Thursday, March 26, 2009


A couple of things you almost never think of or hear about . . .

Here were a couple of thoughts to ponder that have, thus far, not made it into any publications or news services of which I am aware concerning the parish closings in Cleveland. Though these stories are particular to this diocese they happen everywhere and so here is one last post on the topic.

Most of the emphasis has been on those who are members (or sometimes-members) of the congregation, the priests, and people in the neighborhood, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. But there are still others that are feeling some amount of angst over the future of the buildings who are overlooked.

I received last week a number of Emails from an architect who has built a good number of churches and other buildings in the diocese. I found him a great man with whom to work as well as a good Catholic and perfect gentleman. The Emails were short containing the name of a parish that is slated to be closed along with the sentence, “My father designed that building.” Ah, who knows how many others have tacit attachments to the buildings similar to this. Does anybody wonder any longer why, when you change the slightest detail about our church buildings that somebody will be upset? On the one hand we encourage people to take fierce pride and ownership in their parish buildings, but the Church, which holds all things in tension and not dilution, also says, “Don’t get attached. This world and all that it is in it is passing away.”



By and large these men would not tell you what they were going through to help keep their inner city parishes going. They do so quietly as well they should in order to help make their parishes viable. But because they keep quiet they often do not receive the recognition of their efforts and their parishioners do not understand the difficulties that their parish may be facing.

The men about whom I am speaking are the pastors of parishes facing difficulties that forgo taking their full salary or some of their benefits such as their continuing education allotment. They are men who live with very little heat in their rectories or live in rectories that are in such a state of disrepair that many others would not accept for their own living arrangements. They try to cover as well as they can many of the jobs that would normally fall on another parish employee which is why many times requests from inner city parishes take a bit longer to fulfill. They wear their clerical garb until they are worn a bit more, put up with things that are broken, do their best to jerry rig expensive repairs and act as security guards for their own buildings which often entail not only the rectory and church, but school, convent, and other buildings as well. And a good number have stayed on well passed retirement age to try to help to the people in the parish have just that much longer to have their beloved church.

Here’s to you unsung heroes! May God bless you for your quiet efforts!


Anonymous said...

Strong in God and faith and quiet as the mice in their churches--true heroes!

Leticia said...

They are the St John Vianneys of our day. I moved from my home of 46years to live in such a parish, what a blessing it is for my family.
Our priest is a saint. May God protect him.

frival said...

May God bless all faithful priests indeed!

Anonymous said...

Please stop talking about the "poor" things that are happening because of the parish closings and realize that we must support and pray for Our Bishop. He is our chosen Apostle of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and we must obey him as we obey Our Lord.

Fr. V said...


Here I thought I was being rather rough on those who were complaining about the closing of the parishes!