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The faithful rattled by planned closing of three Catholic churches in Bridgeport
Connecticut Post ^ | October 8, 2011 | John Burgeson

Posted on 10/09/2011 1:19:05 PM PDT by Alex Murphy

BRIDGEPORT -- From Boston to Chicago, from Vermont to Maryland, scores of Catholic churches are closing as bishops juggle the needs of the faithful with the harsh realities of empty pews and dwindling contributions.

That reality hit home this month with the announcement that three Roman Catholic churches in Bridgeport -- out of a total of 16 in the city -- will all but close by mid-January: St. Raphael's, Holy Rosary and St. Ambrose. The announcement was a bitter pill to swallow for those who have gone to the three churches for decades.

"I think we're getting a raw deal," said Mike Rodriguez, outside of Mass last Sunday at St. Ambrose. He has been attending Mass there for nearly 20 years. "They could have given us more time. We can make it work. The people here are devastated."

He's not alone. Many parishioners from the churches affected said they were upset by the announcement.

St. Ambrose, Holy Rosary and St. Raphael will have to open at least once a month to preserve their tax-exempt status, church officials said. They will be open for funerals, weddings and the like, but that was little comfort for some congregants.

"I just feel it's pure greed," said Pat Rinko after Mass at St. Ambrose. "How can you just take people's churches away? Why would they send me to a church in Stratford? Nobody understands why."

The scene was similar outside of Holy Rosary on the city's East Side, a block from Washington Park.

"I've been coming here forever -- since I was a little girl," said Jean Daniels.

Daniels still attends Holy Rosary even though she has lived in Trumbull for years.

"When my parents first came here, it was a wooden church," she said. "They were married here. Nobody here is happy anymore."

Holy Rosary parishioners have formed a committee and consulted a lawyer to determine if any action can be taken to prevent the closing of their church, according to church members.

Parishioner Antoinette Piantedosi said closing St. Raphael, where she has been attending since the 1940s, "doesn't make any sense." She said the 12:30 Mass in Spanish is packed, and there are families with small children, who are the future of the church.

Bridgeport diocesan officials didn't release attendance figures, but they did say that baptism numbers have plummeted. At Holy Rosary, only 18 babies were baptized over the last three years; in the 1960s, that number would have been in the triple digits.

"It's always hurtful to the people it's happening to, but these closures in Bridgeport are certainly more limited than it might have been," said Paul Lakeland, professor of religious studies at Fairfield University. "Catholics don't go to church every week like they used to. Today we're seeing about 25 percent of Catholics go to church at least once a week, quite a significant drop-off from what it was 50 years ago."

It was a different picture back in the 1960s.

"Back then, every Mass was packed," said Charles Brilvitch, the city's former historian and a lifelong city resident. "You'd walk into church and it was standing-room only."

BRIDGEPORT ISN'T ALONE

Bridgeport might consider itself lucky that only three churches are closing for Mass. In Cleveland, for example, 50 Roman Catholic churches have been shuttered or combined in the last five years, and one has been razed; others may be torn down, too. At its peak, Cleveland had 224 parishes; only 174 remain today. The story is the same in many cities of the Northeast and the Midwest's Rust Belt. In July, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis said it will close four of the 14 churches in Terre Haute by the end of 2012.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has closed seven churches since 2000. In North Pownal, Vt., Our Lady of Lourdes celebrated its last Mass on Oct. 1.

In Springfield, Mass., parishioners have been staging a sit-in protest after the Diocese of Springfield, Mass., announced it plans to close the Mater Dolorosa Church in Holyoke. More Roman Catholic churches there are set to close. Ten churches in the western part of Massachusetts were shuttered on Jan. 1.

Closer to home, the Diocese of Norwich has begun an eight-month study on closing some of its shoreline parishes between East Lyme and the Rhode Island line. And it's expected that officials in the Bridgeport diocese will soon begin looking hard at other poorly-attended Catholic churches in Fairfield County.

DODGING THE AX

Surprisingly to some, one church that escaped the padlock was Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church. It towers over the East Side and arguably has the most beautiful and ornate interior of any church in the city. It opened in 1907 as a Slovak church; today, it's the last one in the city that offers a Latin Mass.

Much of the neighborhood it once served no longer exists. The Father Panik Village housing project across the street was cleared away in the early 1990s. And a few blocks to the south, scores of homes and apartments were leveled for the long-awaited Steelpointe Harbor project that city officials maintain will eventually be built.

"Back in the 1950s and '60s, it was a different city," said Msgr. Jerald A. Doyle of the Diocese of Bridgeport. "Sts. Cyril & Methodius is a big church with a very small congregation, but Msgr. (Joseph) Pekar is doing a great job there. It's the only place in the city that has the Latin Mass. So as long as he's doing that, we're able to sustain it."

That Latin Mass, Sundays at 10:15 a.m., is attracting the faithful from the suburbs, church officials say, even though the church is in one of the most beleaguered parts of Bridgeport.

CATHEDRAL PARISH

Along with the church closings, there are other changes as well. St. Augustine Cathedral, the mother church of the Bridgeport diocese on Washington Avenue, is being merged with St. Patrick, about a mile away on North Avenue. Both will remain open, but staffs will be consolidated where possible. Both will still have Mass on Sundays and other days of the week.

"The goal is to be more efficient and build things up," said Brian Wallace, the spokesman for the Diocese of Bridgeport. "St. Patrick's is a beautiful church that was restored recently. Now, when the bishop has a diocesan-wide liturgy and it's packed with people from all over Fairfield County, it'll work really well to give the people from the St. Augustine's Cathedral the option of having Mass there instead."

The union of St. Augustine and St. Patrick will be called the Cathedral Parish under the realignment.

Also merging will be two North End churches, Our Lady of Good Council and St. Andrew. Our Lady of Good Council will remain open, and it will retain its name, but it will be a chapel of St. Andrew's.

"The bishop would like to see people pull together and work out some of these details themselves," Wallace said. "We have to understand that Bishop (William E.) Lori inherited an infrastructure that's about a hundred years old. Now it's the 21st century."

Doyle, who was reared in Bridgeport, notes it's not just the Catholic churches that have empty pews.

"Just about all of the mainline churches are struggling in the city," he said. "In the 1950s, factories like GE and Remington employed thousands. Now, that's all gone."

HISTORIC ROOTS

As with many Catholic churches in the city, Holy Rosary Church, in the city's East End, was established in the early 20th century. The present church was completed in 1932; it was first established in 1903 in what was then the Diocese of Hartford. Through much of its history, Italian-Americans made up most of the congregation, although this is no longer the case. It was formerly known as the "Holy Rosary Italian Catholic Church," according to records.

The Diocese of Bridgeport was established in 1953, the year the Holy Rosary celebrated its 50th anniversary. The attached Holy Rosary School, established in 1961, will remain open, as will the schools attached to St. Ambrose and St. Raphael.

St. Ambrose Church, established in 1928 in the Mill Hill district in the city's upper East End, is sometimes called the "Church on the Hill." It was dedicated on April 14, 1940. Its parish school, which will remain open, was dedicated in 1951. It was named after St. Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan who lived 340 to 397.

St. Raphael was dedicated on Dec. 12, 1926, but it was almost entirely rebuilt in 1953, and there was a major renovation about a decade ago. It was named after Raphael, who in the Christian faith is one of the seven Archangels who stand before the throne of the Lord.

Those who now attend both Holy Rosary and St. Raphael will be asked to attend Mass at the Shrine of St. Margaret on Park Avenue.

NOT THE FIRST TO CLOSE

The last Roman Catholic church in Bridgeport to close was St. John Nepomucene on the East Side, on the corner of Brooks and Jane streets. It closed in November 1991, and its dwindling parish was merged with Holy Name in Stratford. It's still owned by the diocese, but it's now operated by the Victory Outreach Church. In return, Victory Outreach is taking care of the building, according to its pastor, Patrick Robbers.

In February 1991, the diocese shuttered St. Anthony on Colorado Avenue in the West End. That parish was merged with St. Peter's, a few blocks up the street, and the small, wooden church just south of State Street was razed.

The closing of St. Anthony was not met with much resistance. After its final Mass, its icons were marched up Colorado Avenue to St. Peter's in what could be described as a celebration.

FINANCING THE FAITH

Many faith communities, including some Catholic parishes, are thriving. But many are not. Wether its a diocese with hundreds of parishes or a storefront church next door to a bodega, those in charge are painfully aware of the fact that income largely comes from voluntary donations. Churches can't take their flocks to court for not contributing.

"This is a problem that many, many Christian denominations have faced," said Brian Bodt, president of the Greater Bridgeport Council of Churches.

"In my own faith, Methodist, we used to have at least six churches in Bridgeport in 1969 and today we have two. I know that Bishop Lori was giving it a lot of thought and study," Bodt said. "It's always extremely hard for the people who go to a church that has to close."

For local members who have tied their identities to a particular church for decades, the news of its impending demise hits hard.

"When I first came here 15 years ago -- I had been away from church for awhile -- the sun was shining in on the alter and there were a couple sparrows that had somehow gotten inside that were flying around the altar -- it was almost magical," said Pat Rinko last Sunday outside of St. Ambrose, tears welling up in her eyes. "When Father Dennis hugged me, well, that did it for me. It's like a family here -- the happy times, the sad times, everyone is here for you."


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic
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Bridgeport diocesan officials didn't release attendance figures, but they did say that baptism numbers have plummeted. At Holy Rosary, only 18 babies were baptized over the last three years; in the 1960s, that number would have been in the triple digits.

"It's always hurtful to the people it's happening to, but these closures in Bridgeport are certainly more limited than it might have been," said Paul Lakeland, professor of religious studies at Fairfield University. "Catholics don't go to church every week like they used to. Today we're seeing about 25 percent of Catholics go to church at least once a week, quite a significant drop-off from what it was 50 years ago."

It was a different picture back in the 1960s.

"Back then, every Mass was packed," said Charles Brilvitch, the city's former historian and a lifelong city resident. "You'd walk into church and it was standing-room only"....

....Many faith communities, including some Catholic parishes, are thriving. But many are not. Wether its a diocese with hundreds of parishes or a storefront church next door to a bodega, those in charge are painfully aware of the fact that income largely comes from voluntary donations. Churches can't take their flocks to court for not contributing.

1 posted on 10/09/2011 1:19:08 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

..must not comment...You’re KILLING me here!


2 posted on 10/09/2011 1:27:57 PM PDT by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
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To: Alex Murphy; Absolutely Nobama; Elendur; it_ürür; Bockscar; Mary Kochan; Bed_Zeppelin; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.


3 posted on 10/09/2011 1:33:15 PM PDT by narses ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." Chesterton)
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To: smvoice
I don't know what the OP's motive is but this paragraph is music to my ears:

Surprisingly to some, one church that escaped the padlock was Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church. It towers over the East Side and arguably has the most beautiful and ornate interior of any church in the city. It opened in 1907 as a Slovak church; today, it's the last one in the city that offers a Latin Mass.

Sorry to hear about the others, though.

4 posted on 10/09/2011 1:35:14 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
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To: Alex Murphy

Many of you don’t go to church and you’re making fewer babies. Want some cheese with that whine?


5 posted on 10/09/2011 1:41:42 PM PDT by AlaskaErik (I served and protected my country for 31 years. Progressives spent that time trying to destroy it.)
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To: smvoice

Not surprising. The population of Bridgeport has declined by 15% and the white population by 30%: all the Irish and Italians have headed for the suburbs - it’s not as if all these parishioners have decided to become Warren/Osteen clowns.


6 posted on 10/09/2011 1:55:44 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Alex Murphy

I wonder if the local bishop would be willing to accept the idea of a sole corporation Catholic church “accessory or missionary” and separate from his sole corporation diocesan property?

That is, it would be separate from the diocese property, and thus insulated against any debts or judgments against it, and would have special rules, perhaps with services by “visiting clergy”, or affiliation, but not ownership to a religious order.

A real blend, in other words. Part private chapel, part monastic annex, part church, operated and managed by a board of directors, under guidance from the bishop, etc.

A single wealthy person might be the owner of the private corporation, with the idea that there are not enough regular congregants to support a whole church, but enough so that travel for them would be burdensome.


7 posted on 10/09/2011 1:58:55 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: smvoice

Yet, I understand that Seminaries are full... Can we turn this around? It seems to me that we need to double down on high school and college, instill a new set of values in the youth (rather than parties and electronic gadgets). I heard a little bit about that at Mass this morning. We have a very successful, exceptional Catholic school system in inner city Milwaukee run by the Capuchins. A school system within a school system, so to speak. They just announced that they were going to start emphasizing education for everyone in the schools (K through 12) rather than just the brightest. I’m not sure quite what Father (a visiting priest) meant, but I’m sure that I will hear more about it as the year goes on.

We are in the suburbs, and we seem to lose many of the young people as they go to college. They relocate to other cities upon graduation and don’t come back to church until their children are ready for the sacraments — if then. They are chasing the almighty dollar, rather than save their souls.


8 posted on 10/09/2011 2:00:27 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Alex Murphy

“...the harsh realities of empty pews and dwindling contributions.”


9 posted on 10/09/2011 2:06:55 PM PDT by verity (The Obama Administration is a Criminal Enterprise.)
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To: verity

..and yet the Vatican takes in $200 MILLION a week from the United States..


10 posted on 10/09/2011 2:08:24 PM PDT by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Well, the Church is not a building. It is a body of believers. Why not meet in each other’s houses, like they did when the church was in its infancy? What would be wrong with that?


11 posted on 10/09/2011 2:13:45 PM PDT by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
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To: Alex Murphy

There used to be a lot of Irish and Italians and other Catholics in Bridgeport. As in many other cities, most of them moved or were driven out by an influx of blacks, during the period of forced integration.

These used to be neighborhood churches, in basically all-Catholic neighborhoods. Now the ethnic neighborhoods have been destroyed. That’s the chief reason why attendance is down so much.

There are a few black Catholics, but not many. So the neighborhoods are no longer Catholic. Something has got to give, but of course, no one wants it to be THEIR church, and you can’t really blame them. But that’s the way it is.


12 posted on 10/09/2011 2:18:00 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius.)
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To: smvoice

200 million a week?

That’s all ?


13 posted on 10/09/2011 2:24:02 PM PDT by Popman (Obama is God's curse upon the land....)
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To: smvoice

Not enough priests. Besides, we already have the churches, why not fill them again?


14 posted on 10/09/2011 2:48:44 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Well, because of the price of the upkeep of those churches. Not enough priests? Just what would be involved in having services at home? I’m curious. What steps would need to be taken in order to meet at someone’s house?


15 posted on 10/09/2011 2:53:11 PM PDT by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
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To: smvoice
” What steps would need to be taken in order to meet at someone’s house?”

Simply, since priests do have masses at parishioners homes from time to time, nothing.

The priest will bring his traveling case which contains a chalice and hosts. The wine is supplied as is the water which must be added to the wine. It signifies Christ's nature, human and divine.

That's it.

Mass has been said at my home once in the past.

We have Small Christian Communities which meet at homes as well as prayer and bible studies which meet at home.

As far as the churches, I know of many other denominations that have closed doors because the demographics have changed. Detroit is a case in point because of the many immigrants from Islam.

Most parishes are kept up by the parishioners. Our parish has its cleaning, repair, maintenance and grounds done by the parish members.

Interestingly enough, my husband and our friend painted a Pentecostal rectory, or whatever you call the minister's home for free and did repairs gratis.

They did it because their Pentecostal friend was unable to help because of illness and the congregation is old.

Some people do believe that Christians should help other Christians.

16 posted on 10/09/2011 3:22:59 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: smvoice

BTW, Mass is WORSHIP is it not something singular.

It is the highest form of adoration.

The mass at my home was for an extraordinary purpose.
Sunday mass is the gathering of all the community for the purpose of adoring the God.


17 posted on 10/09/2011 3:31:34 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: Alex Murphy

We haven’t had any Churches close here... yet! We have seen several parochial elementary schools close though. That certainly doesn’t bode well for the future of the Church.

My wife is pastor of a small Methodist Church and has been tormented by the decline in attendance there. I spent an hour or so talking with her Bishop a couple of years ago and he indicated that Churches of all denominations have the same problem.

Perhaps the time is coming...


18 posted on 10/09/2011 3:48:32 PM PDT by oldfart (Obama nation = abomination. Think about it!)
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To: smvoice

“..and yet the Vatican takes in $200 MILLION a week from the United States”

Where is your cite for that because I have 2010’s figures which are:

The 2010 financial report for the Holy See yielded some good news for a change when it was published last weekend. This is Peter’s Pence collection from the worldwide churches which is done once a year.

For the last three years the Vatican had made a succession of losses but for the 2010 financial year the Holy See... total revenue of €245.2 million against total expenses of €235.3 million.

http://www.cinews.ie/article.php?artid=8718


19 posted on 10/09/2011 3:52:18 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: OpusatFR; Alex Murphy

Alex, you posted a thread last week about the Catholic Church..part of the article talked about the $200 million a week the Vatican receives from the U.S. Do you know which thread that was?


20 posted on 10/09/2011 3:57:14 PM PDT by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
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To: Alex Murphy; smvoice
It's a problem of demographics. Many large inner-city churches which were built by and for large inner-city populations all have trouble. In the Episcopal Church many such churches are hugely endowed and virtually autonomous. In the Catholic Church, most parishes in a diocese belong to the Bishop. So he has a responsibility to deploy his assets where the need is greatest.

On the one hand, bishops are not always very good at this. On the other, parishioners should acquaint themselves with reality. I know when I make a gift in support of the "fabric" of my parish, I am really making a gift. I forsake control utterly. and when I make a gift in support of the priory we are building it is the same thing, except that the Dominican province has control, not the bishop.

When you give and expect something in return, we call that a purchase. When you give and renounce all claim to what you have given or to any consideration, that's a gift.

I think giving is a good thing to do.

21 posted on 10/09/2011 4:01:28 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Jesus, I trust in you.)
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To: Mad Dawg

So why not meet in houses? Like the early Church did?


22 posted on 10/09/2011 4:06:37 PM PDT by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
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To: smvoice

This is it and you may have misread the piece which states:

“Another myth is that the Vatican is ultra-wealthy, he said. The ANNUAL operating budget of the Vatican City State is $270 million, he said, comparing that with the annual operating budget of Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana which is $1.2 billion.

The Catholic Church in the United States collects $200 million a week, almost enough in a week to fund the Vatican for a year, he said.”

http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/exploding-myths-about-the-vatican/

The Catholic Church in the US does not send the Vatican $200 million a week.

The article states that $200 million is enough to fund the Vatican for one year which if you go back to my post, is close to the amount of revenue from worldwide collection of Peter’s Pence, a little over $200million PER YEAR.


23 posted on 10/09/2011 4:09:41 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: smvoice

“So why not meet in houses?”

Because I don’t have enough chairs.


24 posted on 10/09/2011 4:11:08 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: OpusatFR

I apologize. I did misread the piece. And thank you for correcting it. It did seem a HUGE amount of money to be sending there when there are Catholic Churches here in desperate need of repair. Once again, please accept my apology.


25 posted on 10/09/2011 4:15:00 PM PDT by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
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To: OpusatFR

O.K. THAT was funny! LOL!


26 posted on 10/09/2011 4:16:31 PM PDT by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
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To: smvoice; verity; Absolutely Nobama; Elendur; it_ürür; Bockscar; Mary Kochan; Bed_Zeppelin; ...
..and yet the Vatican takes in $200 MILLION a week from the United States..
Facts are not negotiable. smvoice may have been trying to be accurate, but not so much.

Veteran reporter debunks myths surrounding the Vatican

Another myth is that the Vatican is ultra-wealthy, he said. The annual operating budget of the Vatican City State is $270 million, he said, comparing that with the annual operating budget of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., which is $1.2 billion. The Catholic Church in the United States collects $200 million a week, almost enough to fund the Vatican for a year, he said.

27 posted on 10/09/2011 4:16:57 PM PDT by narses ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." Chesterton)
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To: narses

Yes, and I’ve already apologized to Opus for my mistake.


28 posted on 10/09/2011 4:18:24 PM PDT by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
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To: smvoice

Indeed, good for you.


29 posted on 10/09/2011 4:19:11 PM PDT by narses ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." Chesterton)
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To: steve86
I don't know what the OP's motive is...

Not sure, but the OP seems to me to be obsessed with all things Catholic, while saying little to nothing about his own faith. Something wierd about that. Also has appeared not to like it when people talk about him and not ping him.

30 posted on 10/09/2011 4:19:54 PM PDT by Hacksaw (I don't hate Mormons. Is that okay?)
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To: smvoice

You may not know that our little ones are at Mass with us. We do not have a “crying room” at our parish and our pastor is of the belief that the little ones are Christ’s own babies.

There is a crunching of cheerios or whatever crackers going on with them, the yells of “Wass dat, Daddy, wassdat?”

Cleaning the pews during the week can get interesting. ~and they are very gummy sometimes from gummy bears and other sticky candies.

We have a lot of babies and young children.

So no, not at my house!


31 posted on 10/09/2011 4:25:55 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: smvoice

My parish did meet in a house 50 years ago. It grew. We now number 3011 families — Catholic families — and over a thousand university students (latest number on students — it just bumped up over 100 more than in August) and that’s just those who take the trouble to register.

We have 6 masses a weekend, 7 if you count the church 20 miles away which the friars also serve. There are two other Catholic parishes in our city of 40k+. I don’t know their numbers but I do know the few times I’ve gone it was hard to get a seat.

Our parish is SRO on what we call the “last chance Mass” 5:15 Sunday PM and often at the 9:00 and the 11:30 Masses. Christmas and Easter are ridiculous. There are 72 large pews (it’s almost a “church-in-the-round”, sort of a church-in-the-’U’) and we’ve just commissioned another row of pews and benches around the back.

The new building is maybe 12 years old and the pews are already falling apart while we need a new floor in the meeting room of the education and office wing which is like 8 years old.

This Place is JUMPING! After Saturday AM Mass, Rosary, Morning Prayer, and confessions, there was a meeting of our “chapter” of Lay Dominicans. A choir was rehearsing, there were two weddings, and at least one other meeting going on.

So a house wouldn’t do it. We’ve got over 40 lay-lead ministries ranging from Bible studies, shut-in care, to helping our ‘companion parish’ in Haiti, which includes a church, a school and a feeding program. We hand-tie string rosaries (they don’t rattle) for Catholic troops in the CZ, we provide tutors and study materials for a local public elementary school, we go cook at the Salvation army and supply food to local food banks .... I could go on and on.

Nope, a house wouldn’t do any more.


32 posted on 10/09/2011 4:26:12 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Jesus, I trust in you.)
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To: OpusatFR

And how many chairs were at the Loaves and Fishes? :)


33 posted on 10/09/2011 4:26:12 PM PDT by narses ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." Chesterton)
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To: Alex Murphy
Does the Catholic faith teach the principle of tithing?

Also...Of the Catholic schools that were left open how many of the students are Catholic? How many are non-Catholic? And...Of those who are not Catholic, how many later convert to Catholicism? Is the Catholic Church neglecting the evangelizing of the Catholic children living in the suburbs.

Were you aware that in Wichita, Kansas, that all Catholic children are offered a tuition-free Catholic K-12 education? If they can do this, why aren't other Catholic dioceses?

Finally....It is my opinion, for Christians of all denominations, that the **most** important mission field is one’s **own** children first. The next most important mission field is the children of their congregation. When those two areas are fully attended to then they can spend time and resources on other missionary work.

34 posted on 10/09/2011 4:27:26 PM PDT by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: Mad Dawg; smvoice

“This Place is JUMPING”

That is just it!

The Church, the building houses our FAMILY. The Church is my home. I am there meeting, praying, adoring several hours a week. Our church is not locked during the day. It is never locked during the day.

Mass begins at 7am and the church is open. It is locked after 9pm, but the Adorers who are in Chapel, open the door for the next hourly adorer and that goes on round the clock until 7am the next morning.


35 posted on 10/09/2011 4:34:05 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: narses

D00d! “There was much grass in the place, so the -people sat down.” Oh, wow!


36 posted on 10/09/2011 4:36:23 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Jesus, I trust in you.)
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To: Mad Dawg
I'm not talking about the ones that are JUMPING! I'm talking about the ones who are crumbling, with few attendees.

And yours does sound like a jumpin' place! :)

37 posted on 10/09/2011 4:39:53 PM PDT by smvoice (The Cross was NOT God's Plan B.)
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To: Mad Dawg

I wish you’d note John after that statement because I really had a hard time wrapping my head around “Dood - there was much grass in that place..”


38 posted on 10/09/2011 4:44:31 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: OpusatFR

Yeah, it’s a weird day when I don’t make the 20 mile haul to my parish for something or other.

We don’t have “perpetual” adoration yet. We do one stretch from 8:00 Wed to 1700 Thu every week and we have adoration from Ash Wednesday to the Triduum Sacrum. But we’re not there yet.

God willing, I’m making life promises as a Dominican this January and there may be a move in my future. I’d like to spend some time helping sow and strengthen chapters of Lay Dominicans, especially in diocese with liberal bishops. We need to provide refuges for people who want to worship Jesus, and bases from which good teaching can be spread.

But if I DO move, I’m going to miss this place. We are building the first priory built in the US in 40+ years! At a large university! This could turn out to be important.


39 posted on 10/09/2011 4:47:49 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Jesus, I trust in you.)
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To: Mad Dawg

“God willing, I’m making life promises as a Dominican this January ...”

You will now be in my daily prayers for this intention. Thank you, what a great promise.


40 posted on 10/09/2011 4:50:42 PM PDT by narses ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." Chesterton)
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To: smvoice
Yup.

Every penny goes right to the Vatican bank.

/s

41 posted on 10/09/2011 4:51:02 PM PDT by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: OpusatFR

LOL. It’s a “dynamically equivalent” translation. Or it is if you’re a stoner (or work for the NAB.)


42 posted on 10/09/2011 4:59:17 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Jesus, I trust in you.)
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To: smvoice

Catholics need an ordained priest to preside over services. Yes, we can have services in homes, but that would be to smaller groups. There just aren’t enough priests to go around. A priest is only allowed to say 2 Masses per day, unless extreme circumstances dictate a dispensation.

In the 1960s (after Vatican 2) we did have home Masses where someone would volunteer their home and invite their neighbors. But, as far as I remember, those Masses were on weekday evenings. They did not count for Sundays.

And we’d still have the cost of upkeep for the buildings. The Church does not allow Catholic churches to just be abandoned. They can be sold with permission of the bishop, if a suitable buyer can be found. A suitable buyer would be another congregation — even a Protestant congregation. But all of the sacred furnishings would need to be removed first.

I belong to a combined Parish, and we have 6 buildings to keep up — 2 churches, 2 rectories, and office building, and a school. The historic, smaller church is used only on Holy Days, weddings, and 1/2 of the weekday Masses. All Sunday Masses are held at the larger, more modern church. Believe me, there was a flap about that when it was announced. It costs $50,000 per year just to keep the snow plowed at all the locations.


43 posted on 10/09/2011 5:12:36 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: smvoice
There are practicalities that a "joint" "special purpose" building really helps with. For us, the Sacrament is 'reserved' and it's nice to have a lovely and secure place for that.

And generally, the big wave of Catholic immigration was to cities, where it made sense to have meeting places not only for worship but for mutual support.

And I think large churches are more fun. In my experience when you get over about 150 faithful families you can start having ministries to your community 'n stuff.

I do think home churches would be better than the kind of Shinto attachment to shrines that you get in some of these places, where money and effort go more to the 'fabric' than to anything resembling real witness.

But we do minister to the weak a LOT. I think it's heroic that y'all worship in homes. But for some of weaker faith, a building, while it can be a distraction -- even a fatal distraction, can also be a help.

I often say I learned about Beauty in my "growing-up" church (and other things, like self-discipline because I was an altar-boy) and it was through them that I began to learn about God -- who then graciously carried me to where I could turn to Him on metal chaise in cinder-block buildings or standing around in the large kitchen of a migrant worker camp. Poured concrete and nothing else.

But I started out on my knees 18" from some awesome textiles. I know I got my interest in textiles and weaving from my time as an altar boy. But I thank God that He kept whispering, "You think THAT's beautiful? Pshaw! That ain't nothing. I will SHOW you some Beauty: Look at my Son!"

44 posted on 10/09/2011 5:14:07 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Jesus, I trust in you.)
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To: narses

Thank you so very much, more than I can say.

I’ve submitted my petition. I go before council on 10/24 for an interview.

Mind you, one of the friars said, “Oh, don’t worry. We Dominicans will take ANYbody!” (Sometimes I think for the Lay Dominicans that may be true! If they take me, well then!)

It will have been 4.5 years. 6 months as an enquirer, 1 year as “received” (novice),3 years as temporary promised, and now usque ad mortem, D.V. Sometime around 1/28, Thomas Aquinas Day.


45 posted on 10/09/2011 5:20:49 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Jesus, I trust in you.)
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To: wintertime
Does the Catholic faith teach the principle of tithing?

It's not required but it is recommended often.

46 posted on 10/09/2011 5:23:26 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Jesus, I trust in you.)
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To: Mad Dawg

God’s Will, of course, but my prayers will be daily with you. I have a deep affection for the Dominicans, they have given so much to us all, for the love of God.


47 posted on 10/09/2011 5:52:50 PM PDT by narses ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." Chesterton)
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To: Mad Dawg

If I recall, I have been to that church a lot over the years, it’s one of the few that really preached about abortion. I remember one sermon that actually explained what the Church teaches on socialism. Very impressive parish.

You’ll be in my prayers as well.

Freegards


48 posted on 10/09/2011 6:01:55 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: Ransomed

You’ve been to Saint Thomas Aquinas in Charlottesville? Kewel!
(Okay,I just “outed” my location ... Tra la.)

When were you there?

We’ve had some great friars who did not hold back.


49 posted on 10/09/2011 6:54:35 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Jesus, I trust in you.)
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To: Mad Dawg

Well, I reckon you can always have a mod deleteth yon posting.

I was probably there 10- 20 times in the last 8 years. I believe we mentioned it before to eachother but in reference to another parish in C’Ville...

Freegards


50 posted on 10/09/2011 7:09:10 PM PDT by Ransomed
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