On January 25, 2022, Archbishop Rozanski wrote a letter to the people of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Here are some extracts from the letter’s key statements:[BEGIN QUOTE]
“In St. Louis, we too are called to a new chapter in our nearly 200-year history. The model that fulfilled its mission in growing and evangelizing the Church during the last century has become archaic…
“I am excited to share with you today the official launch of our archdiocesan strategic pastoral planning initiative known as “All Things New.” Under the leadership of Father Chris Martin, Vicar for Strategic Planning, we will assess every aspect of our Archdiocese and make the necessary adjustments to our ministries and supporting structures to reflect the needs of our communities for the next century. We anticipate that these adjustments will be the most sweeping changes that the Archdiocese has witnessed in its history.
“”All Things New” seeks to enable a vibrant Catholic presence across every square mile of our Archdiocese by renewing the church in its mission of proclaiming the Gospel, and securing a vibrant future… ensuring intentional stewardship of the gifts that God has given us over these past 200 years.”[END QUOTE]
To understand this letter, you must know something about his career just before he came to St. Louis. Then, from 2014 to 2020, he was Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts.[BEGIN QUOTE]
“Closure and demolition
“The case of Mater Dolorosa Church is among the most egregious mismanagements of parish property by the Diocese of Springfield. Mater Dolorosa, one of the most beautiful churches in the diocese, was closed by Bishop Timothy McDonnell in 2011, as part of his “pastoral planning” (church closure) initiative. Though numerous attempts were made by parishioners to keep the parish open, their requests were repeatedly ignored by the Diocese, who had their own plans. The Diocese was set on closing the church and its victory over parishioners culminated in demolition of 122-year-old in 2018.” (Wikipedia, Mater Dolorosa Parish, Holyoke)[END QUOTE]
So Archbishop Rosanski was in charge when the church was demolished.
Here is a comment about the Archbishop’s sale of land in St. Louis:[BEGIN QUOTE]
“He has already started to sell church property with no canonical decree issued that we can find and have requested with no response as in the case of Saints Mary and Joseph chapel in St. Louis at 6304 Minnesota Avenue. He has stripped the interior and has it up on the market since Spring 2021.” (Save Rome of the West)[END QUOTE]
This is very important, because a priest who attended one of the Archbishop’s meetings proclaimed on an video that 187 existing parishes in the St. Louis Archdiocese might be reduced to 75, a reduction of 112 parishes.
Such a reduction in parishes is a horrifying concept. The essence of Catholicity is that to perfect it, you would go to churches that become parishes by the wonderful work of priests. I have been working within this system for over 70 years and it is fabulous. And it attracts all Catholics no matter what is the state of their faith.
Please allow me to repeat essential facts presented in a previous post:[BEGIN QUOTE]
“For people who attend daily Mass, it is quite clear that they would never accept the termination of their parish.
“Mass has a special priority for them, because it permits them to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God every day. It is the same Body and Blood that Jesus shared with his disciples the night before the crucifixion.
“Our priests emphasize that Jesus loves his brothers and sisters. This is why he came to Earth to live our life and experience the horrifying suffering and death that led to our redemption.
“One of the powerful events expressing Jesus’ love for his brothers and sisters happened just before Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
“The good thief acknowledged that he was a sinner and requested Jesus’ forgiveness. Who could ever forget that Jesus said to him: “This day thou shall be with me in paradise!”
“Two days later, the Son of God revealed His Resurrection to Mary Magdalen before anyone else. Our incredible Savior, the son of God, only wants us to repent to save us.
“Thus the Body and Blood that we can receive at Holy Communion at daily Masses are extraordinary gifts that change our lives to be more acceptable to God.
“Holy Communion, Confession, and Baptism are normally available only at Church. How could anybody want to close a parish to eliminate the availability of these God-given wonders?
“Take away a church and you destroy access to the Sacramental life of already faithful Catholics! This is absolutely wrong! And if the parish includes a school, it is a double disaster. There is nothing more important than evangelizing our children.
“Each parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis has grown and developed over years, decades, or even centuries to provide all the Sacraments that Christ himself established. Terminating Christ’s Sacraments by terminating churches is a disaster.
“Suppose that there are 30 people going to daily mass in each parish. This would be more than 10,000 Masses and receptions of the Sacraments per year. And on Sundays, supposed there are 200 people going to Mass each Sunday. This would be another 10,000 Masses and receptions of the Sacrament per year. Thus closing of a single parish would result in more than 20,000 Masses and receptions of the Sacraments that would not be available to faithful Catholics each year. This would be an utter catastrophe.”[END QUOTE]
Here is an example of our great priests:[BEGIN QUOTE]
“Saint John Vianney
“A man of “average intelligence,” John passed his seminary exams with difficulty, and was ordained at the age of twenty-nine. He was assigned to the tiny parish of Ars. “Lord, grant me the conversion of my parish; I am willing to suffer whatever you wish, for my entire life!” was his ardent prayer. With little sleep and less food, he catechized, preached, provided for the poor, and heard confessions. Up to sixteen hours a day were spent reconciling sinners to God. Pope Benedict XVI described this audacious “pastoral plan” as “the complete identification of the man with his ministry.” John Vianney died in 1859 at the age of seventy-three. (Magnificat 2022)”[END QUOTE]
When you close a church, you destroy our ability to have our priests, and their abilities to give us all the sacraments of God!
When you close 112 parishes, where are their Catholics going to go to church, and how far away will the next church be? People who attend daily Mass may not have the time to drive much further away and still get to work on time.