Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Metro Detroit Catholics brace themselves for news about parishes

Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit are not only in a period of expectation during Advent for Christmas, they are in a period of expectation for news about their parishes.

Archbishop Vigneron has been faced with too few priests for the number of parishes and it's only going to get worse in the years to come given the average age of priests, which is 62. I believe it will get better with time as more young men are heading to seminaries around the country, but it's going to get worse before it gets better.

Like many dioceses we are not only facing a shortage of priests, but a financial crunch. The Archdiocese has been making an effort to help parishes become more financially stable and to pay-off debt with a capital campaign under the banner of Changing Lives Together. I was involved in this campaign at Grotto for the past half-year along with a team of other parishioners. It's happening all across Detroit and Archbishop Vigneron allowed parishes to keep 70% of what they raised, which is far more generous than what is happening in some other dioceses where the split is 50/50, 60/40, etc. This region has been hit much harder than other parts of the country due to the deep job losses. These things also impact donations to parishes, dioceses and apostolates.

At the same time teams have been meeting to study a number of things in the archdiocese, taking into consideration a everything from demographics to services provided. Tonight or tomorrow, the Archdiocese of Detroit will share with the public what kind of recommendations are being sent to Archbishop Vigneron. These are not final. The Archbishop will study it and share his decisions in February.

When I see the information on the AoD's website, I will share the link here. You can also check to watch for updates.

In the meanwhile, here is local press coverage and related items in the news recently...

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Veronica said...

If someone had approaced a Catholic in Detroit in the year 1961 and told them that in fifty years the Catholic Church in Detroit would be in such a state, he would have thought him insane, so unbelievable such a thing seemed at the time.

I know how painful this is. There is little in my life that caused me more pain than when I found out about seven years ago that my grammar school (which reached its peak enrollment in the mid-sixties with about 1500 children), had closed and was boarded up. The school has a grand total of 75 students the year it closed.


Anonymous said...

These people are nuts as hell! They are trying to do the same thing in my Diocese, but it is a little different. I hope you people of Assumption Grotto will really rise up. Fight this to the very top! Why is your parish being punished for a debt that was not its own in the first place. Something is rotten in Denmark. I read the book about Msgr. Sawher's life, how he fought for his parish. This is how some like to take their revenge. I don't believe it is the Archbishop himself. He seems a very holy and sincere man. It would be stupid for him to end all of the things Assumption Grotto provides. The parish is famous even outside of Detroit. These are tough times for the Church, not only in Detroit, but in many places. However, your parish is a beautiful, viable place of worship. Don't let them take away what is rightfully yours!
Fr. David, Ohio

Len said...

Back when Maida was Archbishop, and he was closing some parishes, I wrote to the FSSP to ask them to send some priests to Michigan. I recieved a horrific response. The FSSP said they have offered many times to send priests to Michigan, but Maida would not allow them in. I pray Archbishop Vigneron is more humble than Maida was, and will accept the help of the FSSP and the emerging US Anglican Ordinariate, both of whom have (or in the case of the AO, will soon have) more priests than assignments, and allow them in Michigan to ease this artificial "priest shortage".