Manayunk Reconfiguration Part 2 – A Philly Priest’s Perspective
Saw two article dealing with other archdioceses that have had to deal with parish reconfigurations (Cleveland and Boston).
Boston had a first go-round several years ago but decided to take a different approach when a second round seemed needed. I met some of the Boston priests when I worked in the Clergy Office. They are a fine group but do have to face the realities of fewer Catholics, fewer vocations, expensive buildings, etc… as you can read here.
In Cleveland, several initial parish closings were rescinded by the Vatican who felt that canonical procedures were not properly followed. Parishioners might be happy but, nevertheless, the face the same challenges as Boston (and here in Phila as well). There also seems to be an issue between (I’ll say) “some” of the priests and their Archbishop as related in this article.
How are things in Philly. Well, the Flyers and Sixers are out of the Playoffs. Eagles don’t start anytime soon. Phillies are struggling to stay at .500. And what about the archdiocese Father? Oh yeah, good question. Probably a mixed picture. I was surprised at the depth and size of the emotions that both of these article brought out. As Archbishop Chaput mentioned recently, there is not one area of the archdiocese that is not under stress at this moment.
He outlines the situation in Philadelphia in a recent speech that he gave to a group of Catholic journalists on the eve of the “Fortnight for Freedom.” What he said was sobering but also brutally honest. His words gave voice to a lot of what I have been feeling and have experienced especially over the past year. He also provides direction, vision and, therefore, a sense of hope that things are improving and will get better. Certainly not soon but I do see progress.
I close with one of my favorite Scripture quotes: Proverbs 29:18 – Where there is no vision, the people perish