Western Pa. diocese to announce church closings

Oct 6, 2008 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Luminary

A western Pennsylvania diocese is expected to announce several church closings at a news conference.

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1 - 20 of 26 Comments Last updated Dec 17, 2008
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concerned catholic

Pittsburgh, PA

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#1
Oct 8, 2008
 

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Why is it that the church can not seem to figure out a good way to close a church?

Maybe it's because there is no good way....

I think the dark chapters of the american catholic church are still being written.

Now its the Greensburg diocese closing 15 at once. Next its the Pittsburgh diocese playing games and closing one here and one there.

WHat next?

Little Bear

United States

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#2
Oct 8, 2008
 

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There are about 3500 seminarians (from first year to deaconate status) in the entire United States. That's it! The entire American Church has a few options 1) Have more babies---every family have one son go into the seminary (Yeah, right, you say!) 2) The Official Church should begin to re-study who can be priests--and then permit A) optional celibacy B) Ask the married priests (who left to get married) to come back and serve and C) permit women to serve as priests (and this topic is as hot as it gets with the Hierarchial Church.

But the Church needs to do something fast---or American Catholics may have a Eucharistic famine.
Disenfranchised Catholic

Mount Pleasant, PA

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#3
Oct 12, 2008
 

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The Diocese of Greensburg has a seminary at St. Vincent College. There are also Benedictine priests at this seminary. For some reason, the bishop refuses to use them as parish priests and has pulled many of them out of parishes. Most of the parishes that were closed were in fact Benedictine parishes. We knew that our parish was on the chopping block. We did not expect the disrespectful, arrogant way the priest would announce this to us.
As for the 2.5% being served. That 2.5% went to mass every week, send their children to CCD or Catholic school and (most importantly) were very generous with their time and money. Can the other 97.5% say that? I doubt it.
Chris form Loretto

Pittsburgh, PA

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#4
Oct 17, 2008
 

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What do you think the Western PA dioceses need to do to stop the closures?
Disenfranchised Catholic

Mount Pleasant, PA

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#5
Oct 19, 2008
 

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Chris form Loretto wrote:
What do you think the Western PA dioceses need to do to stop the closures?
The issue we have is not the church closings, it is the way it was done. It was the attitude of the Bishop and his assistants. No compassion, no understanding. If the Bishop would have appealed to the monks at St. Vincent and said "Can someone say a mass at this or that church so we can keep it open", they would have volunteered. Now he has cut the mass schedule. The masses cut out are mostly Saturday evening and the 10:00 family masses. If he is looking for vocations, this is the wrong way to go about it.
sad catholic

Newville, PA

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#6
Oct 19, 2008
 

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the dicoses boundery lines need to be move to help the people, there are places where there are three dicoses come to gather and there three churches with in 15 miles of each other. i know because my church was shut down today it was also 15 miles north of the other three.
another sad catholic

Shippensburg, PA

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#7
Oct 20, 2008
 

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There has to be a better way! I feel decieved. My feelings have been so conflicted in the short 2 weeks since I was told my church would be closed. The way we were told and the attitude towards the faithful parishoners was unfair. We were aware things were not good, but only 2 weeks notice??? Is it a money issue or just a priest shortage? I'm sure both...but I feel as though we were kicked to the curb and left on our own! Greensburg diocese has left a sour taste in my mouth, and I hate feeling that way after being a member for most of my life!
wondering sad catholic

Newville, PA

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#8
Oct 21, 2008
 

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When is the catholic church going to come into the 21st century. Drive around and see all of the new churches being built and the news from the diocese is that we are closing more churches. Some of the younger Priests abuse the power of dictator the church gives them and seemed to enjoy displaying their power to close churches. We are suffering from a lack of priests because a pope in the 1100's decides priest can't be married or women. As the priests get older we are going to fall into ruin and the Catholic church I love will be no more. Wake up!!
wondering sad catholic

Newville, PA

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#9
Oct 21, 2008
 

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Chris form Loretto wrote:
What do you think the Western PA dioceses need to do to stop the closures?
Allow Priests to be married and allow women to be priests. At least every one would know they are trying to move in to the future.
Disenfranchised Catholic

Mount Pleasant, PA

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#10
Oct 21, 2008
 

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Amen Sister!
wondering sad catholic

Newville, PA

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#11
Oct 21, 2008
 
Disenfranchised Catholic wrote:
Amen Sister!
Thats brother, thanks.
Disenfranchised Catholic

Mount Pleasant, PA

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#12
Oct 21, 2008
 

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Even Better!!!

My concern now is what is going to happen to the Catholic Schools in the area. A few years ago the diocese had a campaign that's catch phrase was "Making Catholic education affordable for every Catholic"... its not. We have paid thousands and thousands of dollars into Catholic schools (one which is now closed) for our children. I'm wondering if the next big announcement will be that the schools are closing or tuition is going up. Unfortunately, Catholic schools (particularly the high schools) are becoming "prep schools" for the wealthy (and those who excel at football) and not the faith based schools they were originally.
wondering sad catholic

Newville, PA

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Oct 21, 2008
 

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Disenfranchised Catholic wrote:
Even Better!!!
My concern now is what is going to happen to the Catholic Schools in the area. A few years ago the diocese had a campaign that's catch phrase was "Making Catholic education affordable for every Catholic"... its not. We have paid thousands and thousands of dollars into Catholic schools (one which is now closed) for our children. I'm wondering if the next big announcement will be that the schools are closing or tuition is going up. Unfortunately, Catholic schools (particularly the high schools) are becoming "prep schools" for the wealthy (and those who excel at football) and not the faith based schools they were originally.
Catholic education was never an option for us as the nearest catholic elementary school is 40 miles away and at least 60 miles away for a high school probably more. There are 13 Methodist churches within a 10 mile radius of us and now ther is one Catholic church. One Pastor serves three churches and has four services every weekend. The catholic Priests will only do one mass on Saturday and two on Sundays. The Methodists use layministers to help when the Pastor is not available. Why couldn't the Churches that were closed have Communion Services two or three Sundays and maybe the diocese could free up a Priest for at least one mass a month? We were not given the opportunity to give any input or suggestions to help our small churches survive. Instead other churches knew we wee closing before we did. Let's face the facts, only 2.5% of the income was comng from the closed churches and we all know money talks.
Disenfranchised Catholic

Mount Pleasant, PA

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#14
Oct 21, 2008
 

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Actually I don't believe the statistics. Out of 100%, probably only 30 to 40% of Catholics actually go to church, even less contribute...when you look at it like that 2.5% is a pretty big slice. Our church had money, our people gave and our people were pretty good a raising funds. Now we are going to be warehoused in big churches. We did some research and found that our church gave more per capita in the last diocese lenten appeal than the members of four of the biggest churches in the diocese. This will have an effect financially.
wondering sad catholic

Newville, PA

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#15
Oct 22, 2008
 

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Disenfranchised Catholic wrote:
Actually I don't believe the statistics. Out of 100%, probably only 30 to 40% of Catholics actually go to church, even less contribute...when you look at it like that 2.5% is a pretty big slice. Our church had money, our people gave and our people were pretty good a raising funds. Now we are going to be warehoused in big churches. We did some research and found that our church gave more per capita in the last diocese lenten appeal than the members of four of the biggest churches in the diocese. This will have an effect financially.
I don't think they care.
sad catholic on the mend

Newville, PA

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#16
Oct 25, 2008
 

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We found a church not in the Greensburg diocese but never the less we were welcomed with open arms. We are still hurting but we do know time will heal our wounds. This fine church has been praying for our church ever since hearing of the closing. We are so grateful for the wonderful welcome shown to us. As I told my son, maybe there is something better for us? We don't know, we can only hope. Anyway we have a very good feeling with our newly found church.
Catholic in mourning

Fayetteville, PA

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#17
Oct 26, 2008
 
I think the Diocese of Greensburg has been overlooked in money contributions that went to St. Vincent College. Since Bishop Brandt felt the Diocese of Greensburg had been overlooked he closed Benedictine as one way to show his disapproval. I believed he closed all small parishes regardless if they were self-supporting. My parish, which was closed, was giving more per person than our sister parish, which is bigger. Since our sister parish priest was not assigned to partner with another parish or even assigned to help out with another parish, I feel certain we were closed because we were too small. The way the closing was delivered was brutal and not done in a caring manner. And to top it off, they wanted to make the last Mass in our beloved church, a Mass to remember. They should have been more concerned with the care of the parishioners, who are now lost, hurting, and trying to adjust to another parish.
Disenfranchised Catholic wrote:
The Diocese of Greensburg has a seminary at St. Vincent College. There are also Benedictine priests at this seminary. For some reason, the bishop refuses to use them as parish priests and has pulled many of them out of parishes. Most of the parishes that were closed were in fact Benedictine parishes. We knew that our parish was on the chopping block. We did not expect the disrespectful, arrogant way the priest would announce this to us.
As for the 2.5% being served. That 2.5% went to mass every week, send their children to CCD or Catholic school and (most importantly) were very generous with their time and money. Can the other 97.5% say that? I doubt it.
sad catholic

Newville, PA

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#18
Oct 26, 2008
 

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I agree with catholic in mourning 100%. The way we were told was brutal, with only 2 short weeks notice was not right, especially since the bishop had been working on this for 3 years. We absolutely were kicked aside to fend for ourselves. We are strong in our faith and we will survive but this is a very hard pill to swallow. I know we can make it with God's help....
sad catholic

Newville, PA

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#19
Oct 26, 2008
 

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I for one would like to know how many of the churches were out of debt and shut down. MY CHURCH WAS OUT OF DEBT and shut down.
Disenfranchised Catholic

Mount Pleasant, PA

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#20
Oct 26, 2008
 

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Forty Martyrs had money in the bank.
St. Stan's had money in the bank.

There are other churches that stayed open with huge debt.

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