Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This post writes itself

I was reading through some of the comments on Channel 10's story on the launching of this year's Catholic Ministries Appeal and was struck by how many people connected years of Catholic school closings with the fact that we now see so few young people in church.

Read them for yourself:

Gus R wrote,

This year's campaign targets young people. The bishop says that's a missing group in the church. I wonder why? The Bishop has closed half the schools. That means many have left with the kids and do not donate anymore and will not be back ...

The Bishop is now loosing a whole new generation for good. Go see the Fathers house in Chili. Many are from the Catholic church and are fed up. All young with young kids. The young are not being fed Bishop. You are in another world. They are leaving and will never be back. Why? Because you did not feed them ...

The only ones left are the old folks and they are dying off. The Catholic church in Rochester will die with the old folks as well. The Bishop has just about destroyed the church in Rochester. They young have suffered the most because many have lost half their money and have lost jobs. They need support from the church not a leach.

amerks55 added,

Our school was among the first wave of closings in 1992, We fought the bishop with every resource we had, and still lost. The deck was stacked and no matter what solution we offered, he had his mind made up. So what happens? 17 years later, our church is closing.

Why? We lost two generations of kids- the lifeblood of the parish! Without the kids to bring us all together, we floundered. Without the kids, there was no continuity- no new young adults to become members of the parish. Instead, folks scattered, looked for new schools, and supported that parish.

Clark doesn't GET IT. He is killing the diocese. Soon it won't be a matter of closing another school or church. Instead he will have to shut down the diocese. Nice going! Nice legacy, Matty!

And Simon chimed in with,

The bishop said our youth are not involved in the faith today. DUH, he closed the lifeline to almost all catholic parishes.

Yes, catholic schools were that lifeline. There were self-supporting parishes that He would not save.

I think the bishop and his advisors should donate their salaries for a year.

I guess I'm not the only one who believes that a diocese that refuses to find a way to keep its Catholic schools open is a diocese that has decided to commit suicide.


Anonymous said...

The Bishop and his advisers still haven't learned what their predecessors knew-the schools are the breeding grounds for new generations of practicing Catholics. The youth are the lifeblood of any church, and they need to be nurtured in their faith. The cost is irrelevant.

Tough economic times are no excuse, these schools survived the Great Depression. They just couldn't survive 30 years of a Bishop who was blind to his failures. He thought he knew better than the generations before him, and he was tragically wrong and too stubborn to admit it.
The Church will not die because of him, not even in the Diocese of Rochester. He doesn't wield such power. When the renewal comes I, for one, will still be here and will work to usher it in.

Mike said...


I don't want to sound overly pessimistic but we need to remember that the Catholic Church has over 2,200 of what is calls "Titular Sees" (see here).

Most of these were once active dioceses complete with laity, priests and a bishop but, for whatever reason, the faith died in those locations and they are now dioceses-in-name-only.

There is simply no guarantee that this could not happen in DOR (or anywhere else).

However, I am with you in hoping for a great renewal, once we have a bishop completely faithful to all the teachings of the Church.

We're wounded but, given an orthodox bishop and a faithful remnant, we will recover.

Anonymous said...

CathMom brings up a good point about the upcoming renewal of the Diocese of Rochester.

If the Vatican sends us an orthodox and dynamic Bishop, I have a feeling that we may see large numbers of fallen away Catholics start coming back to church.