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Feb 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Sonsoles-496426 said: It is sad, In the UK quite a few churches were turned into bars/ Clubs. I happened to go once ...
(Quote) Sonsoles-496426 said:

It is sad, In the UK quite a few churches were turned into bars/ Clubs. I happened to go once to one for a drink with some friends and kind of made me sad, I hope while being there some people looked at the Cealing and beautiful building and think of God, wanting to look at the positive!!

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Good idea to get Theology on Tap there.

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Feb 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Richard-15378 said: The Archdiocese of Phila is closing my beautiful church, St. Donato's .. It is 103 years old...
(Quote) Richard-15378 said:

The Archdiocese of Phila is closing my beautiful church, St. Donato's .. It is 103 years old, a classic Italian throwback ... A magnificent 60 foot high Crucifixion scene behind the altar ... stained-glass windows with mosaics of the Good Shepherd, St.Michael the Archangel, the Nativity scene and so on ... We have a devoted congregation, with many of the older folks having known only this church ... St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first US citizen to be canonized, worshiped in our chapel ... We have appealed to the Archdiocese, but have been turned away and, honestly, at times have been treated rather rudely ... I must say that as sad as our closing makes me feel, I must admit to being even more hurt at the response (or lack of it) by the local Catholic hierarchy ... Yes,our numbers are down, but give us a year or so to try and boost attendance... We think we can do it, but they have to give us the chance ... All this has made me question whether I will continue to attend Mass if they close us .. Never thought I would ever say or do that, but this is very disheartening ... It seems like the way Jesus laid down, respect for all people, is not being adhered to ... If anyone else has experienced this, with their church closing, I'd love to hear your reaction ... I feel lost and my spirit is broken by it all ... I am trying to keep separate the wonderful teachings of our religion from the decisions made by men, but it is hard to keep focused in the light of this emotional pain ... Why can't they respect our legacy and give us a chance????

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As someone who appreciates the old architecture of churches, I sympathize with you, Richard. Europe has thousands of very old churches and they are absolutely beautiful with the huge, thick wood and metal frame doors. Some of the newer churches are 200 years old. What is wrong with our culture that we need to raze beautiful structures to develop flimsy amphitheater type structures? Fight to keep your church, Richard and remember the good advice from many here that the church is only material. The Church is going through many "not for our eyes and need to know basis changes." Let's pray collectively for the Holy Church. theheart

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Feb 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Richard-15378 said: The Archdiocese of Phila is closing my beautiful church, St. Donato's .. It is 103 years old...
(Quote) Richard-15378 said:

The Archdiocese of Phila is closing my beautiful church, St. Donato's .. It is 103 years old, a classic Italian throwback ... A magnificent 60 foot high Crucifixion scene behind the altar ... stained-glass windows with mosaics of the Good Shepherd, St.Michael the Archangel, the Nativity scene and so on ... We have a devoted congregation, with many of the older folks having known only this church ... St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first US citizen to be canonized, worshiped in our chapel ... We have appealed to the Archdiocese, but have been turned away and, honestly, at times have been treated rather rudely ... I must say that as sad as our closing makes me feel, I must admit to being even more hurt at the response (or lack of it) by the local Catholic hierarchy ... Yes,our numbers are down, but give us a year or so to try and boost attendance... We think we can do it, but they have to give us the chance ... All this has made me question whether I will continue to attend Mass if they close us .. Never thought I would ever say or do that, but this is very disheartening ... It seems like the way Jesus laid down, respect for all people, is not being adhered to ... If anyone else has experienced this, with their church closing, I'd love to hear your reaction ... I feel lost and my spirit is broken by it all ... I am trying to keep separate the wonderful teachings of our religion from the decisions made by men, but it is hard to keep focused in the light of this emotional pain ... Why can't they respect our legacy and give us a chance????

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I was intrigued by your description of the altar and the mural behind it, so I ran an online search and found this image www.phillychurchproject.com

Beautiful church, Richard. I strongly empathize with you but please remember that the Church has always been the faithful, never the building or the staff. Hopefully the Philadelphia Diocese and the clerical staff at Our Lady of Lourdes will be sensitive to the congregation of St. Donato and will assist the parishioners with the transition by allowing the formation of a St. Donato's auxiliary to keep alive the memory and traditions of your parish.

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Feb 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Joan-529855 said: The trend here is the opposite! Because of the downturn in the economy, the churches ...
(Quote) Joan-529855 said:


The trend here is the opposite! Because of the downturn in the economy, the churches here have laid off most of their staff members, including music directors and youth directors. It is back to the good ole days when the Catholic Church was run by "volunteers", that nasty terrible word that required everybody to do their part. I was a "volunteer" organist all through high school and we didn't have a "music director" or "liturgist". I chose the songs each week and learned a heck of a lot from my piano teacher Sr. Vera as to which songs were appropriate for which parts of the mass (most of the time it was self explanatory). We had an AWESOME volunteer choir and my sister took over when I left for college. Since I attended Catholic high school I didn't attend Religious Instruction at the parish but RE for high schoolers was taught completely by VOLUNTEER parents and members of religious orders that staffed the local catholic schools. A parish should be run by the people and for the people, not by PAID staff members that aren't even parishioners. I attended a mass here in which members of the paid music ministry weren't even Catholic and had no intention of being Catholic, they just wanted to get paid . The Catholic Church here has to compete with the Mormon church for members and the Mormon church is run COMPLETELY by volunteers, even their Bishops and stake Presidents aren't paid. Each church member is required to sign up for a ministry and put in so many hours each week towards that ministry. THe Mormon church is very well run and very efficient. The music during their services is extremely professional (my neighbor is a former Catholic seminarian who is in charge of the local MOrmon churches music ministry) because Mormon kids are required to learn a musical instrument when young. The Mormon Church is building Churches every square mile; they are small and personal. THey are building a Temple (equivalent to a Catholic Cathedral) less than a 1/2 mile from my house. So even during the economic downturn the Mormon Church continues to thrive while the Catholic CHurch is closing their churches. Something is amiss. I have to agree with the statement that the Catholic Church is going the way of the huge protestant mega churches. I know that is happening down here and is probably one of the reasons the church where I was baptized was torn down and the neighboring church still stands; it was a slight bit larger, more modern looking, and had a full basement. Our parish didn't need a church basement though because we had a school with a large cafeteria (now social hall). CLosing Catholic Churches....heartbreaking?....yes indeed.

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So how is Olmsted doing? I read that it was rumored that he might be getting appointed to a position in Rome. I know the AZ dioceses have had many problems over the years.

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Feb 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Beverly-936499 said: I did not take the time to go through all posts on this thread, so if this is redundant...
(Quote) Beverly-936499 said:



I did not take the time to go through all posts on this thread, so if this is redundant, forgive me. My first husband and I were married, and our children baptized, at San Francesco di Paola Catholic Church in San Antonio. It is listed on as a Texas landmark, and I believe on the National Register. Not because it is a church - but because of it's architecture and cultural significance in the community - as it was founded and built by Italian immigrants. It might be worthwhile to investigate if this is a possibility for St. Donato, and it may even be an avenue with which to approach the diocese. Philidelphia certainly is a city that cares about its landmarks, and its neighborhoods.


BTW, my son's name is Donato.

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Ah, yeah, right. My parents parish tried this and it didn't work. THe church building was over 100 years old and the parish was older than that. Once the diocesan powers that be decide they are going to do something there is nothing you can do. The only thing you CAN do is let it be known to every parish in the diocese what is happening in your parish so that they can hire lawyers to keep their parish from closing.

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Feb 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) John-146319 said: I was intrigued by your description of the altar and the mural behind it, so I ran an online searc...
(Quote) John-146319 said:

I was intrigued by your description of the altar and the mural behind it, so I ran an online search and found this image www.phillychurchproject.com

Beautiful church, Richard. I strongly empathize with you but please remember that the Church has always been the faithful, never the building or the staff. Hopefully the Philadelphia Diocese and the clerical staff at Our Lady of Lourdes will be sensitive to the congregation of St. Donato and will assist the parishioners with the transition by allowing the formation of a St. Donato's auxiliary to keep alive the memory and traditions of your parish.

Hi John .. Thanks for the kind words ... Actually the large Crucifixation scene is the 5th of the 5 Sorrowful Mysteries ... Our church ceiling has the other 4 in circular form starting from the back to front, leading right into the Crucifixation scene .... Also, our stained glass windows depict the Joyful and Glorious Mysteries, with one group on each side of the church ... It is so beautiful, which makes it even more sad when I think might happen to all this down the road ...

Today they announced they will cut our 3 weekend Masses to 2 by Memorial Day, to 1 by Labor Day, and then they will close us without having Christmas I guess ... They are calling us a "worship site" after tomorrow, which I guess is a euphemism or doublespeak for closing us down ...

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Feb 23rd 2013 new
That's sad; I hope I have a chance to visit while Mass is still offered there. We really need to evangelize so that our churches are full and this sort of thing does not even need to be considered.
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Feb 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) John-146319 said: I was intrigued by your description of the altar and the mural behind it, so I ran an online searc...
(Quote) John-146319 said:

I was intrigued by your description of the altar and the mural behind it, so I ran an online search and found this image www.phillychurchproject.com

Beautiful church, Richard. I strongly empathize with you but please remember that the Church has always been the faithful, never the building or the staff. Hopefully the Philadelphia Diocese and the clerical staff at Our Lady of Lourdes will be sensitive to the congregation of St. Donato and will assist the parishioners with the transition by allowing the formation of a St. Donato's auxiliary to keep alive the memory and traditions of your parish.

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Hi John, thanks so much for the kind words ... Wanted to explain our large Crucifixtion scene behind our altar ...Actuallly, it represents the 5th of the 5 Sorrowful Mysteries ... Our ceiling has the other 4 SMs, each in a circular form leading up to the Crucifixtion from the back of the church moving forward ... So if you look straight up you'll see the other 4 SMs ... Our stained glass windows on each side of the church depict the Joyful Mysteries on one side, the Glorious on the other ... It is so cool ... Which only makes us more sad when we think might happen to all this down the road .... A priest once told me those windows are worth a good bit of money, which makes me wonder where (if anywhere) that fits in ....


Tomorow is our last official day as a "parish" ...After that they say we will be a "worship site" until December ,,,, For now they are keeping our 3 weekend Masses, but by Memorial Day we will be down to 2, by Labor Day it will be down to 1, and apparently they will close us sometime in December ... Nice Christmas! ...

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Feb 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Richard-15378 said: Hi John, thanks so much for the kind words ... Wanted to explain our large Crucifixtion ...
(Quote) Richard-15378 said:



Hi John, thanks so much for the kind words ... Wanted to explain our large Crucifixtion scene behind our altar ...Actuallly, it represents the 5th of the 5 Sorrowful Mysteries ... Our ceiling has the other 4 SMs, each in a circular form leading up to the Crucifixtion from the back of the church moving forward ... So if you look straight up you'll see the other 4 SMs ... Our stained glass windows on each side of the church depict the Joyful Mysteries on one side, the Glorious on the other ... It is so cool ... Which only makes us more sad when we think might happen to all this down the road .... A priest once told me those windows are worth a good bit of money, which makes me wonder where (if anywhere) that fits in ....


Tomorow is our last official day as a "parish" ...After that they say we will be a "worship site" until December ,,,, For now they are keeping our 3 weekend Masses, but by Memorial Day we will be down to 2, by Labor Day it will be down to 1, and apparently they will close us sometime in December ... Nice Christmas! ...

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Get people together and send a letter asking for decrees. Otherwise, it's over.

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Feb 23rd 2013 new

(Quote) Joan-529855 said: Ah, yeah, right. My parents parish tried this and it didn't work. THe church buil...
(Quote) Joan-529855 said:


Ah, yeah, right. My parents parish tried this and it didn't work. THe church building was over 100 years old and the parish was older than that. Once the diocesan powers that be decide they are going to do something there is nothing you can do. The only thing you CAN do is let it be known to every parish in the diocese what is happening in your parish so that they can hire lawyers to keep their parish from closing.

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The historical landmark route has worked in some cases and is worthwhile to pursue on the side. However, the most important route is through Canon Law. If you have connections to local newspapers and television, you might be able to get some coverage. Personally I'd start out by writing letters to the diocese asking that the closing be stopped. If the diocese is arrogant and ignores you, get media coverage. The Vatican dicasteries have ground to a halt because of the resignation of BXVI, so that can be an advantage as well.

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