Saturday, May 3, 2008

It Isn't About the Money? - Update

The status of the 2007-08 CMA Fund Drive as of April 25 is available on That data can be used to generate a spreadsheet which allows us to compare the results for the Monroe County parishes whose associated schools are slated to close with those whose schools will be staying open.

About 5 weeks ago we looked at data covering the 2006-07 CMA drive. The current data are quite similar.

In terms of CMA goals, the parishes where schools are staying open have been tasked with raising, on average, 76% more money than those whose schools will be closed. The total dollar difference between the two groups is almost $357,000.

But in terms of actual CMA pledges the differences are even more striking. Parishes where schools are staying open have so far pledged an average of 96% more than those whose schools will be closed. Here the total dollar difference between the two groups is just over $433,000.

As I said before, the diocese almost certainly will say it isn't about the money. The data, however, are saying something else.


Anonymous said...

Nice blog. I live in the Diocese of Rochester also. I don't consider myself a conservative Catholic. I think the Church is in need of reform. I think that you are more progressive than you give yourself credit for. I can tell from your entries that you agree with the progressive side of the Church that it must be transparent, accountable and the laity should be part of the decison making process - not just advisors. I consider myself a progressive Catholic, but totally agree with you about the mess Bishop Clark has made with the Catholic schools and the importance of having a catholic education. I'm 48 years old and I've worked for the same company for 28 years. I attribute my success in the corporate world from my parents who taught me a good work ethic and the 12 years of Catholic education I received from 1966 to 1978. I should have gone to College and regret not doing so. But I have a good job anyway. In my opinion the reason the Bishop closed those schools is that within the next few years, those same parishes will have to close too due to the shortage of priests and lack of attendance at Mass on Sundays.

Anonymous said...
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Mike said...

Hi tmac,

Thanks for the kind words. Progressive and traditionalist (and their counterparts, liberal and conservative) are labels that mean different things to different people. When I call myself a traditionalist Catholic I mean that I accept all that the Church teaches in the areas of faith and morals.

That is not to say that I do not have questions or even difficulties with some of it - far from it! But I firmly believe that the problems I have are not with the teachings themselves, but with my understanding of them. I have found since returning to the Church that study, prayer and God's grace have helped me work through some of my questions and I have every hope they will continue to do so in the future. Also, these days we have the testimonies of many former Protestants, either on tape or in books, who faced similar difficulties on their journeys into the Church. These show us that the Holy Spirit can - and will - provide all the grace and understanding we need, if we only ask.

That is also not to say that I accept every administrative decision made by every bishop. Throughout history some bishops - and even some popes! - have been overtly sinful men, some have merely been incompetent. For any Catholic to blindly follow such a man when his own conscience tells him there are serious problems with the bishop's policy or decision, well, wouldn't that be a sin in itself?

I would agree that the laity should have a larger role in most decision-making processes, but having a role in the process is not the same thing as making the decision.

One of the reason's I fully expect the Bishop's school reorganization plan to ultimately fall flat on its face (just as the last one did) is his refusal to recognize this blatantly obvious fact. By totally ignoring the primary stakeholders in the MCCS System he has alienated a large segment of them to the point where they no longer feel any real ownership in the system. Under those circumstances disaster cannot be far away.

As for parish closings following school closings, I fear you are right on the money. I do not know of a single parish that has not gone into decline once it lost its school. Most of them are still open for business, but are mere shells of what they used to be. And a few, sadly, are gone.