Pages

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Hard of heart

Reactions 
Even if Christa McAuliffe's Parish Church is designated, Fr Coyne says 'It just makes it a little more difficult for us to make a determination as to what to do with the building after the parish closes.'

Parishioners at Weymouth church holding sit-in

Reactions 
The parishioners vow to continue indefinitely unless church leaders reverse the closure order.

Will this be the only sit-in or not?

Bishop says 21 percent of parishes to be closed

Reactions 
Population decline; he means that fewer Catholics are fulfilling their Sunday obligation.

Monday, August 30, 2004

The Church goes bananas!

Reactions 



The Diocese of Linz in Austria thinks that handing out bananas is a way of attracting the laity into religious life. And then they wonder why they have so few vocations.

So it is not only the American dioceses that are trying (and failing) to make monkeys out of the laity.

Hand out rosaries!

See post below for a close up of the offending banana. Translated, "Just imagine the Church".

Instead of this nonsense, a prayer.
Lord give us priests
Lord gives us holy priests
Lord give us many holy priests
Lord give us many vocations to the religious life

The offending banana

Reactions 

But the laity seek God's grace and to enter heaven.
Gillibrand

Flashback 2000

Reactions 
Churches under threat

Sunday, August 29, 2004

'Community will have its heart ripped out', Widnes, UK

Reactions 
Diocese in unholy haste to close Holy Family Social Club.

Scranton Diocese not planning any more Church closures

Reactions 
for the time being.

St John Baptist Church gets advised of closure just two days ahead of the Feast of John Baptist (which would be today, if today was not a Sunday).

Monsignor Tressler said. "You know, I wasn't ordained to do this."

Latin at last

Reactions 
The Catholic rite that refuses to die.

'We get a lot of young familes with small children'

'Younger people really cherish the Gregorian chant. Even if they never grew up with the old Mass, they find it very inspiring."

New Latin

Reactions 
The language that will not die.

Latin Mass not allowed in many Churches

Reactions 
...but no problem if you want to put on a play attacking Church teaching.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

From the Catholic Encyclopedia

Reactions 
St Jeremiah:

Jeremiah's Lamentations were sung over the ruins of the temple destroyed by the sins of the nation.

He is one of the figures before Christ who have been elevated to the altars of the Church as they prepared the way of the Lord. He also suffered martyrdom. The Feast of St Jeremiah is May 1st.

In more recent times, there are many fine musical settings of the Lamentations which used to be sung during Holy Week, and still are at the Churches using the Latin Mass.

In 2001

Reactions 
The parishioners of St. Jeremiah's Church, Framingham raised 400,000 dollars for the Archdiocese of Boston in their Promise for Tomorrow campaign.

In 2004, the Archdiocese wants to close their Church.

The Parishioners want their money back- and their Church to be kept open.

As it said in the promotion for Promise for Tomorrow.

"Parishes ($50 million) Each parish will have the opportunity to localize the campaign and to raise funds to address its unique needs, from capital improvements to program support."

If the Archdiocese raised 200 million dollars, where has it all gone?

Flashback April

Reactions 
Pastors, staff learn reconfiguration details

"The number one message you will receive today is that you will have a lot of support if you are designated for closing"

Support?? Does anyone need her kindness?

Friday, August 27, 2004

TownOnline.com - Newton TAB - Local News

Reactions 
Another excuse 'Too many parishes had been built,' Heck said.

Perhaps she thinks there were too many Catholics in Boston when these parishes were being built. The solution is to fill the buildings again not to close them.

TownOnline.com - Newton TAB - Opinion & Letters

Reactions 
A truly excellent response to Bishop Lennon.

Ethnic groups targeted in closings plan

Reactions 
Kathleen Heck even admits it, to quote, 'At the time these churches were founded they offered a faith community that felt like home, but neighborhood demographics and needs have changed'.

The Bishop forced to defend Heck

Reactions 
"Third, St. Philip Neri remains open because of its longstanding relationship with an ethnic apostolate, its central location, its easy access to the Green Line, its ample parking, its seating capacity of 500 and the ease with which the church can be heated and maintained. "

A longstanding relationship with an ethnic apostolate normally puts you on the top of the closure list, not the bottom.

Flashback- Heck's sadness and gratitude as Cardinal Law departs

Reactions 
No comment necessary. "Heck went on to say that because of the cardinal's immense willingness to go to great lengths to create an environment where children and victims can feel safe, he became the greatest advocate for victims. "

Flashback -Lynn priest blasts archdiocese.

Reactions 
Ethnic groups targeted in closings plan

Confirms what this blog has been saying.

The truth about Mrs Heck

Reactions 
A supporter of Cardinal Law, lest we forget.

Parishes' proceeds to benefit diocese

Reactions 
But didn't they tell us this was all about enhancing the Archdiocese's mission?

Land issues

Reactions 
"Our intention is to keep the church open. We want to stand on principle."

Get organised!

Reactions 
Fight and fight and fight again this injustice and sin against faith, hope and charity.

Archdiocese of Newark targets closure Churches

Reactions 
A personal plea:

"Almost all the parishes targeted for closure or merger have strong cores of longtime parishioners. With the right plan and suitable pastors, new energies can come to these urban churches, who have to reach out aggressively. It's been said that Hudson County has a church and a tavern on every block. It would be a shame to leave it to the bars. "

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes

Reactions 
See especially the Parish History.

The oldest Catholic parish in Newton.

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes

Reactions 
See especially the Parish History

Boston Archdiocese is closing

Reactions 
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes and St Bernard's Church but, oh what a surprise, the parish Church of Mrs Heck survives.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Reactions 
If St Joan of Arc had taken this attitude, what would France and Paris be today?

Ceremony recalls Paris liberation

Reactions 
Thanks be to God and Our Lady of Paris

St Louis, St Joan of Arc, St Clovis and
All Saints of France pray for us!

From the Scottie Press Guestbook

Reactions 
Kay Kelly leads the fight to save St Mary of the Angels from closure. A very great woman!

Kay's comments: There is a need for people to look into how important a role culture has to play in the regeneration of cities. There is an opinion that culture should be at the heart of regeneration and for the views of people to be consulted. It is my opinion that if we allow the culture associated with St Mary of Angels (Friary) church Fox Street, Liverpool 3 to be forgotten then the regeneration of this area of Liverpool will be forever incomplete. I do worry that in years to come future generations will look back and wonder why such a big mistake was allowed to happen. This is why I will continue to fight and campaign for St Mary of the Angels (Friary) church and why I hope that people who share my opinion will support my efforts. KAY KELLY "

New convent being built

Reactions 
and the sisters are still working as nurses.

Thank you Mrs Heck

Reactions 
for your entirely inappropriate words, delivered in the parking lot.

"Pain they were feeling would be a source of strength in their new parishes"

Why isn't a priest doing Mrs Heck's job?

St Louis of France

Reactions 
Final Mass

More on the Church of St Louis of France

Reactions 
The Diocese have now changed their mind. The closure won't take place at the end of the year but on the 1 September.

The last Mass was celebrated last Sunday, shamefully just a few days before the Feast of St Louis of France (see below).

How does the Archbishop of Boston think

Reactions 
that the closure of this wonderful Church is going to assist the mission of the Church.

but the laity are going to fight all the way. At least, they won't betray their great inheritance.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter - The Seminary of Denton

Reactions 
A seminary that won't be closing.

Keeping hope alive even in the darkest times

Reactions 
If the restoration of the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation is possible; anything is possible (that is as long as the diocescan bureaucrats don't get in the way).

Meanwhile in Boston

Reactions 
they are closing the Church of St Louis of France by the end of the year. And keeping to their usual and abysmal communication standards.

"Father Scott A. Euvrard, administrator at St. Louis de France Parish in Lowell only learned that St. Michael Parish was the designated receiving parish for St. Louis in a Pilot article published last week."

St Louis, pray for us!

The Passion of Christ, Crowned with Thorns.

St Therese

Reactions 
Patron of Missions, Pray for us!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Mass

Reactions 
As it should be; the most beautiful thing, this side of Heaven.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

Reactions 
Peering inside the bureaucracy... and what a surprise the only office not to have a head is the "Development Office".

By the way, just in case you need to contact her:

Kathleen Heck
rmc@rcab.org or at 617-746-5758

St. Bernard Parish - Newton Massachusetts

Reactions 
A parish gets organised

Heck's Q & A on Church Closings

Reactions 
A paid consultant speaks out

"So that it never has to happen again." Once a Diocese or a Bishop do one round of church closings, they will be up for more.

How much does Ms Heck get paid to shield the hierarchy of the Archdiocese from the same awkward questions?

More on Heck

Reactions 
Gives a new meaning to the phrase, "a heck of a job" - a facilitation of some unnecessary bureaucratic action.

It even says that her minor in art history gives her an appreciation of the beauty of archdiocesan churches.

and

A call to mission, no, to contemplative life, no, to serve the poor, no but

"she felt called to serve the Church by becoming a part of the reconfiguration process."

Who by? The Holy Spirit?

And

"one of the most important things I ever have done".

Why write satire; the Archdiocese writes it everyday. Boycott Heck.

See the bureaucrats at work in Boston

Reactions 
They call themselves "The Central Committee for Reconfiguration. I thought only the Communist Party had a Central Committee; come to think of it they didn't like Church buildings either.

PS They could start by selling the Board Room table; who do they think they are?

Mass marks closure of Seminary College

Reactions 
Boston also closing Seminary's College of Liberal Arts "But times change and the Church will go on". Another in a long line of excuses which Bostonians will be familiar with (and hopefully others thanks to this blog).

More scenes from the French revolution

Reactions 
Démolition of the Church of St Bartholomew

(Today, incidentally is the Feast of St Bartholomew.

The Demolition of the Church of the Feuillants

The French Revolution managed to destroy the Feuillants.

Pillage of a Church. The objects stolen here were no more likely to be returned than the donations of the faithful to the closed and closing Churches of today. Justice demands that donations of religious artefacts are returned to the donors before closure.

St. Philip Neri Church, Franklin, Pittsburg

Reactions 
Catholic Church torn down.

"At one time, St. Philip Neri Catholic Church was the center of life in Franklin."

"When we bought the old rectory 17 years ago, they just threw in the church with it."

Demolition of the Church of Saint-Jean-en-Greve

Reactions 
This is what French revolutionaries did to Churches. Now the Bishops are doing it.

Monday, August 23, 2004

NPR reports

Reactions 
NPR %3A Closing a Small, Old and Beloved Church

Apostasy on the march

Reactions 
How long before your Catholic Church becomes a multifaith shrine?

How's this for a sense of priorities?

Reactions 
A legacy of 500,000 pounds to the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton in 2003 has been donated in its entirety by Bishop Kieran Conry to the Lady Margaret Beaufort Institute in Cambridge, a Catholic foundation educating twenty women in theology and forming them for lay ministry in contemporary society.

Diocesan Clergy voiced their deep distress at a meeting of Priests attended by the Bishop earlier this year.

A warning to those who leave their money to the Church; be very careful on the terms of your will or your will end up training the feminist theologians who have just been condemned by the Vatican and Churches will just keep closing.

Solidarity

Reactions 
...from everyone but the Parish Priest, who cancelled the Parish Picnic.

Woman pretends to be Jesus on the Cross

Reactions 
during preparations for WYD in Berlin 2004

Diocese goes fund raising

Reactions 
but when it suits a Diocese, God's dwelling places on earth aren't the property of the Diocese anymore but belong to the people.

"People are generous when they see a need," he said. "I'm telling them, 'When your house is broken you fix it - this is your house."'

Archbishop O'Malley in Rome

Reactions 
Audience with Pope

Diocese of Fall River

Reactions 
Copies Archdiocese of Boston and starts new round of Church closures. But under whose charge was the Diocese of Fall River during the last round of closures?. None other than the then Bishop O'Malley.

"He was praised when he conducted a previous church closure process on a case-by-case basis in this diocese. "

So it looks as if he was appointed to Boston not because of his gifts for healing but because of his skills in Church closing.

Somber parishioners attend the final Mass at St. Teresa

Reactions 
Bishop closes Church under the patronage of the Little Flower.

Lutherans buy Catholic Church

Reactions 
....and will turn it into a parking lot.

The desecration begins in New York

Reactions 
...and the Archdiocese displays its normal levels of competence by failing to get a permit.

Bishop insults faithful parishioners

Reactions 
by accusing them of idolatory.

This is a very serious charge to make against Catholics and the Bishop should withdraw this comment immediately.

"This church is important and now the archbishop is making a decision but one should never put a church building in the place of God and that is what we're doing."

As long as the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle, a Church is the dwelling place of God on earth.
Reactions 

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL CHURCH IN EAST BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS IS CLOSING ON OCTOBER 10, 2004.

We were to celebrate its centennial in the year 2005. Instead we our mourning Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s demise.

The parishioners appealed Archbishop O’Malley’s decision but he refused to listen.

We thought that our new leader had come to heal instead he brought much pain and sadness to wonderful parishioners.

Bishop Lennon came to speak to us after several telephone calls and letters.

His arrogance was beyond words.

Bishop Lennon said that the Church was only a building.
We had a beautiful statue of Padre Pio purchased in Italy all white marble. We also purchased a marble altar and new lighting to the tune of 150,000 dollars. It was placed across the road from the Church; the Bishop said we can move it somewhere else. He had all the wrong answers. The last fifteen minutes he knew the parishioners were so angry. He said that the decree had not been signed by the Archbishop. For two weeks, we had hope but deep inside, we knew that Bishop Lennon not the Archbishop was making the decision. He did not have the courtesy to call us to acknowledge a terrific proposal we gave him.

The parishioners paid for everything; now it belongs to the Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese was not sensitive to our needs. The parishioners feel that the Archdiocese seeks to shut down the parishes and sieze the assets.

Could this be a sin against the Seventh Commandment?

[Cathcon note: to quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church
“This commandment commands justice and charity in the care of earthly goods and the fruits of men's labour”.]

God’s messages used to be delivered by angels, but the Archdiocese of Boston sends notices of closure by FedEx.

The Archbishop of Boston has ruined our community.

We are extremely displeased that the hierarchy of the Archdiocese failed to look for ways to revive the Churches and instead settled on terminating 82 of them. We express our objection and question the Archbishop’s decision.

Why did you choose our beautiful Church?

We tried so hard to keep our Church opened, but no matter what was addressed, you never please the Archdiocese who wants to close your Church.

The very sad parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in East Boston, Mass.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We hope that you will publish this on your interesting website.

God bless you.






Gillibrand

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, East Boston

Reactions 
An open letter to the Archbishop.

Fargo Diocese- far more closures than expected

Reactions 
21 percent of parishes to be closed: "While no surprise Aquila's announcement Saturday included far more closures than the five parishes announced as consolidation targets last month"

Friday, August 20, 2004

Thetford, UK

Reactions 
Fears for the future of historic and beautiful chapel.

And a new policy document, ironically titled, "Forward and Outward Together". If instead of writing this report, the hours had been spent praying the Rosary, the outcome could very well have been different.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Pilgrimage to Chartres

Reactions 
Every year at Pentecost; young, traditional and on the move. For more details, click here.;

Flashback 2003

Reactions 
Another unnecessary closure but at least some of the marble fittings found a good home.

And what of a Diocese that thinks the role of a priest is to serve as administrator of the parish. Priests are not bureaucrats.

More on the marriage of dogs

Reactions 
...and the vicar thinks its all a big joke. His Bishop may have corrected him but he can't control him. And if he can't control him, then any ecumenical partnership with the anglicans or any other protestant sect is dead.

Ecumenical partnership and the marriage of dogs

Reactions 
Next time your Parish Priest tells you that ecumenism is important, don't forget to tell him that the Anglicans are prepared to marry dogs. And all done for the best of all possible intentions. Needless to say for anglicans marriage is not a sacrament. But this brings mockery on the true and holy Sacrament of Marriage instituted by Our Lord at Cana.

And what has this to do with Church closures? The Catholic Church has been wasting its time on ecumenism instead of caring for the one True Fold of the Redeemer and the buildings where they worship and the Seven Sacraments of the Church are celebrated.

Heck gets heckled

Reactions 
....and just doesn't get why the faithful are so angry.


"But Heck had no answers as to why the parish was chosen to close. Her job, she said, is to help parishes move to the next step of reconfiguration, making sure programs such as religious education, hospital and prison ministries and night Masses are made available at the welcoming parish."

Her job is just to make everybody feel confortable while their whole Catholic heritage is taken from them.

She even says:

"There are other parishioners who are just as attached to their pastors, she said, but a certain number of parishes had to be closed, and that was decided before the sexual abuse scandal broke." Oh, yeah.

Catholic growth shifts across region

Reactions 
The Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Louisville said, "there are no current plans to close any parishes or schools although he acknowledged, I expect there will be more closings of both."

No churches will be opening then in the areas of population growth. The general idea of mission is to open new churches not to close the old ones.

Oldest Catholic high school in Texas saved

Reactions 
... but with no help from the Bishop; in fact, he wanted it closed.

Cathedral was going to be demolished in 1979

Reactions 
but was turned into a museum but it is occasionaly possible to get a sense of former glories.

Redemptorist Church

Reactions 
Now an arts centre.

What a sad end for a church of the great missionary order. But what do we expect with "mission" taking a back seat to "dialogue".

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Cardinal Wamala Opens Parish

Reactions 
Meanwhile in Africa, an exploding number of laity and new parishes.

The Assumption

Reactions 
A meditation

and many more wonderful articles

Good news from Miami

Reactions 
Overtown Catholic church torched in 2002 reopens: "The congregation of the oldest historically black Catholic church in Miami-Dade County has completed a 14.5 million dollar restoration to repair fire damage from a 2002 Christmastime arson."

More here including video

Diocese nears threshold on bankruptcy

Reactions 
More on the Diocese of Tuscon

The future of parishes could be decided by judges

"In a worst-case scenario for the local church, parishes will be included as part of the bankrupt estate - a finding with the potential to cripple the diocese's daily operations because it gives the bankruptcy judge leeway to rule that parishes should be liquidated to pay creditors. "

Parishes meet with lawyers

Reactions 
Who owns the parishes?

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation

Reactions 
Ecce sacerdos magnus

Roman Curia addresses

Reactions 
Every faithful Catholic has the right of appeal to Rome.

Monday, August 16, 2004

The Bishop who closes a church on the Feast of the Assumption

Reactions 
Bishop McCormack - both sides of the story.

Bishop John McCormack on closure of St Anthony, Swanzey, Manchester, New Hampshire

Reactions 
Another guy that I don't want at my funeral.: "But this doesn't always have to be a loss. It's an event that can be healing and hopeful."

Fidelity of Voice of the Faithful Group Comes Under Scrutiny again

Reactions 
Is their agenda to save Churches or to promote a radical agenda among the Faithful?

Protest on spot where Pope celebrated Mass

Reactions 
All these parishes probably have been net contributors to the Archdiocese.

"Archbishop O'Malley tells us he is a Franciscan, but St. Francis didn't close churches, he built them," said DiBenedetto, tears forming in his eyes.

However, beware Voice of the Faithful. Their leadership seems to think that they know better than the teaching of the Church in matters of faith and morals. Much better for the Faithful to organise themselves for these protests.

What a great history.

Reactions 
All destroyed in the name of "consolidation".

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Archdiocese of Liverpool- pastorally reorganising itself again. Not the first and not the last time.

Reactions 
Centuries of worship ended at location where the first Mass is recorded in 1425:

"Priests in hiding used to celebrate Mass in cottages that existed there during the Reformation and the Comte d'Artois, who became King Charles X of France in 1824, was a regular visitor and had a reserved stall there."

If a Diocese can close a site of such significance, they are capable of anything.

"The land, however, is subject to an age-old covenant given on the understanding that it should used for worship."

But what do the Diocese care? Not disimilar, to the protestants at the time of the Reformation who ignored the wills of the donors of chantry chapels instructing that Masses to be said in perpetuity for the repose of their souls.

"It is believed to contain among the tombs, the stone slab on which St (in fact Blessed) Richard Herst, a Preston farmer who became a Catholic martyr, was hanged at Lancaster in 1628. He was beatified in 1929."

The sense of history, which the modern Church lacks, drew the first Christians of Rome to construct their Churches over the tombs of the martyrs.

Archdiocese of Hartford closes St Laurent Church and School

Reactions 
but the former Parish Priest calls it an 'upbeat celebration of 100 years of Catholic education.' Wouldn't want this guy coming to my funeral.

In time honoured tradition, the Faithful were kept in the dark.

"Betts and parish finance committee member Jim Lamoureux said they did not know the cost of the demolition, the name of the company that did the work, or the exact date when parish officials recommended that the buildings be torn down when interviewed Tuesday. The archdiocese has the final say and ordered the demolition."

Pilgrim Pope joins the sick at Lourdes shrine

Reactions 
Our Lady of Lourdes,pray for us.

Assumption Parish to close

Reactions 
....in the same month as the Feast of the Assumption.

Closing parish offers up its light

Reactions 
Church of St Joseph closed on Feast of Assumption after 131 years.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Reactions 

And what happens to the contents of Churches when they are closed or modernised? This altar dedicated to the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary ended up in the toilet of a shop in Belgium.
Gillibrand
Reactions 

My house shall be called a house of prayer...but this Parish Church in Germany also has a concert every Sunday. Hopefully, they removed the Blessed Sacrament but from my experience most Parish Priests in Germany and Austria no longer bother.
Gillibrand

Feast of the Assumption

Reactions 
Happy Feastday to all readers.

The Assumptionover the High Altar of the pilgrimage Church of Rohr in Bavaria. One of the many wonderful churches designed by the Asam Brothers

Bishop urges parishes to hire lawyers as diocese bankrutpcy looms

Reactions 
Here's another fine mess, you've gotten us into

Friday, August 13, 2004

Can't get a better picture than this of the Mass

Reactions 
And it makes a great wallpaper as well

1995 flashback

Reactions 
Complacency in Scotland.

"This heritage has in an increasingly secular world an important pre-evangelistic potential."

And what are you doing about it?

Just how many people are allowed to drift through Catholic Churches without anyone explaining anything about the place and its relation to the Faith.


Latin Mass in Scotland

Reactions 
Can someone explain why the Latin Mass in Scotland is confined to a front room of someone's house? when the Catholic Church in Scotland is in such decline.

Plan for Catholic Cathedral in Santa Ana Is Criticized

Reactions 
But in the Diocese of Orange, a new Cathedral is being planned.

This from the Diocescan website:
Project: Help construct a new parish which will include a new cathedral church for the Diocese of Orange.

Why it is Needed: Holy Family Cathedral has served the diocese well for 25 years, but it is not large enough for diocesan liturgies and the property will not accommodate expansion of the church, hall and parking. For example, for the annual Rite of Election this year Bishop Brown presided over four celebrations because all the people preparing for the Easter Sacraments could not fit into Holy Family Cathedral Church. Another example is the recent Interreligious Prayer Service for Peace, in which over 1,700 people spilled out of the 800 seat church.

What the Campaign will Accomplish: The capital campaign will provide for construction of a new cathedral parish, one of the new parishes this campaign will help establish, in a densely populated area of south Santa Ana identified for several years as in need of a new parish. Ample land has recently been found in this area for a new parish centered around a cathedral church which will seat 2,500 people. A large hall which may also serve as a diocesan conference center and ample parking to accommodate large gatherings of the people of the diocese are also envisioned for this new parish. Notes: The land for the new cathedral parish has already been purchased and its cost is not part of this capital campaign. Holy Family Cathedral will continue to serve as a vital parish in our diocese, as it did for over 50 years before our diocese was formed.

So a whole new Cathedral is being built for crowded Rite of Election services at Easter and to have larger inter-religious services! What priorities when churches are being closed across the world.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Pagan Leader to Speak at Saint Joseph's Oratory: Update!

Reactions 
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar called
"the rage of New Age spiritualism"

Last week, we at the Fatima Center issued the call to save Saint Joseph's Oratory from pagan influence. A recent report from Life Site gives more details of the August 14 event at which Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will speak at Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal. Shankar, according to the Associated Press, "has become the rage of New Age spiritualism".

Life Site reports that it had difficulty contacting Saint Joseph's Oratory, due to the high volume of concerned Catholics telephoning about the event. The Oratory staff tells callers that Shankar's visit is not a religious event, despite the fact that Shankar is to speak in the church itself. The cost of the two-hour session is $15.00 per person. It is scheduled to take place on the eve of a major Catholic Holy Day, the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption.

But if the Sri Sri event is not a religious one, why is it being held at one of Canada's most hallowed Catholic Shrines rather than at a local Fire Hall or a school gymnasium? Why are Catholics involved with organizing it in the first place?

The Life Site report explains that many Catholics are concerned that Shankar's visit will be more than a courtesy call, a concern that deepens upon visiting Shankar's website. Here one encounters what seems to be a cult of personality around the New Age leader. "The page" says the report, "hints of personality cult -- every click brings new images of the guru's ecstatic smile and young people lined up in lotus position." The guru is referred to as 'His Holiness' by followers (a religious term) "and presumably will be addressed as such during the Saint Joseph's Oratory event."

The New Age leader advises his followers to choose the religion or spirituality that suits them, which defies Our Lord Jesus Christ Who mandated belief in Himself and His Teachings to be the one and only way of salvation.

Shankar's message is one of humanistic New Age globalism, wherein he teaches breathing exercises based on Hinduism's Transcendental Meditation.

Glasgow's Herald reports that Shankar also tells his audience, "we are all one human family across all religion and culture". This is nothing more than a religious indifferentism condemned by the Catholic Church, which exalts our common humanity over the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ.

Shankar also laughs off the idea that any religion can contain the whole truth. In a California lecture posted on one of Shankar's webpages, he said that to insist "the Bible is truth" to the exclusion of any other religion, is one of the signs of being an unenlightened man.

Likewise, Life Site reports that Shankar tells his followers that the truly enlightened are more than mere believers: "An atheist bases himself on reason, and a believer on faith ... Death shakes them both! When someone close dies, an atheist eyes are opened, and a believer's faith cracks. Only a Yogi -- a wise one -- remains unshaken. For that person has transcended both reason and faith." (Intimate Note to a Sincere Seeker Vol 6.)

A man who preaches such pagan ideas is not fit to speak at a Catholic institution of any kind. We urge concerned Catholics to contact the authorities listed below and those from our previous email to lodge their formal protest.

Saint Joseph's Oratory: (514) 733-8211.
Oratory's Rector: (514) 733-8211 or (877) 672-8647 or email at fatherweb@saint-joseph.org

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
email: cecc@cccb.ca
Phone: 613-241-9461
fax: 613-241-8117

Papal Nuncio to Canada - His Excellency Luigi Ventura
email: nuntius@bellnet.ca
Phone: 613-746-4914
fax: 613-746-4786

Another Montreal chancery email address: chancellerie@diocesemontreal.org

Pope's Emissary Shuts Down Child Porn Seminary

Reactions 
From the Scotsman

10 of 82 parishes fight archdiocese on closure plans

Reactions 
Let's hope more join the fight. If parishes are fit enough to fight, they are fit enough not to be closed.

And when this happens:
"parishioners want to buy the church building from the archdiocese and establish a new, unsanctioned worshiping community there"

Who is to blame?

California's original Catholic treasures

Reactions 
And at San Buenaventura it is even possible to attend the traditional Catholic Mass.

Blessed Junípero Serra pray for Missions throughout the Catholic world.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Shrine of St Willibrord

Reactions 
The magnificent site of the Basilica of St Willibrord. This only emphasises the idiocy of the dynamiting of the Church under St Willibrord's patronage in Amsterdam.

Ironically, he was a great Church builder and a man of unflinching faith. O, that the same could be said of Catholic bishops today.

Church of St Willibrord, Amsterdam

Reactions 
This magnificent Church of St Willibrord with its famous seven towers was dynamited by the Diocese in 1971. If a Diocese are capable of this, they are capable of anything. The reason given- it was the bishop's policy of ecumenism to remove symbols of Catholic "triumphalism". Doing the work of those that would persecute the Church for them.

See also (but you need to scroll down for a picture).

Our Lady of Fatima Online

Reactions 
Urgent request from this website

What need have Catholics for this man's teaching- we have Christ, Our Lord who alone can redeem us.

HELP US SAVE ST. JOSEPH'S ORATORY FROM PAGAN INFLUENCE!!

A scandal is scheduled to take place at the famous shrine, St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Canada on August 14, 2004.

A man named Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - who is the "founder of the Art of Living Foundation, a United Nations - non-governmental organization" is scheduled to speak, teach and/or do meditation in the Basilica (we found this out by calling the number on a flyer).!

We were unable to find this information on the web site of St. Joseph's Oratory. The word was spread by means of flyers and on the web site of Mr. Shankar's 'foundation'.

Flyers were distributed in the Montreal area that refer to this man as "his holiness"!. On the flyer it also says Mr. Shankar is "...the founder of The Art of Living Course, which 'may be the fastest-growing spiritual practice on the planet' (Yoga Journal)". Need we say more?

Worse - people are actually paying money to hear him speak at this place of Catholic Worship.

Please help us to prevent this person from promoting pagan ideas in this Catholic Basilica.

We need your help to get the word out to protest this and keep it from happening.


WHAT YOU CAN DO!

Offer Rosaries with the intention of stopping this sacrilegious crime from occurring in this shrine erected in honor of St. Joseph, the foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the spouse of The Blessed Virgin Mary.

Phone, fax or email the Rector of the oratory, Father Jean-Pierre Aumont, csc at:
-phone (514)733-8211 or 1-877-672-8647; fax (514)733-9735; email: fatherweb@saint-joseph.org

Phone, fax, or email the archbishop of Montreal - Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte at
-phone (514)931-7311; fax (514) 931-3432 (the names of the auxiliary Bishops are Bishop Anthony Mancini and Bishop Jude Saint-Antoine). email: chanc@cam.org

Phone, fax or email the Congregation of the Holy Cross Fathers in Rome at:
- phone 011 39 06 612 96 210; fax 011 39 06 614 75 47

Phone or fax Father LeBlanc, the English Canadian Provincial of the Congregation of the Holy Cross Fathers at: phone: (905)714-9797; fax (905) 714-9696

Phone, fax or email the Congregation of the Holy Cross Fathers in Montreal: phone (514) 731-7828; fax (514) 731-7820; email: administrationprov@perescsc-qc.com



A Close Look at Voice of the Faithful

Reactions 
Beware Voice of the Faithful. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Parishioners play waiting game with church closings

Reactions 
Boston again and 'We're dealing with this relentless, faceless machine that won't give us answers'.

Island of Jersey, UK

Reactions 
Church considers sell-off.

... in a policy of little steps. Here is an article from 2003.


Jesuit spirituality, social justice priorities for Georgetown's lay president

Reactions 
The modern Church preaches justice for the whole world and can't even practice it at home in the Diocese of Boston. Justice is set to one side as the Diocese devastates the Houses of God.

Unity is strength

Reactions 
....but beware Voice of the Faithful trying to exploit the situation for their own ends.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Galveston, USA

Reactions 
Galveston Historical Foundation > Catholic Church now rented out
"In 1968, the Catholic Diocese closed the church and sold the contents at public auction.".

The excuse to end all excuses

Reactions 
Catholic World News : Archdiocesan bankruptcy guided by Holy Spirit?

Churches closing everywhere

Reactions 
but you could go to Mass at the Top of the Terrace restaurant at 6pm, after the game. The reality of the Mass as a Holy Sacrifice seems to have been almost totally obscured.

Convent Closure in Ireland

Reactions 
One hundred and twenty-two years of service at an end.

Holding out hope to save St. Susanna

Reactions 
Daily News Transcript - Local News Coverage:

O'Malley said he was concerned about a 'media circus' if he went. And just exactly whose fault is this media circus. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Catholic World News : Dispute over parish control leads to removal of priests

Reactions 
Nothing at all, in any way, heaven forbid the thought that this is about money.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, the new 'John Fisher'

Reactions 
I wouldn't quite go that far but the strange case of the missing memo. Cardinal Ratzinger obviously is not important enough for the USCCB.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Community saddened by closure of Catholic church

Reactions 
Update on Durrington post below

Church closings kindle anxiety over future uses

Reactions 
They should not go to the highest bidder

They should not go period.

Anger sends parishioners elsewhere

Reactions 
Thank you and good bye

Many designated "welcoming" churches simply haven't done enough outreach to bring in entire communities of displaced Catholics, Swain said.

Durrington, near Salisbury, UK

Reactions 
Local council attempt 2003 to rescue Church of Our Lady Queen of Heaven from the intentions of Clifton Catholic Diocese.

The planning application was withdrawn and this sadly is the latest news available

Anyone with more information on this case, feel free to e-mail me.



Flashback 2002- Manchester, New Hampshire, US

Reactions 
The new parish may be dedicated to the Transfiguration but it is a result of reconfiguration and not divine initiative.

St. Stanislaus Kostka in the Archdiocese of Chicago

Reactions 
Father Anthony Buś, tried unsuccessfully to raise the money needed for the renovation until he consecrated the parish to Our Lady at her request making her Mother and Queen of the parish.

The idea of the sanctuary is not the decision of a committee or council, nor the decision of a group of like-minded individuals. Heaven has planted the seed and is utilizing a wide variety of people to bring it to fruition. Our Lady has the plan and she guides us in her own mysterious and unpredictable way.

Here in the heart of Chicago, Heaven is reaching out to humanity in a gesture of mercy to enkindle within the soul a desire for God. Our Lady, the tabernacle that so long ago concealed the Holy of Holies, continues her apostolic mission to make Jesus known, loved and served and to gently and tenderly, gracefully and mercifully remind a wandering people that they, too, are known, loved and served by a living God.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

St Stanislaus Kostka, Diocese of Syracuse

Reactions 
Prayer for St Stan

Why close such a wonderful church with such a wonderful and prayerful congregration?

St Thomas, Harlem, New York

Reactions 
Article in New York Times July 30, 2004

On the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows, the Basilica under this title in Rome.

Reactions 
Hopefully this view will not be too difficult for people to accesss


Our Lady of the Snows
Rev. Matthew R. Mauriello

The most important church in the city of Rome dedicated to Our Lady is the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, erected around the year 352, during the reign of Pope Liberius. ( 352-366 ) According to legend, a member of an aristocratic family, John and his wife were childless and prayed that the Blessed Mother might designate an heir to bequeath their wealth. They were favored with a dream in which Our Lady appeared to them on the night of August 4-5. She requested that they build a church in her honor on the Esquiline hill and the sign to accompany this dream is that the exact location would be marked out in snow.

During that hot summer evening, a miraculous snowfall traced the form of the basilica on the hill. Our Lady also appeared to Pope Liberius in a dream that same night so that he too could arrive at the location to see the miraculous snowfall. Many people gathered to see the unusual event of snow glistening in the August sun. Upon awakening, John and his wife rushed to the site and Pope Liberius arrived in solemn procession.

Realizing that the snow marked the exact location of the church, the people staked off the area before the snow melted. The basilica was completed within two years and consecrated by Pope Liberius, that is why it is sometimes referred to as the Basilica Liberiana, after the Pope who consecrated it.

When the Council of Ephesus defined Mary as Theotokos, the God-bearer, in 432 A.D., Pope Sixtus III ( 432-440 ) rebuilt and embellished the basilica. From the seventh century onward, it was referred to as St. Mary the Great or Major. The Basilica has also been called Our Lady of the Snows in commemoration of the miraculous snowfall. The imposing facade was built by Pope Eugene III ( 1145-1153 )

Among its great treasures is a painting of the Madonna and Child known as the Salus Populi Romani , the Protectress of the People of Rome, which is attributed to St. Luke. This image had been brought back from the Holy Land by St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, who also located the True Cross and other Relics of the Passion in Jerusalem. The venerable picture hung in the private chapel of Pope Liberius and he ordered that it be brought to the Basilica for public veneration by the faithful.

Throughout the centuries there has been a special devotion to this famous picture of Our Lady. During the pontificate of Pope St. Gregory the Great ( 590-604 ) a plague attacked the people of Rome and the Pope carried the image in procession to pray to their Protectress for an end to the plague. In 1837, Pope Gregory XVI ( 1830-1846 ) also carried the image in procession throughout Rome to ask Our Lady for an end to an epidemic of cholera. When it soon ended , the Pontiff solemnly placed crowns of gold and gems on the heads of Mary and the child Jesus on the miraculous image.

Pope Paul V ( 1605 - 1621 ) arranged that a magnificent Chapel be built for the veneration of the image. On January 27, 1613, it was removed from the high altar and placed in the new chapel. The manger from the stable of Bethlehem is venerated under the high altar of the basilica.

The liturgical feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major is celebrated each year on the fifth of August. On that day, a beautiful custom is kept each year to commemorate the miraculous snowfall. At the conclusion of the Solemn Mass a shower of white rose petals falls from the dome of the Chapel of Our Lady.

Great advert from the American Life League

Reactions 
IS ABORTION NOTALL THAT BAD — OR IS THE EUCHARIST NOT ALL THAT GOOD?

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Feast of St. John Vianney, Patron Saint of Parish Priests, 4 August

Reactions 
Pope John XXIII 1 August 1959 on St. John Vianney

Ground broken for new Catholic church in Alton, New Hampshire

Reactions 
With God and his saints, all things are possible with prayer and devotion

St Katherine Drexel, pray for us!

St Joan of Arc and St Cecilia, pray for us!

Holy Cross Abbey, Canon City, USA

Reactions 
Yes, straight out of the management text books, the downsizing of a monastery. Pray not just for the monastery but all the parishes that they serve.

Holy Cross, our only hope- Sancta Crux Spes Unica!

St John, Middletown US

Reactions 
The Chapel of the Divine Mercy which is open all day every day, inspite of a fire.

St Ann's Church, Boston, USA

Reactions 
St. Ann's parishioners say Bishop Lennon directed pastor to put stop to demonstration

The Diocese seems to have succeeded in shutting down a protest.

Closing the longtime Italian parish of St. Ann's has become a hostile and divisive battle between locals and an administration that has distanced itself from the situation, parishioners say.

Parishioners at St. Ann's claim the animosity has grown so intense between the Archdiocese of Boston and their parish that in June their priest was threatened he would lose his job immediately if he did not keep his flock quiet.

Two longtime parishioners say Auxiliary Bishop of Boston Richard G. Lennon pressured their priest into halting a protest by threatening to throw him out of his church and home.

In June, the parishioners were planning to take seven buses to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston to attend Mass and protest the closing of their church. But the night before the protest, parishioners Denis Denommee and Ted Rabidou got a phone call from their pastor, the Rev. Michael Bercik, asking them not to go.

According to Rabidou and Denommee, Lennon called Bercik's superior and told him to stop the protest or Bercik would be asked to leave St. Ann's immediately.

Neither Bercik nor his superior, the Rev. Robert Campagne, O.F.M., could be reached for comment. Campagne is the minister of Franciscan friars in the Province of the Immaculate Conception in New York City.

The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston could not be reached yesterday.

"(Bercik) took it as a real threat. He was really shook up about it, he begged us not to go. He said it was going to cause all kind of trouble," Denommee said.

Rabidou said he could tell by the tone of Bercik's voice that he was nervous, and then called Campagne to verify the story.

The protest planned for Boston would have been large but peaceful, Denommee said.

Parishioners were planning to quietly attend Mass at the cathedral and then wave signs in support of the friars after the Mass, "nothing disruptive by any stretch of the imagination."

FARGO DIOCESE: Bishop closes five parishes

Reactions 
And blames the "population drain". Another excuse to be added to the list.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Latin Mass saves St Josephat's Church, Detroit

Reactions 
Soon, carpenters will refit the church's modern, wooden altar with casters so it can be wheeled away for the weekly Tridentine mass, providing worshippers with a clear view of the high altar

Together with offensive and ageist comments by Fr Thomas Reese. Its him that's living in the past.

He should join the traditional Catholic pilgrimages Paris/ Chartres each year. The vast majority of priests are under 35 leading the 18,000 faithful whose average age is about 30.

Not the first and by no means the last Church that will be saved by the Latin Mass, under whose spiritual shelter 99.9% of Catholics living and dead have been nurtured over 2000 years. Maybe 99.99%.

'Sell-off' church to spend 600,000 pounds

Reactions 
Sell churches, buy a new home for Diocesan bureaucrats!


The Diocese claims:
"The purpose of the changes is to ensure that the parishes in the diocese are vibrant communities that enable us to be people of prayer, still proclaiming the Gospel message."

And the list of Churches being sold to buy offices, a training centre, a café and a multi-storey car park. I think it is called losing the plot. If a company constructed a new headquarters and sold all its branches, the share price would nose-dive.

SALFORD:

St. Philip Benizi (1962)
Lower Kersal, M7 0TP

ACCRINGTON:

Sacred Heart (1851, 1869)
Blackburn Road, BB5 0AH.

BOLTON:

Ss. Petr & Paul (1800, 1897)
Pilkington Street, BL3 6HP.

BRIERFIELD:

Holy Trinity (1895, 1896)
Richard Street, BB9 5HZ.

BURY:

St. Bede (1950, 1953)
Fairfield, BL9 7RG.

COLNE:

St. Ursula (chapel of ease)
Cotton Tree.

FARNWORTH:

St. Gregory the Great (1853, 1875, 1946)
Church Street, BL4 8AQ.

HUNCOAT

Our Lady (1931)

IRLAM: [one of two]

St. Teresa (1874, 1902)
Liverpool Road.
or,
St. Joseph the Worker (1963, 1965)
Cutnook Lane.

MANCHESTER:

St. Malachy (1922, 1930, 1972)
Collyhurst, M10 7RG.

Was used by the Vietnamese Chaplaincy.

St. Michael (1856, 1956)
Ancoats, M4 5DG.

St. Robert (1915, 1929, 1960, 1982)
Longsight,.

St. Vincent de Paul (1896, 1908, 1955)
Openshaw, M11 2FU.

St. Wilfrid (1842, 1948) [??? query]
Hulme, M15 5BZ.

MIDDLETON:

St. Agnes (1966, 1968)
Hollins Estate.

STACKSTEADS:

St. Joseph (1892, 1897, 1928, 1953)
Huttock End Lane. OL13 8LD.

STRETFORD:

St. Teresa (1928)
St. Tersa's Road, Firswood.


A message from the "Save St Michael's Group", Manchester, UK

Reactions 
"To all of us, St Michael's is a holy and sacred Place and the spiritual home of all the family of St Michael's, Ancoats ":