Sunday, September 21, 2014

"State of the Parish" and "Increased Giving" in the Archdiocese of New York

Do Pastors Feel Sheepish?  Maybe they should.

Last week some devout Catholics of my acquaintance received a mailing; a roughly 6"x 8" cardstock inviting them to specific Masses at their parish of contribution in order to hear a "State of the Parish" address.  With "Making All Things New" hanging over the archdiocese like the sword of Damocles, this advance mailing created suspense, even among the not endangered.

I attended Mass last evening to kill this suspense.  The big reveal was the presentation of the Archdiocese of New York "Increased Giving" campaign.  Apparently the "tax" levied on parishes by the archdiocese is increasing, as are other expenses, so pastors have been directed to urge the dwindling faithful to contribute more in a systematic way, which leads me to a hail of bullet points:
  • Closed churches and schools have been sold for millions since 2007 including the soon-to-be demolished Our Lady of Vilnius.
  • Making All Things New will close 60-100 parishes, no doubt creating more real estate revenue.
  • Many church closures will be attributed to "dwindling attendance" and "structural instability" - things that could have been addressed the archdiocese before they became rationales for closures.
  • St. Patrick's Cathedral is undergoing a $200 million dollar renovation.
  • They are paying at least one consulting firm  for strategies and euphemisms.  Couldn't they conserve funds by assembling a brain trust of Roman Catholic volunteers in the "Capital of the World?"
They are scattering communities and breaking hearts.  Now they are asking for more from the least.   For the sake of the Church, get real with us, the laity. 

1 comment:

Ellen Halloran said...

Those five bullet points are right on target!