Friday, July 25, 2008

Father Joan and Sister Tyman

Those of you who are not regular readers of Rich Leonardi's Ten Reasons will likely have missed an eye-opening report on the transfer of pastoral leadership at Rochester's St. Anne Church. The account, reproduced below, is in the form of a comment to Rich's June 13 post on DOR's Theology On Tap program and comes from a former member of St. Anne.

Rich adds his own observations on Anonymous' comment here.

At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a PAST member of Saint Anne's Church, (having just recently left) and I did so because of the blatant audacity of the woman newly in charge, Sr. Joan Sobala.

At the "third informational meeting" held before she was officially acting as the administrator, she made 2 statements, in front of a good size representation of the congregation, when asked if some of the previous traditional liturgical practices would remain the same at Saint Anne's. She replied, "I AM what I AM and it IS what it IS".

When asked about wanting to become a priest, she announced quite boldly, "It is no secret that since 1975, I have wanted to become a priest." When asked by a parishoner if she understood that this was against the acceptance of the Catholic Church, she told the parishoner that he was "out of line". This was very confusing to many of us, as we still cannot figure out exactly what or who, it IS she THINKS she IS.

The running joke now is that "Father Joan" and "Sister Tyman" are running this parish.

(Incidentally, in his welcoming address printed in the church bulletin,) Father Tyman, as he mandates being called, (and does not EVER want to be referred to as Father Gary,) stated that one could call him Gary, or Father Tyman, but never Father Gary; reason being that one would never think to call their OWN doctor by his or her first name, preceded by his or her title. I beg to differ, as some of the most famous doctors and clergy are called by "Dr." followed by their first names, such as "Dr. Phil", "Dr. Laura", and of course, Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, Saint Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint Anne and the list goes on.

The final straw was when Sister ("Wanna-be-Father") Joan mandated that a very strategic handicapped parking space located in the front of the church was altered to now read, "Reserved" instead of holding the universal handicapped symbol, as once was. There are many ample parking spaces at Saint Anne's. We are all wondering why Sr. Joan had the RIGHT to "RESERVE" a very necessary parking space that once allowed a handicapped person, to utilize the convenience of parking closer to the church; to now be able to make it HER space, because she refuses to walk a few more feet to get to the church. Is it all because she is "getting off" on the fact that she is, in fact "the boss" as she has so often referred to herself? I may be wrong, but I think there is a violation hiding in there, somewhere. Maybe the Americans with Disabilities Act people should be contacted, and maybe she should be put in her audacious place, once and for all.

Last but not least, on that fateful June 24th day, when there was the very sad but true, "out with the old, in with the new" situation going on, Father Tyman unloaded his personal affects, even before the other two priests were even out of the building. It was 2 in the afternoon, a moving truck was parked in the parking lot and there were Oriental rugs going in, antique furniture, and more things too numerous to mention, that did not resemble the trappings of a priest in residence. What happened to the vow of poverty?

Of course, Sr. Joan did NOT move in, as she is presently living in the RECTORY at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. As any one who knows that church can tell you, there is a very accommodating convent located right on the grounds of the church proper. It is now the situation that no other priest can live in that rectory because of the fact that a woman is living there. Lights and heat and cool air and water for one person living in a whole big rectory? What a waste of money for the DOR. (But of course, closing 13 schools was inevitable.)

My theory is this: there has to be SOMETHING that is being HIDDEN in the Diocese of Rochester. Someone knows SOMETHING, and has threatened to tell it all, if their needs were NOT met. What ELSE could it be, for God's sake! No man in the role of Bishop could ever justify all the lack of judgement that THIS man has shown in the past few months, without having a noose around his neck, waiting for it to be tightened, if he doesn't play the "acceptance" game.

Update: Fr. Z over at What Does The Prayer Really Say has put up a similar post that thus far (1:30 AM Saturday) has garnered some 63 comments. Some of them are quite insightful.


CathParent said...

I think the Bishop is purposely doing this. He's close enough to retirement that he no longer has anything to lose. He's going to promote as many women as he can because he believes that the Church should be that way.
It seems to me that he exacerbated the problem with too few priests by turning away men who had legitimate callings (I know of three who are now priests elsewhere).
He's at the end of his ministry and hasn't been able to make any headway in his quest to change the Church from within. It's his last chance to force his agenda down everyone's throats.
It's no accident that the schools which were left open happen to be in less conservative parishes, either.

Anonymous said...
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CathParent said...

I met a former St. Ann parishioner who moved to a neighboring (more traditional) parish because he no longer felt like he was going to Mass!

Anonymous said...
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Mike said...

CathParent & Dr. K.,

See the Update I just added to the bottom of the post.

- Mike