The LUSJ had two articles. One talking with St Mary's and one with All Saints with whom they are supposed to merge with Starting in September. Shockingly they are going to accept and St Mary's parishioners with open arms (sarcasm added).
Noted in this article was that All Saints offers 3 masses and has three priests. Not noted is that St Mary's has three masses and only one priest. Each brought in about 6,400 dollars last week in offerings. I'd say that St. Mary's is the more efficient/profitable entity. (St John's by the way is the local force with 5 weekend masses).
From All Saint's Rev Vatter:
“I didn’t have a reaction,” said Vatter. “We’re just going along with process .... I felt bad we weren’t all working together. The Vicariate is doing things as a group and we wish that St. Mary’s be part of it.”We are usurping your parish. Please play along nicely.
“Nobody came from the diocese to meet with us or Father Gary,” said Ulrich who noted that St. Mary’s got a positive score on 17 of 18 points as a parish. “Finances, percent at Mass and programs, we were good on all of them,” he said.How dare a parish scoring 95% question why it is being closed. Play along because your best interest is our best interest. Almost sounds like secular government. People will always be people.
The bishop ruled that St. Mary’s will no longer have weekend Masses and will only be used as a oratory for special services.
Kmiec wrote, “I have been saddened by the effect St. Mary’s appeal has had on the unity of the Catholic Community of Lockport, and I hope the good will that is in each one’s heart will heal any wounds of division.”
The LUSJ reported that Bishop Kmiec has said that St. Mary's must close by Sept. 1st:
Some parishioners wept Saturday evening at the announcement that St. Mary’s must close by Sept. 1 by order of Most Rev. Edward U. Kmiec, Bishop of Buffalo.A growing parish on stable financial ground in an iconic Lockport structure is ordered to close while in Buffalo St. Bernard's was allowed another year to "determine if trends toward decline can be reversed." The Bernard's article also mentions: "The bishop cited Chmielewski's willingness to participate in the process as a key element behind his decision." while the St Marys has the broken quote: “"I have been saddened by the effect St. Mary’s..." What division? Parishioners asked."
Pastor Gary Kibler met with Kmiec on Thursday and read the bishop’s letter from the pulpit after the 4:30 p.m. Mass....
It would seem to show that humans will play "politics" no matter what the calling or subject at hand is. Play nice and you can get a chance to turn around a shrinking parish. Challenge a questionable decision and continue the closure of a successful parish.