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.
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.