Buffalo Diocese Announces More Parish Closings Across WNY

The Diocese of Buffalo's "Journey of Faith and Grace" has led to the closings of more parishes across Western New York. Full Story
Larry

Buffalo, NY

#145 Oct 16, 2007
To East Side -- unite and fight. Don't let them win. Preserve your ethnic heritage, preserve your culture, preserve your traditions. Don't let them take it away from you.
Far East Parishioner

United States

#146 Oct 16, 2007
We spent hours and hours devising a plan, working within the fabulous guidebook provided us that promised success in "our journey" if we followed it. When we looked at ourselves and realized that our two parishes which have been linked for the last 17 years, we agreed that maintaining separate financial accounting systemes had become inefficient, that it was time to merge. Small church with big church and that when the smaller church with the smaller population hit the breakpoint where they could no longer financially support themselves, it would be time to be reduced and/or close. It was not a difficult plan because much of the guidelines have already been developing over the years, long before this Planning Commission idea came out, e.g. sharing of ministries, office staff, pastor, having the majority of events at the larger parish, etc. As a member of the smaller parish, concessions were made to make it even easier to operate by reducing unnecessary services with one goal in mind: to have at least one Sunday Mass per week there, that Catholics from anywhere could come. And come they did. In 2003 the small parish underwent major renovations with the blessing of Bishop Mansell, which gave both inside and out a new facelift and doubled the parking capacity. This was possible through the generosity of parishioners from both parishes plus from the proceeds from the sale of the vacant school which was falling into disrepair. The smaller parish is one mile from the bigger parish and offers people an option and provides them easier, safer access and the ability to participate in lay ministries. Our requests were simple: Let us decide when it was no longer feasible to operate/maintain two parishes (on a Sunday) and make it so the decision would be one out of necessity and not out of convenience. We are being reduced as a consolation prize because the "stats" don't indicate a need for two separate parishes in one small community. The stats that led to the decision did not take into consideration anything that was explained above. The decision hurt but more so was the process they used to arrive at that decision. You can take away a lot from people and they will still live but when you cut out their hearts and souls, you kill them!
Anonymous

Buffalo, NY

#147 Oct 16, 2007
Far East Medina said it perfectly - "when you cut out their hears and souls, you kill them." The diocese has cut the hearts and souls of thousands of people. They made a farce out of the Journey of Faith =- SOME JOURNEY! Two years of endless meetings, hard feelings, disagreements,-- For what??? The diocese knew right along what jthey were going to do -- this was just a cover-up to make the people feel like they had some say in the decsion. What a joke!
Prima Noctae

AOL

#148 Oct 16, 2007
Stats mean nothing! St. Mary's in Lockport has PERFECT stats that any parish should be proud of and still the diocese is shutting them down. This isn;t about stats. It is about a willful nun, a spineless bishop, politics and egos that are out of control. It is about those scuffling to be named Monsignors by kissing the bishop's posterior and not telling him the turth about how the people feel in the pews. It is about a bunch of gutless Yes Men who want red buttons so bad they will sacrifice the very people they are supposed to be serving to stand with their bishop so they can flit around the diocese in a dress with red piping. It is sick. It is unhealthy and it is certainly NOT of God.
Anonymous

Buffalo, NY

#149 Oct 16, 2007
To Prima Noctae --- AMEN
Mad

Buffalo, NY

#150 Oct 16, 2007
Gone are the humble priests of the old days who really cared about the people, the parish. These days it's about living in mansions, driving new cars (and not cheap ones either), extravagant vacations, fancy dinners, etc. Bottom line - MONEY. God help us.
Sal

Buffalo, NY

#151 Oct 16, 2007
How can one nun be given so much power? Who is she? Why is she running the diocese while the bishop just sits back and rubber stamps her decisions? Doesn't any one else have anything to say -- the Strategic Planning Commission? the priests? the higher ups in the chancery? I don't get it!
Prima Noctae

AOL

#152 Oct 16, 2007
The chancery officials are all too busy kissing the bishops backside and "yes"ing him all the time to shine any reality in there. Did you read that assinine editorial by Slubecky? Talk about being a yes man! So the nun and Gatto and others decide the fate of the various communities. Szczepankiewicz wants to close St. Casimir. That is where Wojtyla offered Mass. Is he nuts? They all have their own agenda, I tell you. The nun has been on this closing kick since Bishop Head was here. Mansell put her on a leash. But obviously this bishop hasn't the backbone to stop this iconoclastic liberal from doing her destruction! Heck, she can't even put together an office. At one of the meetings she said "I am only one person in the office!" Well, Sister honey, you decided this office should exist, you knew all these parishes would be closed, and you only put one person in the office to answer questions and assist with a dismantling of the diocese in such epoch proportions? I would have thrown her out then. She proved from the onset she has not enough brains to even set up an office that could help people through this sickening endeavor, let alobe make decisions. Besides that, her flippant attitude is hardly fitting a religious woman much less a Christian. Absolutley sickening!
Jen

Buffalo, NY

#153 Oct 16, 2007
After reading 8 pages of comments on this forum, it can be summed up in two words - ANGER and SADNESS. I hope Kmiec and Regina Murphy are reading these blogs to realize what they people really think of the diocese, them, the Journey in Faith in Grace .... what an eye opener. I hope these people don't give in .... make it difficult for them, don't just roll over and give in to them. It sounds like the people in Niagara Falls have really been hit hard - 5 churches into 1.And the diocese expects them to just nod their heads in agreement and congratulate the diocese on their forward, brilliant plan. I don't think so.
Joan

Buffalo, NY

#154 Oct 16, 2007
To: Prima Noctae - did not see the editorial by Slubecky -- when? where? Thanks.
John

United States

#155 Oct 16, 2007
The commission was stacked with yes men/women. Just look who's on it. Fr. Mock's letter to the Buffalo News, and the stuff Sr. Nancy Hoff and Kathleen Heffern wrote to the Am-Pol Eagle (which has been telling the truth about this sham for months) praising Sr. Regina and the entire process. Szczepankiewicz was moved from Ascension to St. Casimir's so that they could close both. Ascension didn't stand a chance and neither does Casimir's. I'm sure everyone has heard how Sr. Regina defended the closing of Ascension by saying that "NT isn't lucrative suburbia." It's a shame Mansell didn't remove her completely instead of just keeping her on a leash.
Rose

Buffalo, NY

#156 Oct 16, 2007
They should have got rid of Regina Murphy years ago before she ruined and destroyed countless lives. I don't know how she can live with herself knowing she has created such chaos in the diocese. Send her to another diocese and let someone else deal with her. We've had enough "fun".
Jim

Buffalo, NY

#157 Oct 16, 2007
Yes, Sr. Regina only likes "lucrative suburbia" - forget about inner city Buffalo or inner city Niagara Falls -- not lucrative enough for her. As one blogger wrote - "we cannot all live in Lewiston or Youngstown" Not everyone is fortunate enough to live in those areas. Some of us are stuck in the inner city. Does that make us less Catholic? less important? I guess Sr. Regina thinks so. I understand all about statistics - yes, certain churches must be closed. It's a fact - but not self sustaining churches that she doesn't like because they are ethnic. And what gives her the right to make all these life-changing, altering decisions. They should have thrown her out years ago.
Prima Noctae

AOL

#158 Oct 16, 2007
Slubecky wrote in the Buffalo News, you can do a search and find it.

Szczepankiewicz ... you'd think Msgr. Kopacz would do something and maybe he is. I think he is a shinging light in this whole mess. He saved Corpus Christi and I am praying he'll save St. Casimir, if only to honor John Paul and Monsignor Kazmierczak who loved Kopacz like a brother.

What is far worse than even all this is that guys who I thought had a backbone have buckled under pressure. Look at "Butch" (what kind of a name is that for a priest?) Mazur: he has more sense than to agree closing an architectural gem like St. Gerard's is a right move! If they spent half the amount of time they have spent on the Journey trying to figure out how to evangelize and get the churches filled we wouldn't even be in this situation. But the line they love to use "nothing is too good for Father" rings true. They want it all and want to do as little as possible. Not all, but most. They want their housekeepers and fancy robes... they are more wooried about decorating their churches than reaching out and inviting people INTO those churches and then they pucker up facing Kmiec's backside hoping they'll be rewarded with red buttons. Grown men, for heaven's sake! Like spoiled, frightened children!
Afraid of themselves, afraid of the big bad bishop (whom they say can't make a decision on his own to save his soul) and afraid of losing their ivory towers.
Prima Noctae

AOL

#159 Oct 16, 2007
Jen wrote:
After reading 8 pages of comments on this forum, it can be summed up in two words - ANGER and SADNESS. I hope Kmiec and Regina Murphy are reading these blogs to realize what they people really think of the diocese, them, the Journey in Faith in Grace .... what an eye opener. I hope these people don't give in .... make it difficult for them, don't just roll over and give in to them. It sounds like the people in Niagara Falls have really been hit hard - 5 churches into 1.And the diocese expects them to just nod their heads in agreement and congratulate the diocese on their forward, brilliant plan. I don't think so.
And the diocese expects us to applaud the new monsignors when they are announced and stuff envelopes full of money to give them in congratulations for the new title. Sick. Sick. Sick.
Jessica Niagara Falls

Bangor, ME

#160 Oct 16, 2007
What has the journey done to the faithful? At St. Mary's coffee hour after mass after the bishop's letter was read, the parishioners applauded and drank champage(provided by Burczynski).
The General

Buffalo, NY

#161 Oct 16, 2007
Joe wrote:
We all understand the declining population in WNY. But we all can't move to Dallas or Phoenix. We want to preserve and keep our Polish heritage. We don't want to be herded into suburban rich churches. The surburban rich churches are "just buildings" too -- why aren't they closing these down?????????
Did you ever consider increasing your tithing to the church since you saw the decline of the population in your church? Another reason for the closure of the "poor" churches, is just that, they are POOR. You should thank the "suburban rich churches" for supporting your church for a long period of time. If you don't like it, maybe you should do like St. Francis did and sell everything you have and give it to the church and lead a poor life. Fat chance that is going to happen.
Prima Noctae

AOL

#162 Oct 16, 2007
Jessica Niagara Falls wrote:
What has the journey done to the faithful? At St. Mary's coffee hour after mass after the bishop's letter was read, the parishioners applauded and drank champage(provided by Burczynski).
Champagne and relics? Or do the relics come out later? Now, tell me, how sick is this kind of behavior for a priest(Burzynski)to break open the bubbly while other parishes are heartbroken. Do you see the kind of infantile, arrogant, self serving, self seeking attitude too many of these priests have?? Your example clarifies it better than any words!
Prima Noctae

AOL

#163 Oct 16, 2007
Why increase the tithing? The diocese has plenty of money. They have just decentralized it to make it look broke on thebooks so that it cannot be sued! DUH!!!!!
Prima Noctae

AOL

#164 Oct 16, 2007
The General wrote:
<quoted text>
Did you ever consider increasing your tithing to the church since you saw the decline of the population in your church? Another reason for the closure of the "poor" churches, is just that, they are POOR. You should thank the "suburban rich churches" for supporting your church for a long period of time. If you don't like it, maybe you should do like St. Francis did and sell everything you have and give it to the church and lead a poor life. Fat chance that is going to happen.
Uh, Mr. General, take note sir, there are lots of churches that are NOT poor that are being closed.
This is an agenda, not a recipe because populations are dwindling, nor because priests are becoming fewer. That, Generalissimo, is what is called a "white lie" by the diocese.

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