Monday, July 21, 2014

Catholic photos

Carmelite Nun
Cistercian Prelates at Vatican II
Episcopal galero
White Biretta given to Pope John XXIII

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Blogger posts Comments on Voice of America & Holy Innocents

The link below has a post on the article/video that Voice of American did on the closing of churches in the Archdiocese of New York with a special focus on the Church of the Holy Innocents.

The blogger's comments are:

1) The closing of Holy Innocents is not official yet.
2) Priests could be found to say the Masses at Holy Innocents (this is already done daily and for Sunday Vespers)
3) Holy Innocents currently satisfies the spiritual needs of the people (Holy Mass, Confession, novenas, processions, prayers, Vespers, a monthly  all-night vigil, etc.)
4) Holy Innocents has no debts and pays its bills without having to have recourse to the Archdiocese for money
5) Holy Innocents is indeed a very vibrant community of faith.

In addition to that, I would add the following:

1) While it is not official that Holy Innocents will be closed, it is very factual to say that the Archdiocesan Advisory Group that recommended merging or closing churches to Cardinal Dolan thinks that Holy Innocents is not "an active, vibrant community of faith."

This we gather from a letter that Cardinal Dolan sent on July 3rd, 2014 to a concerned parishioner from Holy Innocents who had written him a letter to express her concern and surprise that a church like Holy Innocents would be considered for closure.

2) The Archdiocesan Advisory Group and the Reid Group (consultant group that led the Making All Things New process) had been provided with a Supplement of all the activities and the appropriate financial situation and the historical value and connections of Holy Innocents. For them and the Cardinal to claim that Holy Innocents is not "active" enough or not a "vibrant community of faith" is a little dishonest. One only has to type "Holy Innocents NYC" on Google and hundreds of posts, articles, videos, and photos of events at Holy Innocents will pop up.

3) Mr. Zwilling's comments are intentionally general and vague. While the Archdiocese may feel it does not have enough Priests and it helps many parishes financially, that is not the case with Holy Innocents and many of the churches in midtown Manhattan. The Churches of St, John the Baptist and St. Michael do not get financial help either. So, why are these churches being recommended for closure if the Archdiocese does not give them any money? Would it not make more sense to leave the churches that are financially solvent alone, and try to do something only with those parishes that are a financial burden to the Archdiocese?

At Holy Innocents, there are many Priests who willingly say the traditional Mass and some of them do not even want to take the stipend offered. Moreover, many of the younger Priests do want to say the traditional Mass in order to help the traditional Mass community because they see how neglected they are by the Archdiocese, but they are always afraid of being too open about it because the Archdiocese is always ready to pounce if a Priest expressed too much care and concern for the traditional Mass. So much so that the Archdiocese insists that the first Mass of the newly ordained Priests be a New Order Mass and that the newly ordained Priests kind of "must" have Concelebrants (this to make sure that it will not be a traditional Mass because there is basically no con-celebration in the traditional form of the Mass).

Voice of America: The Closing of Churches, the Shrinking of an Archdiocese, and the Possible End to the Daily Traditional Mass in NYC

Voice of America has an article (and interviews) about the Church of the Holy Innocents in midtown Manhattan where the traditional Mass is offered daily (the only parish in NYC where it is offered daily).

Manhattan’s Catholic Churches Face Consolidation, Possible Closures
Daniela Schrier

Some Catholic churches in Manhattan could be closed as the Archdiocese of New York implements a strategic plan to consolidate the churches. Shifting populations, limited resources and fewer priests are among the factors driving the consolidation. At one midtown church facing possible closure, parishioners pray for a miracle.

The Church of the Holy Innocents is the only church in Manhattan offering a high Latin Mass every day of the week. It is such a rarity that many travel across the New York metropolitan region for the daily 6:00 pm service.

Edward Hawkings makes the trek every day despite his disabilities, because the Mass inspires his soul.

“The Mass takes us to a different place. We concentrate at the Mass. It requires a great concentration. It lifts us up. It brings us to a different level, removes us from the world,” said Hawkings.

But this church, and others in Manhattan, are at risk. A program called "Making All Things New" by the Archdiocese of New York is evaluating the membership, ministry and fiscal solvency of the churches under its jurisdiction. Based on the results, some communities might see their churches closed as part of a consolidation.

The potential closure of Holy Innocents signals a larger problem to Thomas Basile, who has been coming to this church since he was a child.

“It seems to me almost like someone is intentionally dismantling the Catholic patrimony of this city. This is basically a Catholic city with a Catholic history," said Basile.

The parishioners in Manhattan once made up 25 percent of the Archdiocese's population, but now they account for only 12 percent. That and the dwindling number of Catholic priests are just two reasons why the Archdiocese has to make hard choices, said communications director Joseph Zwilling.

“Any kind of change is always difficult. We understand that it’s difficult especially for people in their parishes who love their churches, who love the way things are, who don’t want to see any change. And we understand that. But we also realize that if that church is going to effectively meet the needs of the people, it has to meet the needs of the people as they exist today,” said Zwilling.

But some Manhattan Catholics fear that their historic, city churches - built on valuable real estate - are only on the chopping block to improve the Archdiocese’s finances.

“The financial condition of the Archdiocese somehow may be corrupting decisions to make decisions to sell churches,” said Hawkings.

Zwilling denied that claim. He said the Archdiocese spends $30 to $40 million dollars a year to subsidize churches that cannot pay their debts, an amount that is unsustainable. The sale of a church will be the last resort, Zwilling said, and even when that happens the proceeds will be used for the parishioners.

The Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, is currently evaluating the program’s final recommendations and is expected to announce a decision in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the parishioners of Holy Innocents pray for the future of their church. On the Feast of Corpus Christi, an annual celebration of the Eucharist, they took their faith to the streets as proof that the city is still home to a vibrant Catholic community.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cardinal Dolan Addresses Holy Innocents Situation - National Catholic Register

Another article on the Traditional Mass in possible relation to Holy Innocents Church in mid-town Manhattan, the only place in NYC where the traditional Mass is offered daily.
Couple of comments:
1) This seems like a good development. However, the vagueness of the reference is still there.
2) It is good that it is obvious that the "frenzy" to close so many churches was so great and automatic that other groups (deaf community, the Vietnamese community, etc.) had also been overlooked.
3) I am glad that the Cardinal feels better and felt better after meeting, but I, personally, would have felt much, much worse had I had the responsibility to close that many churches.