12/17/2006

Closing Churches...its just around the corner...

One of the unexpected results of blogging is being on the receiving end of countless emails from people near and far who love Buffalo, NY. Lots of email from local and regional artists interested in Artspace and others about local investment strategy and still others about asking for help locating the old family house somewhere on the urban prairie in forgotten Buffalo. Generally receive 15-20/day and some really standout. Mary Ann Herrington from Dunkirk, NY sent this in last week. She addresses a major concern regarding the Diocesan - Journey to Avoid Housing Court - that's captured my attention for the past two years here on the City's east side.
Hi David,
I just stumbled across your Web site last week and I love it. I'm especially interested in your articles about the imminent closing of some of the Catholic Churches in the diocese.
In fact, I am a writer for my hometown newspaper in Dunkirk and have written several columns on this topic. Well, I must have struck a raw nerve or two with the diocese, because none other than Kevin Keenan himself wrote a letter to my publisher claiming, among other things, that I was a simplistic, self-serving and totally unprofessional bishop-badgerer and should be banned from writing any more columns.
My boss, not being a big Kevin Keenan fan, handed me the letter to do with what I please. I have continued to write columns and feel you have a wealth of information here for me to draw from. I especially like "79 Oakland" and the "McChurches."
I'm sending you the first column I wrote on "the Journey". Feel free to post it and any or all comments I send you. You will see that diocesan blight is not confined only to Buffalo.
Keep up the good work!
Regards,
Mary Ann Herrington
Dunkirk NY
herringtonobserver12sept2006
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1 comment:

MJ² said...

I think this extends beyond just the bureaucracy of the Church.

I admire the parishoners for trying to save the churches that the leadership, and other members of faith choose to ignore, along with the poor that they now almost exclusively service.

Any religion that teaches service and love of the poor, yet has a majority of its members driving to more affluent churches (sheltered from the poor) instead of driving to urban churches (worship as equals with the poor) needs fixing at its foundation.

I run into many people who give minimum effort through the lip service of saying: "jeez, its a shame what happened to the church of my youth", etc. I always have to ask: "Why don't you start attending there again then?", only to get a bunch of lame excuses. Is there no respect anymore for one's History? Does loyalty cease to exist? Does caring even exist beyond one's own personal space?

It has been 13 years since my 12 years of Catholic education came to an end. Maybe they teach differently today. Maybe Jesus would move to a weathier area, stay out there to worship with his more affluent friends, throw a couple bucks in the missionary, and say "Gee its a shame they have to close down all those grand old churches."

It does not just reflect poorly on the bureaucracy of the church, but on the membership as a whole.