Signs of Success

Full story: WGRZ Buffalo 33
By Rich Kellman Senior Correspondent Catholic Bishop Edward Kmiec has been the target recently of heavy and often bitter criticism for downsizing and merging many parishes. Full Story
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LatinMassCatholi c

Buffalo, NY

#1 May 7, 2008
Rich Kellman should have prepared a cross-section of feedback from various, or at least a few parishes instead of just one, which ONLY shows a favorable light to the Bishop's closing & mergings. Few faithful feel this way; it was biased and one sided. the Bishop said nothing more than economics are priority over Evangelization. That's the problem. He denies being the hatchet man: that's true, since it is Regina Murphy and he was sent here merely to sign papers as a detached figurehead. His comment about the immigrants who built our churches was unfeeling; without them, who have indeed passed but left us churches to adore and worship God in, gave tirelessly and unselfishly so we could benefit spiritually from them today. Tradition is an anchor to the faith. If he keeps closings up, we will just re-build after he and Murphy have gone. I am sure he can do little further damage in retirement. Or her. I pray for them to melt their hearts and lead us rather than betray us for thirty pieces of silver. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy. Save us.
catholicsRpedoph iles

Buffalo, NY

#3 May 7, 2008
Glad more and more people are leaving this terrorist cult. Perhaps soon it will be completely gone.
Disappointed

Niagara Falls, NY

#4 May 7, 2008
In my opinion, if the story was meant to provide the Bishop with a better image, it did just the opposite. Further, it lessened my respect for Mr. Kellman as a reporter.

The story lacked objectivity and merely showed Channel 2's bias. They did not represent both sides to the story, but instead focused on the poster child of the Diocese which is the parish in Langford. Considering the number of parishes to merge, it would seem that there would be countless success stories. The fact that they need to continually focus on just this one parish tells the intelligent person that there has been very little success. If there was success, they would have many stories to tell.

The Bishop implied that Catholic Charities shortfall in contributions has not been impacted by the closings. The Bishop is either very naive or simply playing a game of promoting an image that is not the reality.

For the record, I support merging churches, however I feel that the Diocese of Buffalo handled it poorly. My opinion is not because I was disappointed in any particular sites closing, but because it lacked organization and leadership. This Bishop had the vision and I commend him for that, however he lacked the ability to lead his vision.

As for Mr. Kellman, I feel he either lacked the ability to report the story appropriately or he is merely playing a game himself. When one is willing to sell their soul as a reporter, I think it is time to step down.
CHANGE NEEDED

United States

#5 May 7, 2008
The root of the out of touch church leadership is that they did not deal with the child molester priests and have paid out over two billion dollars to victims. Now they downsize and lose the closeness of the community that they had. It will never be the same.
sad

Buffalo, NY

#6 May 7, 2008
Too long of an article.
Rachel

Buffalo, NY

#7 May 7, 2008
The problem isn't a shortage of priests or people moving out of the area in the Buffalo diocese , it's a problem of no faith on the part of the leadership and a lack of very poor cathechesis
over the last 40 years. Where are the young people at Mass ? There are presently 31 priests in this diocese without an assignment , why? The poor are the ones who lost there parishes , why ? There are plenty of religious orders that could supply priests if they were asked. The bishop hasn't been in half of the parishes in this diocese. Why not close the seminary that produces so few vocations and sell the bishops mansion on Oakland place? Penty of room for the bishop in the cthedral rectory where he doesn't do daily Mass.
another opinion

Brooklyn, NY

#8 May 7, 2008
Everyone wants their parish to stay open and close someone else's. As someone noted in previous msg that the young people are not there.
This religion will continue to dwindle in attendance due to its rigidity in issues that conflicts with other Christian religions especially with priests that can't marry, priests that can't be women, parishners that get divorced and cannot remarry in a church. Its not just the young its the middle aged people as well. I lived near 4 parishes in Depew/Lancaster that will merge into 2 parishes. It makes economical sense when you go to any of the masses and see them sparsely attended. I feel for the elderly that have made any of these churches their place of worship. Change for them is disheartening but necessary. Rich Kellman is a reporter that I respect for his work. Bishop K. is just doing what all the other bishops that preceded him refused to do on their watch. Its consistent with the politicians in this area that are the same way when facing reality in WNY.
Eucharistic Church

Lincoln, NE

#9 May 7, 2008
At first glance, the Church is confused by an equivalency with organization and communities like states, business, corporations and clubs. Whereas the latter are formed by rational consent for mutual interest according to principles of meeting natural and social goods, the Church is differentiated by Faith, Hope and Love. The Sacraments, especially the Eucharist is the centerpiece of Christ's Mystical Body, an extension of the Incarnation dwelling amongst believers. The Mass is the nexus of space-time and eternity whereby the faithful "partake of the divine". Grace flows through the Sacraments, sanctifying the human person in every dimension of his being from the body, emotions, mind and society. Anything else in the Church on the periphery of the Eucharist Sacrament should not be reduced to moving around an organizational chart into an ossified administrative bureauracy shuffling paperwork and a balance sheet.
not happy

Buffalo, NY

#10 May 7, 2008
I am very upset, along with alot of other parishoners who are members for over 50 yrs. at OLC in No Tonawanda NY. We are merging with St Josephs which is not an issue, what is is that the pastor of our church is being let go and we are recieving the pastor from St Joe's sho happened to be or pastor befoare. We were not crazy about him then, so why would you think we would want him again?! If there needs to be a change made with leadership, give us someone who is new to our area. Our parish deserves a pastor who is willing to work with the parishoners and not act like he is the main forcus of our church. We need to draw the younger peolple back and need someone who can accomplish that goal. A person who speaks about the gospel with a lesson and not someone who preaches to the choir, along with not alot of entertainment (singing - every little response) The younger people want to learn a lesson, not be entertained. Thanks for your concern.
another opinion

Brooklyn, NY

#11 May 7, 2008
not happy wrote:
I am very upset, along with alot of other parishoners who are members for over 50 yrs. at OLC in No Tonawanda NY. We are merging with St Josephs which is not an issue, what is is that the pastor of our church is being let go and we are recieving the pastor from St Joe's sho happened to be or pastor befoare. We were not crazy about him then, so why would you think we would want him again?! If there needs to be a change made with leadership, give us someone who is new to our area. Our parish deserves a pastor who is willing to work with the parishoners and not act like he is the main forcus of our church. We need to draw the younger peolple back and need someone who can accomplish that goal. A person who speaks about the gospel with a lesson and not someone who preaches to the choir, along with not alot of entertainment (singing - every little response) The younger people want to learn a lesson, not be entertained. Thanks for your concern.
I know what you are going through. I left a parish that has alot of money coming into it. But when the one pastor left and was replaced with somone similar to one that you describe. My wife and I left that parish. Being in Depew/Lancaster, we frequented the other 4 parishes until we found one that we were again comfortable with. Its hard for you to do this especially since you've established friends/family that you see every Sunday. But if this man / priest disrupts your relationship with God, what else is there to do?
another opinion

Brooklyn, NY

#12 May 7, 2008
Eucharistic Church wrote:
At first glance, the Church is confused by an equivalency with organization and communities like states, business, corporations and clubs. Whereas the latter are formed by rational consent for mutual interest according to principles of meeting natural and social goods, the Church is differentiated by Faith, Hope and Love. The Sacraments, especially the Eucharist is the centerpiece of Christ's Mystical Body, an extension of the Incarnation dwelling amongst believers. The Mass is the nexus of space-time and eternity whereby the faithful "partake of the divine". Grace flows through the Sacraments, sanctifying the human person in every dimension of his being from the body, emotions, mind and society. Anything else in the Church on the periphery of the Eucharist Sacrament should not be reduced to moving around an organizational chart into an ossified administrative bureauracy shuffling paperwork and a balance sheet.
A lot of information I agree with. But what is your point in this message?
Eucharistic Church

Lincoln, NE

#13 May 7, 2008
The discussion, mostly presented through the print and electronic media, usually focuses on demographics, finances and statistics. Such points become peripheral if not viewed within the integrative context of the Faith. The media has its empirical reporting role. The Church is more than factual. The Church through the Sacraments is the conduit of grace and faith, transforming nature, persons, community, culture and society. If the Church is regarded, especially within, as just another organizational entity administrating revenue by allocating resources, then, it is not surprising there has been a decline and diminishment along with population, economy and state. Organization and consolidation is probably a manifestation of a spiritual malnourishment. A return and reawakening in the faith of Eucharist is needed for such communal and personal sustenance. The active dimension of Church life has to be permeated by the contemplative dimension in liturgy and prayer. This is merely an observational opinion. Faith seeking understanding. Please, be free to fill in the gaps and make corrections. Thank you.
Say What

Niagara Falls, NY

#14 May 7, 2008
another opinion wrote:
Everyone wants their parish to stay open and close someone else's. As someone noted in previous msg that the young people are not there.
This religion will continue to dwindle in attendance due to its rigidity in issues that conflicts with other Christian religions especially with priests that can't marry, priests that can't be women, parishners that get divorced and cannot remarry in a church. Its not just the young its the middle aged people as well. I lived near 4 parishes in Depew/Lancaster that will merge into 2 parishes. It makes economical sense when you go to any of the masses and see them sparsely attended. I feel for the elderly that have made any of these churches their place of worship. Change for them is disheartening but necessary. Rich Kellman is a reporter that I respect for his work. Bishop K. is just doing what all the other bishops that preceded him refused to do on their watch. Its consistent with the politicians in this area that are the same way when facing reality in WNY.
Merging parishes and a botched process are two different issues. It has nothing to do with wanting to close someone elses church.
anonymous

AOL

#16 May 7, 2008
Absolutley lousy reporting on Mr. Kellman's behalf.

The merged parish he highlighted decided themselves when they were three parishes to merge. It was a 10 year + process. It was not demanded of them. Of course these folks are happy with the decision; they themselves created the decision and had over 12 years to accomplish it.

Further he did not address the lies and deceptive nature of the Journey that Kmiec has given his approval to.

It was "company" reporting designed to pacify, not truthful reporting designed to inform well.

Kellman ought retire if this is the kind of reporting he has decided to do in his twilight years.

For shame, Mr. Kellman. For shame WGRZ!
Stromin Norman

Buffalo, NY

#17 May 7, 2008
The news that has been put forward by this station is good in nature but lacks clarity of the issue that this Bishop seems to view the Church in the old way as the present Pope. The Church leadership must get wise to the situation that we are living in the 21st century not in the feudal days. There is a lack of ministers, lack of members, lack of youth, sexual perversion and crime, etc. because the Bishop and his merry men have not kept with the times. People want to have substance in the religion and seek the message of the Lord. They do not need people running around in gala robes and living in Riches, and not having the skills to preach, only to read from a canned booklet on Sunday.
The Catholic Charities drive is a farce. In previous years, all the money went for social service needs. Today's campaign is setting $6.4 million for the operations of the diocese, its buildings, seminary etc. The only reason that this is happening is because the parishes are tapped out in funds to send to the big private residence in Buffalo to support the mansion and style of living that Kmiec and his predecessors are use too. People in this Diocese are waking up to reality.
anonymous

AOL

#18 May 7, 2008
not happy wrote:
I am very upset, along with alot of other parishoners who are members for over 50 yrs. at OLC in No Tonawanda NY. We are merging with St Josephs which is not an issue, what is is that the pastor of our church is being let go and we are recieving the pastor from St Joe's sho happened to be or pastor befoare. We were not crazy about him then, so why would you think we would want him again?! If there needs to be a change made with leadership, give us someone who is new to our area. Our parish deserves a pastor who is willing to work with the parishoners and not act like he is the main forcus of our church. We need to draw the younger peolple back and need someone who can accomplish that goal. A person who speaks about the gospel with a lesson and not someone who preaches to the choir, along with not alot of entertainment (singing - every little response) The younger people want to learn a lesson, not be entertained. Thanks for your concern.
Louie is a frustrated entertainer and interior decorator.

He'd be better off at Liberty Florist than OLC.

I offer my sympathy to the parishioners there.

You did and do deserve a pastor sensitive to the tradition and needs of the parish.

If you want a concert, go to Kleinhans. If you want Holy Mass, it ought be OLC that you go to. It is a shame it isn;t that way.

Why on earth didn't Kellman balance his reporting with some of the MANY hooror stories that come out of the Jourbey of Faith, Grace and Disgust?
Melissa

Buffalo, NY

#19 May 7, 2008
I went to mass at St. Patricks (All Saints Parish) in Lockport for the first time last Sunday and the place was packed. I couldn't even see the priest because there were so many people sitting in front of me. I understand that St. Anthony's and St. Mary's closed and merged in with St. Patrick's, but I think there are too many people attending one church. There also wasn't enough room to park, cars were parked all over the place. Lockport needs more Catholic churches.
Anonymous

Buffalo, NY

#20 May 7, 2008
I think we should put the Bishop in charge of consolidating local governments and school districts!!
Anonymous

AOL

#21 May 7, 2008
Melissa wrote:
I went to mass at St. Patricks (All Saints Parish) in Lockport for the first time last Sunday and the place was packed. I couldn't even see the priest because there were so many people sitting in front of me. I understand that St. Anthony's and St. Mary's closed and merged in with St. Patrick's, but I think there are too many people attending one church. There also wasn't enough room to park, cars were parked all over the place. Lockport needs more Catholic churches.
St. Mary's has not closed. It is very open. Try them. The pastor is lovely.
Economist

Dunkirk, NY

#22 May 7, 2008
anonymous wrote:
Absolutley lousy reporting on Mr. Kellman's behalf.
The merged parish he highlighted decided themselves when they were three parishes to merge. It was a 10 year + process. It was not demanded of them. Of course these folks are happy with the decision; they themselves created the decision and had over 12 years to accomplish it.
Further he did not address the lies and deceptive nature of the Journey that Kmiec has given his approval to.
It was "company" reporting designed to pacify, not truthful reporting designed to inform well.
Kellman ought retire if this is the kind of reporting he has decided to do in his twilight years.
For shame, Mr. Kellman. For shame WGRZ!
Rich Kellman has produced a public relations piece rather than news.

The piece was poorly written with several threads uselessly repeated.

Mr. Kellman's work would be more appropriate in a catholic news paper.

His personal opinions are far too evident in all his so called reporting

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