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
I was just recently informed by Regina Civiletti, the Director of Matthew’s Closet, that a kind and generous family approached her to donate a website. They put her in contact with a web designer who has built a new site for the ministry. In this changing world we live in, it is nice to have a home site where they can communicate who they are and what they do in service to those in need. Thanks be to God for the generosity of good people and may all those who serve the community via Matthew’s Closet be blessed for their good work.
As you may have heard, our parish is in the are that is “orange” status. This means that we are allowed 33% of capacity or 25 persons maximum. Since, by limiting the number to 25, we have no easy way to decide who can come and who cannot and since we have been seeing close to 250 people in our four Masses; and since to accommodate that number would require 10 separate Masses to allow room for everyone, it seems the only logical decision is to suspend Masses once again. This situation is regrettable not only because of the inconvenience to all of us, but it is reprehensible because, as I warned in the talks on prophecies for our times, we are now seeing the erosion of our constitutional rights which correspond to our rights by Natural Law.
See below or in the email for the links to the Sunday Mass on Zoom. Prayers to all that you may be safe over the holiday. Thank you for all your support to Fr. Bob and me! God bless you and have a Happy Thanksgiving, Fr. Mickey
The Strategic Planning committee has been hard at work for months. To be truthful, we have had two committees. One began last year with mostly staff and Finance Council members. That is the group that planned for the preliminary Town Hall meeting that took place in February and the session that took place in July. After that, we put together another committee of mainly parishioners that was tasked with the difficult role of making the decision to close a site. The newest additions to the Strategic Planning Menu page (from November forward) contain the information pertinent to their deliberations and considerations. See that page for more information on the process. Please pray for all involved. Thank you, Fr. Mickey
Given the statistics, it was bound to happen. The virus came to our house this week. It is possible that it came here before but we’ll never know. We found out due to a test that Fr. Bob had to do for his service as chaplain at Monroe Community Hospital. See the Cabrini Notes document.
OF NOTE – Masses will take place this weekend. Saturday evening Mass at 4:00 PM has been moved to ANNUNCIATION Church.
Called to Holiness
In all of the craziness and business of these past few months, having given great and necessary emphasis to prayer efforts, strategic planning and a parish retreat, I have forgotten to make mention of the Exult Rochester Catholic Men’s Conference. The conference will happen in a more abbreviated and, of course, virtual format this Saturday morning from 7:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
With the theme of Called to Holiness, it will feature a rosary to begin the day, followed by Mass celebrated by Bishop Matano, and then two talks, one by Troy Guy and the other by Dr. David Anders. Troy is a convert to the Catholic faith and has authored a book, Evangelical Catholic. He is an engineer and currently works on spacecraft design. Dr. David Anders is also a convert to the faith after being in a Protestant seminary studying Reformation History. He came into the Church in 2003 and now hosts a national call-in show on Catholic Radio.
Because of the limitations to a virtual conference, the conference team decided not to charge. Donations are welcome.
Men of the parish, please sign-up and benefit from this special event.
Over the summer we were contacted through Facebook by a man who wanted to do a project regarding the interior of St. Michael’s Church. I made contact with Brandon Sartin and he described for me his plans. He knew of the beauty of the church from a wedding he had photographed before and wanted to do create a 360° virtual tour. I was happy to let him in and go to work. He finished the project in the first part of September, but I was still learning how to make changes to the website, so here it is now. This is my first blog post.
Brandon did a great job stitching together the various photos he took. He has asked me to add some audio for people to meditate on the stations of the cross. That is a project I would like to do, but haven’t had time yet. It is my hope to be able to do that soon, in the meantime enjoy Brandon’s work.
As an added option to the audio he’s provided I have included here a link to Mary Beth Fuehrer giving a tour of St. Michael’s. Mary Beth passed on to her eternal reward this week, may she rest in peace, so the timing seems most appropriate. In the upper right corner of the virtual tour you can click on the speaker icon to turn the music off and if you load Mary Beth’s audio in a second window or tab in your browser you can listen to the one and watch the other.
Thank you so much, Brandon Sartin of Nika Ink Photo and Graphics.
Peace in Christ, Fr. Mickey