Saturday, June 6, 2009

"We are by no means dead."

It looks like Holy Name of Jesus Parish is not ready to throw in the towel.

From their current bulletin ...

Dear Members of HNOJ,

As many of you know, there has been a Planning Group consisting of representatives of the six Eastern Greece/Charlotte parishes working on long term planning for our area.

The financial committee of this group has recommended to the larger group that both Holy Name of Jesus parish and Our Lady of Mercy parish be closed.

For me, people come first, and we will try to understand people's feelings and have compassion with the parishioners of both our parishes. It is important to emphasize that this recommendation comes from a committee of lay people and not from the priests or from the Diocese. This is a recommendation and not a final plan.

It will undergo further review before going to Bishop Clark. A member of our Holy Name of Jesus Finance Committee, Kathy Prystajko, is on that committee.

Kathy has written a very eloquent “minority report” that is strongly opposed to this recommendation.

Pursuant to that report:

Our Parish Council and I will recommend to the Planning Group that Holy Name of Jesus Church remain open.

We feel that our track record over the past two years has proved our ability not only to survive but to prosper.

While we know we can no longer justify having our own full-time priest, we are by no means dead. If we are supportive and do not "bail out" now, we can stay open and it can be a win-win situation.

Our future is in our hands, as we try to respond to the will of the Holy Spirit.

Sincerely, Father Gagnier

Tip: Interstate Catholic


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Interstate Catholic said...

Until I see the Our Lady of Mercy bulletin, I'm withholding judgment on whether Fr. G "favors" one church closing over the other.

Fr. Gagnier is one of the better priests in the DoR.

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Hellen said...

Interstate Catholic, I would be a little cautious in calling Fr. Gagnier "one of the better priests in the DoR".

Remember that while he was at St. Dominic, he allowed lay preachers to illegally co-preach the homily in the DoR misinterpreted dialogue homily. This is a provision which has been proven to be illicit by many lay persons and Canonical experts.

His community was the source of the now well-known letter on lay preaching from Bishop Clark. Here is the link if there is any doubt about what I say:

I can't consider a priest to be one of our better ones if he allowed a liturgical abuse such as lay preaching during the homily to occur at his parish. Maybe he has changed his views on this illegal practice, maybe not. But he did allow this at one point.

The fact that Fr. G has made this statement of support in the Holy Name of Jesus bulletin and not in the Our Lady of Mercy bulletin is troubling, and may reveal that he is going to push harder for one church to remain open over the other, or may not even make much of an effort to save Mercy. I am going to guess that he lives at the Holy Name site. If true, he probably does not want to have to move down the road, so he may have an interest in staying where is he currently. If Fr. G is the leader of two parishes, which he is, it is wrong of him to rally up support or offer support for one and not the other.

Interstate Catholic said...

I said better, not perfect (ha-ha).

If projected attendance and revenues are a sign of what is to stay open and what is to close in the DoR, then the mother church (cathedral) is in trouble.

Interstate Catholic said...

Just read the OLM bulletin online. Nothing about the closing recomendations.

But they are doing away with their religious education for the youth, sending them to the other churches in the planning group. Not a good sign.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Gangier has made up his mind already. HN of J is his parish, and OLM is just an added responsibility that he doesn't want to have.

How low to support the other church behind the backs of the OLM folks though. Disgusting. No wonder they use two separate bulletins when most clusters use just one.

Mike said...

Anon. 5:10,

I wouldn't know whom Fr. G. favors, if anyone.

But regarding the bulletin issue, OLM and HNOJ are NOT clustered. They are independent parishes sharing the services of one pastor.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:10,

Welcome to what the rest of the churches in the diocese have been experiencing for years. Clustering is a no win situation.

Jose said...


I don't know all the details but Fr. G became Pastor of HNOJ about 2 or more years ago. It was only late last year that he was assigned to pastor at OLM together with HNOJ (and it wasn't something he asked for). I know that from the start, he has been working really hard to turn around HNOJ.

So, I don't think he is choosing one over the other, he is standing behind his original parish.

Tyler H. Marshall said...

Fr. Gangier should at least come forward to the OLM folk and admit that he is backing HN. Or maybe he doesn't want a parishioner revolt that their priest is rooting for the competition.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the pastor of St. Charles in Greece help Fr. Gagnier in running Our Lady of Mercy? Not in saying mass but in the administration of the parish. I remember reading that somewhere.