Missionary pastors are setting to work on a series of planning forms and worksheets with over 46 assessment / action points pertaining to the implementation of UIH.

A recent communique to clergy from the diocese’s Office of Evangelization contained the following remarks & suggestions:

I recognize some of the baggage associated with UiH among the pastorates. With that I mind I would like to suggest that when you have moment, perhaps you might reflect on 1 Samuel 17 using guided lectio divina. For the sake of this exercise, I would suggest you begin as the protagonist, David. From that perspective ask God to give you an understanding of the passage with these three questions regarding the diocesan offices:

1)      Do you see the diocese in the person of Goliath? Why do you see it that way? Is that accurate in the eyes of God?

2)      Do you see the diocesan offices in the person of King Saul who loads down David with all this unnecessary and cumbersome armor? Why do you see it that way? Is that understanding correct in the eyes of God?

3)      Do you see the diocesan offices, particularly the 5 roadshows, as five smooth stones from which you can draw the right one for a particular Goliath which taunts your pastorate?

I trust God will give us all the right perspective and get us all focused on the right enemy. In case you hadn’t noticed, he’s kicking our Ars Celebrandi. In the meantime, my staff will make sure we are smoothing the rough edges off the stones and casting off any unnecessary armor so that by faith, each of you can bring the fight to Goliath and the “Philistines” that threaten your pastorate.

We’ll limit our remarks to two points.

1. The above would suggest that some number of our clergy are struggling with these changes of assignment, parish life, and the duties attached to UiH. The assumption in the above remarks seems once again to be that this plan of the diocese is uniquely connected to the mind of God and that the concerns and struggles of others are de facto wrong.

The promptings of “Is that correct in the eyes of God?” would seem to admit of only one answer, and to suggest that the askers already know it. The suggested prayer then becomes a tool to make one see how wrong he is to have had any doubts.

However well-intentioned the author(s), this reads as dismissive of others and in this instance, also of the intellect, charisms and pastoral experience of the clergy, many of whom have been in the trenches for some considerable time at this point, and whose difficulties therefore might be more than “baggage”. One would think that if our priests did in fact view their lives as a David/Goliath struggle with their superiors, that said superiors might also wish to consider the reasons for that, and moreover be concerned with how the problem might be repaired.

2. The above should also illustrate to each of us why our clergy–priests and bishop–need our daily prayers. Please consider increasing yours if you can in some form. We’re aware that we keep pressing for this, perhaps to a point of monotony, but as a reader recently reminded us: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. “

51 Replies to “Stones.”

    1. Par for the course for this bishop. Zoom for thee, not for me. Interesting, meeting in person to discuss the Eucharist is more important than actually meeting in person to receive Him. In the letter, there was nothing like this “We recommend [the meeting] provide one [space] that keeps full protocols in place, or some similar accommodations.”

      The source and summit of these signatories is to remain quislings to the Evil One.

        1. It’s been increasingly clear that we have a mini-Cupich at the helm of this diocese now. Therefore, redirecting tithe to worthy Catholic entities for the foreseeable future.

      1. This diocese is a mess. I know a fallen away Catholic in need of some spiritual help right now and where does one go. I have no confidence in the priests around here helping anyone anymore. Only going along and being obedient to a bishop that doesn’t care for his people. I wish I was wrong and could tell this person where to find help but I couldn’t find any for myself when needed this last year and half. I feel done in my soul.

          1. Yes, there are some but where? I was stating in the area I am in. If they want our support they also have to be there for us. I know of a priest that could help this person but as I told him he would have to drive hours to see him.

    2. The letter should have started thus:

      “We, the undersigned, apologize to all the faithful for spiritually terrorizing you all these years. Collectively, we have many deep, personal problems that should have excluded us from being considered for the episcopate in the first place; possibly even the priesthood. Acknowledging these failings and deceptions, we hereby submit our resignations to the Holy Father and beg to be released from the clerical state so we can address our sins and failings before we breathe our last.”

    3. I am pleased to see that the rest of the IN bishops did not join the notorious cabal. Not surprised that Bp. Doherty did.

  1. Corruption starts from the top down – Vatican, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops etc. Our holy and faithful priests are being silenced and punished for telling the truth. Fr. Ted and Fr. Altman are only two examples of many. I have always seen my priests as shepherds and myself and fellow family parishioners as their flock. The flock wants to hear the truth. Our priests are being silenced and told how to run their parishes. Who is the Goliath? Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals who have lost their faith?

  2. It is interesting that lay employees are now in position of spiritual authority over priests, telling them how to pray and what they need to be praying about. That’s rather weird in my opinion.

    1. At our AMAZING parish, we laity have been using our spiritual authority over priests and telling them how to pray ever since the AMAZING St. Louis Jesuits first introduced us to what real church music sounds like. I don’t know what the big deal is. I mean, isn’t there a document from the AMAZING Second Vatican Council that says that’s what we’re supposed to do? Let me look it up. I’ve got it right here next to my AMAZING copy of “Building a Bridge” by James Martin, SJ (what a guy). OK, it says here in Loomen….Jetsom……Lomein….Gitsum….oh, whatever. I hate Latin. Anyway, it says right here in Chapter 4:

      “The faithful, therefore, must learn the deepest meaning and the value of all creation, as well as its role in the harmonious praise of God. They must assist each other to live holier lives even in their daily occupations. In this way the world may be permeated by the spirit of Christ and it may more effectively fulfill its purpose in justice, charity and peace. The laity have the principal role in the overall fulfillment of this duty.”

      See! We are in charge! Step aside, fathers. We AMAZING laity have the “principal role” in permeating the world with the spirit of justice, charity and peace so as to live in harmony with the deepest meaning of all creation! It’s all in there! You just need the right “spirit” to see it! Maybe if I play a little from Schutte’s AMAZING hit “Sing a New Song” you’ll feel the spirit come over you like when one of our church’s felt banners with the cute little pink lamb on it fell off the wall onto our AMAZING guitar player’s head and disintegrated into a cloud of dust. Poor lamb. I loved that little guy. The AMAZING confirmation class of 1978 made that banner! I’d say we’d make another one, but we haven’t had a confirmation class at our AMAZING parish since 1985.

      Oh, and don’t worry about our AMAZING guitar player. He only suffered mild symptoms connected with mold inhalation. He’s recovering at home and now cantors virtually! We’re all virtual now and we love it! Even though the pandemic’s over and father wanted us to come back to church, we laity used our “principal role” again on him and now we’re virtual all the time. It’s AMAZING! Father “shares a meal” by himself in the church with a camera on him so we can watch. Our AMAZING guitar player cantors virtually from his bed (between coughing fits). And all us AMAZING parishioners have to do is click a link from home to join in the celebration of being together! If you want to join us, all are welcome! Visit our parish website and get the AMAZING link! We have room for 400 to join virtually, and since the pandemic started we normally have 392 to 395 empty slots every Sunday, so plenty of room!

    2. The cost of the three new roving lay consultants, not to mention the 20k that each pastorate has had to pony up, is becoming a burden to parishes. Two of these consultants were hand picked by the Vicar General as they are among his favs. Stay turned for the upcoming costs to schools and parishes from other parts of the Vicar General’s plan.

      1. Is anyone in charge of the Vicar General? Seems from all I’ve been reading here for months now that he calls the shots on everything and whatever he touches causes upheaval and/or costs tons of money followed by his vocal temper when his plans fall apart.

  3. I listed specific reasons for my $0 pledge in the latest diocesan appeal. Nobody acknowledged or responded to my concerns. In discussing this with other parishioners, they posed the exact same concerns. I received a form letter from the pastor requesting to make the same pledge as I did last time and that he would be personally reaching out to address any questions.
    A few homilies followed that were akin to sleezy televangelist indoctrination. He acknowledged the loss of our former pastor but then said the move was required for evangelization. It was insulting. Shortly thereafter I received a follow-up postcard requesting a pledge but the pastor would not have time to reach out personally.
    When our new pastor came he told us that he would NEVER lie to us.
    In my mind, failure to address questions regarding lack of transparency, the $9mm retreat center scandal and actions of the oily VG are examples of lying by omission.
    The funding formula for the appeal is unjust and a thorough financial audit is needed.
    All of these actions lead to closing parishes. I wonder if the bishop and VG are licking their chops over closing parishes, selling property and looting buildings…
    Their policies are stealing Jesus from the faithful and are sinful.

    1. Friends of Fr. James Altman opened a fundraising campaign for him a few days ago. They hoped to get $20K. Currently their pledges top $260k, which is 1302% of their goal. People are generous when they see the real Church in action (not just lots of talk and bureaucracy and wasteful projects) and spiritual leaders they believe in. This is what our Diocese does not seem to understand. Everything people loved about the local church was yanked away for an extended period including trusted pastors and there is still an expectation that people will fund something that seems foreign and forced and possibly going to take away even more. They won’t. (Contributions for Fr. Altman are still being accepted today by the way.

      1. Doing the Math…….and yes people are responsive to Fr. Altman because he is a true shepherd of the church. He didn’t even ask for this fund to be started but people that love and support what he teaches did. The truth!!! I am willingly giving to him instead of a diocese that locked it doors on me. Blessings.

      2. Hmmm….here’s an equation to consider:

        Faithfulness = God providing for every spiritual and material need

        Faithlessness = God permitting every plan and scheme to be frustrated and defeated

    2. Wish I could LOVE this post instead of just liking it, Montre! You are spot on! The VG is a menace and the bishop likes to sit back and let him do all the work. I’ve never seen a bishop who interacted less with his sheep… so sad

      1. I disagree completely! He writes a condescending column to us nearly ever other week in the Catholic Moment, and when we are lucky and he has offended the Mexicans over something, they even translate it into Spanish for an issue or two.

  4. I can’t believe the Diocese would put out something like this…. oh, wait. I can believe it. The same people who worked up the horrible mess of Uniting in Heart would also call anyone who disagrees with the plan “Goliath” and “Philistines”. Good Lord, and they wonder why nobody is on the same page!! Perhaps you could treat your people with just a little more respect and charity.

  5. UiH isn’t working out well over at St. Maria Goretti with two staff members announcing their resignation this month alone.

    1. It is the same in other places: young, talented, well-educated employees losing heart for their work or being cut out. I have worked for the Church too but there are days when it feels like any other job might be better. Too much alienation, loss of sense of community, pressure, always the fear that new bosses will can you because you put a foot wrong or because the parish budget is low … And then everything ends up being run by people who have not been there long enough to understand the parish or the community they serve, so the parishioners grow more disaffected too and actually less willing to evangelize & tithe. A vicious circle. When we lose these good people I hear some people glibly saying oh well, maybe they were not cut out for the work. No. They were valuable assets that God gave us. They had formation, experience, creativity, enthusiasm. They were willing to work for beans because they believed in the cause and were excited to help build something beautiful for God. Then they learned there is nothing you can contribute years of work towards that the Diocese won’t throw in the garbage just because whoever put together U.I.H. did not think of it. What a sad waste of our resources. Please, when you pray for priests, send up a few for the lay staff too, that we can continue, if that is what God wants.

    2. It is frustrating as the parish was thriving to begin with. Reminds me of the phrase “if it’s not broken don’t fix it”. Probably the case with many other parishes as well.

      1. Well, you might think so. But I remember reading in the Catholic Moment our vicar general telling us we are going to have to stop doing some of the things we do well, so we can do other things instead. I mean why do worthwhile things well when you can do mediocre programs poorly.

      2. Clearly the plan operates under the phrase: “If it’s not broken, break it. And if it’s broken, set it on fire.” We are being led by the blind.

  6. I believe I heard of priests gathering in Chicago under Bernadine or one of the really wicked bishops…forming a kind of union. Seems like a little good-ol’ fashioned community organizing might be in order, here. We are called to be as gentle as lambs but as clever as serpents. All the priests united against the Lilly-funded UiH and feminists running the diocese with their “divine-right-of kings” bishop should be a powerful force of God to contend with. The disrespect he has for his priests is truly insulting. That language seems to filter down to the rubes, as he sees us Hoosiers, in the parish. If priests think more about obeying God rather than men–a la St. Peter–we would be a thriving diocese.

  7. Here’s how these questions should be answered (IN CAPS):

    1) Do you see the diocese in the person of Goliath? YES. Why do you see it that way? BECAUSE YOU ARE BULLYING PEOPLE. Is that accurate in the eyes of God? WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF GOD? THE LIGHT OF HUMAN REASON IS SUFFICIENT TO INFORM ME THAT YOU ARE A BULLY.

    2) Do you see the diocesan offices in the person of King Saul who loads down David with all this unnecessary and cumbersome armor? YES. Why do you see it that way? BECAUSE A TREE IS KNOWN BY ITS OWN FRUIT AND SO MUCH PAIN, ANXIETY, AND CONFUSION HAVE BEEN THE FRUITS OF UNITING IN HEART. Is that understanding correct in the eyes of God? AGAIN, WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF GOD? THE LIGHT OF HUMAN REASON IS SUFFICIENT TO INFORM ME THAT YOU ARE A BAD TREE.

    3) Do you see the diocesan offices, particularly the 5 roadshows, as five smooth stones from which you can draw the right one for a particular Goliath which taunts your pastorate? CAN GOLIATH DEFEAT HIMSELF? IF THE SMOOTH STONES ARE IN FACT BOOMERANGS, PERHAPS.

    1. AMEN! This sums it up well! Now…how long before the money dries up? When will Goliath start punishing parishes by closing them? Stay tuned!

    2. Goliath has already been throwing a steady stream of boomerangs. Each one has a Uniting in Heart logo on them. And each one bops him on the head every time. It’s just pathetic. Our church leadership is so blinded by pride and incompetence. My feelings on this Uniting in Heart debacle have moved from confusion to anger to disillusionment to, quite honestly, indifference. Threatening to close my parish unless I pay up doesn’t move me anymore. Go ahead, close it. I have a car. Besides, what would I be paying for? A diocese that bullies and mistreats its priests? A diocese that all but drives away vocations? A diocese that ends its dedicated seminarian fund? A diocese that funds an empty retreat center? A diocese that willingly locks up its churches and robs the faithful of the sacraments because Caesar ordered them to? Wow! So many reasons to give! Pathetic. Just pathetic…

  8. In the David and Goliath story, I thought the point was GOD chose David, GOD anointed David as His chosen one, and GOD provided him what was needed to win the battle. Imagine David standing there while helpful consultants try to hand him all sorts of tools and weapons and such and tell him what tactics to take and what stones he needs to use. Good grief. Did God call these men to be His priests or not? Aren’t they “other Christs”? I get the idea of supporting them where they need it but let them do their job for crying out loud.

  9. We sent our questions regarding UiH and our pledge card for $0 to the bishop’s office almost a year ago. Crickets. Recently, we received a letter from our pastor asking us to send in a pledge. Finally, communication! The body of the letter addressed us as if we were 5 years old and having a temper tantrum because our pastor was moved! This was followed by a series of homilies about loss and transition. Of course, no questions were answered. If we are frustrated by being condescended to, imagine what it is like for our priests.

    1. Our pastor told two of his close friends last week that the Bishop actually said told the priests they were in the process of being “rewired” at a meeting last week.

      THAT’S what the priests are dealing with right now.

      1. Hope somebody is recording these meetings. If you have a roomful of decent hardworking people you shouldn’t have to “rewire” them to make them do what you want. That’s nuts. Controlling narcissistic language.

        1. What do you expect from a bishop who is listed on the board of Bernardin’s Common Ground Initiative? Solve et Coagula?

  10. The priesthood needs prayer as many of us have recognized. The fact that telling the truth, like Fr. Ted has done with BLM or Fr. Altman has done, has received suspension or resignation, tells the laity our priests are suppressed. Funny, I thought it was Islam that suppressed but it seems the Catholic church leaders now suppress it’s truth telling clergy.

    There is only one solution to set clergy free….as we’ve all heard before…the truth shall set you free. If we had clergy defending their brother priests and the truth of Christ, instead of silence and cowardice, maybe examples of Christ like courage and willingness to lay down ones life might bring to life a real ‘David’ in our time. Goliath must be slayed but are there too many blackmailed priests to tell the truth? I’m praying God cleans house.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. You lay out well the two fronts we’re fighting on. And while Heaven is being stormed with prayers on the spiritual front, there is largely only silence and cowardice on the temporal front. Meanwhile the enemy has brought his full strength to both fronts. Is it any wonder why he’s winning?

      Prayers? Yes, of course. But not just prayers. Our faith is required of us now. The enemy is advancing. And waiting for him to run out of ammunition and supplies in the hopes that he’ll withdraw is not a winning strategy; Such a losing strategy only reinforces the enemy.

      Do we not have the Lord of armies on our side? Is not the God of Jacob our stronghold?

        1. We do have God on our side if we stand up for Him. We need to tell our priests they are part of the problem. They want us to feel sorry for them but remember they did not provide the Eucharist, confessions or sick calls during the Covid crisis.

          Good priests, worked around Covid rules. They kept their churches open even for 9 people and then had car pools where people went in 9 at a time to receive. They were available for confessions and met with people outside. I think we’ve been too charitable and must realize our priests didn’t try very hard. Our priests are babied and we must stop it. They have gotten away with shirking their duty to God and to His bride.

          Stop the money and the babying…and expect our priests to be men for God first. When
          we see more backbone, we can give our support in praise and money.


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