he was). However, he tacks on this statement which has a great deal of relevance to this post about these two approaches to the “Spirit of Vatican II”:

“We must just  pray that, when your head’s finished turning, your face is to the front again.”

Bishop Matthew Clark Turns 74 – One More Year Until Retirement

July 15th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

32 years down, one to go.

Birthday greetings from the Holy Father

An even ‘74‘ as displayed at

What happens next…

As of  now, there has been no word about Bishop Clark requesting a coadjutor to assist him during his final year and to take the reigns upon his retirement. It could still happen over the next 365 days (technically 366 because 2012 is a leap year), though I do not anticipate that happening given what I know about this bishop. The positive of no coadjutor is that Bishop Clark would have little to no hand in the selection of his successor. The negative is that he may linger around a little longer after he submits his resignation on July 15th, 2012 while his successor is chosen.

So how are bishops selected?

1. Every bishop submits a terna to his local archbishop. A terna is a list of three priests who the bishop believes would be strong candidates for the episcopate. This list is discussed among the area bishops and recommendations are made to the apostolic nuncio.

2. The nuncio receives the various recommendations and conducts investigations into these men. Approximately 25 people are interviewed as part of this process. The nuncio also consults with the diocesan bishop, other bishops in the province, and the head of the USCCB (Abp. Dolan). Eventually the nuncio comes up with a list of three recommendations and sends this to Rome.

3. The Congregation for Bishops discusses the matter. The U.S. members of the congregation include: Cards. Rigali, Levada, Law, Burke, and Stafford.

4. The Holy Father makes the final decision on a diocesan appointment, whether it be the reassignment of an auxiliary or diocesan bishop to a new post, or the consecration of a priest to the episcopacy.

5. The candidate is contacted and he either accepts or rejects the appointment.

6. A Mass of installation occurs whereby the new bishop assumes leadership of the diocese. The nuncio will likely be present for this.

Who might succeed Bishop Clark?

It’s anybody’s guess right now who will take over for Bishop Clark and when this might happen. It is my prediction that our bishop’s resignation will be accepted by the end of 2012, possibly in late November right before Advent. A replacement is unlikely to be assigned much sooner than that because the Vatican often moves at a snail’s pace. Many dioceses do not receive a new bishop until at least a year after the sitting bishop submits his resignation. Don’t expect Bishop Clark to hang around much longer than he needs to with Pope Benedict in charge (by the way, please pray for the Holy Father’s good health!). Bishop Clark’s successor could be announced when his resignation is accepted, or the resignation could be accepted and then the diocese remains vacant until a successor is named.

Presently, there are six vacant sees and nine sees with bishops serving past 75. Between now and July 15, 2012, seven additional bishops will reach retirement age. This does not take into account those who may retire early or who may be pressured to resign because of scandal.

I am guessing that our next bishop will be an auxiliary from another diocese. Bishop Joseph Perry of Chicago is still a strong potential candidate! We shouldn’t exclude the possibility that our next bishop will be fluent in Spanish with a growing Spanish-speaking population in the diocese, albeit much smaller than other dioceses with this ethnic group. I guess it’s also possible that we could receive a current diocesan bishop, though he’d more than likely come from a diocese of comparable or smaller size.

The X-Factor

I have stressed this before and I will do so again. Bishop Clark is required to make his ad limina visit to Rome approximately in November of this year. That’s only four months away. This will be the bishop’s first face-to-face chat (that we know about) with Pope Benedict as head of the Catholic Church. This is sure to be an interesting conversation given the long history between these two men and the mountains of complaints the Rochester faithful have sent his way throughout the years. It is not outside the realm of possibility that the bishop’s upcoming retirement could be a topic of discussion.

Well friends, we have come this far by faith! The winter is almost over in Rochester. In the words of a local schismatic, “you can’t hold back the Spring!”

One more year.

Those Who Have the Bishop’s Ear [Updated]

July 12th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

In 2005 the Diocese of Rochester hired the Reid Group to help it formulate a new strategic pastoral plan for the next five years. In order to gather ideas for this plan, the bishop convened a diocesan pastoral council  comprised of sixty-seven laypersons from all parts of the diocese. The discussions from this meeting have been preserved in a forty-three page document available here.

If you have ever been curious what kind of suggestions Bishop Clark receives in his conversations with the laity, check out the first twenty or so pages in the document. The lay input ranges from the idiotic (several calls for more diversity/inclusivity and the clossure of a large numbers of churches) to the dissenting and heretical (repeated push for women priests and defying the Vatican).

Behold the fruit:

  • “Get rid of all of our buildings and properties and focus on ministry to those most in need”
  • “Need to have strong community churches. Have Eucharist in different ways.”
  • “Rochester/Monroe County has to bite the bullet that rural parishes have done. Too many parishes in Rochester.”
  • “50% fewer parishes & 50% more active Catholics and 100% more lay ministers”
  • “Allow married priests & women to perform duties of priests and risk the wrath of the Vatican [emphasis]
  • “Establish a leadership academic for girls to inspire and educate them to assume ordained and non-ordained roles in church and society.”
  • “fully ordain deacons as priests move toward ordination of women”
  • “Embracing the greater involvement of women into leadership roles of the church”
  • “Ordain married men—priests and women deacons”
  • “Every faith community is led by a lay leadership team and priests were servants to the community(ies)”
  • “Put women on the alter [sic]
  • “Video mass to other parishes when no priest is present”
  • “We would be more prophetic in welcoming and in challenging the Church hierarchy in the question of who is ordained.”
  • “Sell our possessions to help fund ministries to serve the poor, disenfranchised and marginalized among us. Churches would be borrowed places and buildings not grand and glorious. “
  • “We would stop pitting community against Eucharist, would abandon the fear of repercussions from the Vatican and we would allow the parishes to continue to survive and thrive even if the mass cannot be celebrated within each parish each Sunday “
  • “The DOR would issue a simple statement that theologically supports the ability of priests to marry. There was not sound theological reason for the original change.”
  • “Deacon celebrate mass by teleconferencing at remote sites “
  • “More challenging to the hierarchy to who is to be ordained. “
  • “Have more people ordained.”
  • “Ordain women, promote catholic schools”
  • “Ordaining deaconesses”
  • “We need to ask every baptized Catholic to tell us about their faith and where they are. More prophetic: serving poor, marginalized, the least among us. We would have married priests.”
  • “We need to issue a statement theologically allowing priests to marry. Would renew the faith, standing up for what’s right. More families would attend church, new spirit, renewed enthusiasm”
  • “Ordained women.”
  • “Married priests”
  • “Women would be on the road to ordination and the local church would be involved in true discernment of chrisms of members in our community”
  • “Remembered that Jesus asked for followers, not worshippers [sic]
  • “Bishop Clark is the last ordained person in the pastoral center”
  • “Continued growth in inclusiveness and celebration of diversity”
  • “Continual empowerment of lay ministries”
  • “Lay leadership – administrators with priests “
  • “Role of women squeezed in major issue – need to be at table; ordination”
  • “Rules around ordination impending to vocation”

Our next bishop has his work cut out for him.

Update 7/13: Click here for a list of 2005 DPPC members. The above comments likely originated from some or many of the persons in this list.

Please Suspend This Priest, Bishop Clark

June 27th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Below are a few photographs from this past Sunday’s “final Mass” of the retiring Fr. Bill Donnelly at St. Mary downtown. Fr. Donnelly has been serving as the “Sacramental Minister” under laywoman “pastoral administrator” Anne-Marie Brogan (in alb behind the priest), who will continue on in that role.


When I say that the newly-ordained Fr. Scott Caton is walking into the lion’s den, I mean it. St. Mary’s downtown requires immediate change, or they will become another schismatic church like Spiritus Christi.

This parish has long been a flagrant promoter of dissent relating to the role of the ordained priesthood, women’s ordination, liberal feminist theology, and homosexuality. St. Mary’s frequently invite children to stand around the altar and to elevate chalices and patens during the consecration. A reader and St. Mary parishioner has said that people also recite the Eucharistic prayer with the priest and that many members are from Corpus Christi who openly voice hostility with Rome.

The above images are very similar to something we have seen before in Rochester…

In the words of St. Thomas More, “silence gives consent.” Will Bishop Clark be silent once again? The bishop recently appointed Anne-Marie Brogan to continue running this parish, so you be the judge.

Some posts of interest on St. Mary downtown:

Short Again

June 2nd, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

The Diocese of Rochester’s annual Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) tax has fallen short of its goal once again. This year the diocese raised $5.25 million, which is roughly $350,000 shy of the $5.6 million goal. All parishes who did not reach their assessment will have to make up the deficit.

Bishop Clark Closes St. Michael School in Newark

May 26th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

From YNN comes the following DoR press release:

“Based on recommendations from the leaders at St. Michael’s Church and the Diocese of Rochester Catholic School Board, Bishop Clark has made the decision to close St. Michael School in Newark at the end of the current academic year. This decision was not made lightly and comes after careful consideration and much prayer.

We were heartened to see the strong community support that St. Michael received in its effort to stay open and viable. Unfortunately, despite all of their efforts, the steady decline in enrollment has continued over the last several years. The parish can no longer continue to incur considerable debt to operate the school.

We believe strongly in the virtues of a Catholic education and will continue to do all we can to support the remaining schools across the Diocese of Rochester.”

Close, close, close.

What is going to happen to the $71,000+ raised so far to keep the school open? I hope the diocese will return this money in full to its respective donors.

Please pray that the students who attend St. Michael will find another place to receive a Catholic education.