Dear friends in Christ,
There have been a great many challenges facing us lately, among them are how we are to manage liturgies these days. We have been closed, then opened, then closed and opened once again. With that, we have been trying to guess what things will look like for Christmas. We had had a meeting several weeks ago as things were closing, then we opened and decided to have another liturgy meeting last night. So I was waiting to send out this email until after that. Attached is a calendar of events for the next few weeks, please seek the website for Zoom links of the various liturgies. (Not all liturgies will be delivered by Zoom.)
Having said that, in the meantime, we have been continuing our planning process and have concluded those sessions. I met with the group a final time last week and asked that they keep the information confidential so that I may be allowed to give a report with my recommendation to the bishop. Then I could be allowed the privilege, as pastor, to announce it to the parish myself. Unfortunately, my request was not respected and someone put out information and that information was not entirely correct.
According to canon law, the matters of parish governance belong to a pastor, or someone duly delegated by the bishop. People should look only to that information that comes to them from authorized persons when it comes to parish life and decisions. Let us always be guided by charity in all our words and actions.
Due to the information that came out on Facebook, inquiries from news organizations have come to me. I have responded with these or similar words:
A committee at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish has been assessing the situation in our three Rochester worship sites – St. Michael’s Church, Church of the Annunciation and Church of Our Lady of the Americas — and deliberating for several months. The planning process has mostly come to a conclusion; the pastor, however, has not yet given a final recommendation to the Bishop. That recommendation will go to Bishop Matano in the near future. The bishop will then consult with the diocesan Council of Priests. Since we have not yet made a final recommendation to the bishop, we are not in any position to comment further.
Finally, no priest or pastor ever wants to find himself in this position. The situation we are in is the culmination of many years of struggle. Is there any one person, entity or situation that is to blame? No, it is the result of complicated social, cultural, economic and ecclesial circumstances that are beyond the control of any and all of us. In an atmosphere in which our church is declining, our commitment must be to God and to each other just as we see in the days of the first disciples of Christ.
Thank you for all your prayers. They are greatly appreciated.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Mickey McGrath