Decisions.

Decisions.

Today the priests of the diocese gather with Bishop Doherty between 10:00 and 4:30 to determine “how to move forward” as a diocese.

We ask readers to be spiritually attentive to this today. We would ask those involved in these plans to recall their people and the Church’s directives quoted in our last post.

St. Joseph, Most Just, Protector the Church, pray for us.

A Parish is a ‘house among houses’ and is a response to the logic of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, alive and active among the community. It is visibly characterised then, as a place of worship, a sign of the permanent presence of the Risen Lord in the midst of his People.

 “The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church” , paragraph 7

The pastoral conversion of structures implies the understanding that “the faithful Holy People of God are anointed with the grace of the Holy Spirit; therefore when we reflect, think, evaluate, discern, we must be very attentive to this anointing. Whenever as a Church, as pastors, as consecrated persons, we have forgotten this certainty, we have lost our way. 

Whenever we try to supplant, silence, look down on, ignore or reduce into small elites the People of God in their totality and differences, we construct communities, pastoral plans, theological accentuations, spiritualities, structures without roots, without history, without faces, without memory, without a body, in the end, without lives.

To remove ourselves from the life of the People of God hastens us to the desolation and to a perversion of ecclesial nature.”

Ibid, paragraphs 37-38


Some causes [for parish suppression by “extinctive union” or “merger”] are not sufficient, such as, for example, the scarcity of diocesan clergy, the general financial situation of a Diocese, or other conditions within the community that are presumably reversible and of brief duration (e.g., numerical consistency, lack of financial self-sufficiency, the urban planning of the territory). As a condition for the legitimacy of this type of provision, the requisite motivations must be directly and organically connected to the interested Parish community, and not on general considerations or theories, or based solely ‘on principle’.

Ibid; see paragraphs 46-51

45 Replies to “Decisions.”

  1. In response to the nauseating article in the Catholic moment regarding change:
    Can. 522 A pastor must possess stability and therefore is to be appointed for an indefinite period of time. The diocesan bishop can appoint him only for a specific period if the conference of bishops has permitted this by a decree.

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    1. The St. Isadore Pastorate ( Benton/ South Newton) will go from 6 weekend Masses to 3, and from 10 weekday masses to 4. Places to be determined where these masses will take place amongst the 6 parishes. 1 priest.

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    2. We got served with the depressing, mealy-mouthed announcement at our parish over the weekend. It was ambiguous, condescending, short on details, and left you with that feeling you get when you’ve just been told by your doctor that you have six months to live. Luckily we were assured that the Third Person of the Holy Trinity was directly guiding everything, so I guess I can’t criticize or I’ll be accused of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit…or something. Anyway, just another sad day in the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana as the Dudzinski Diocesan Demolition Plan enters its next phase of destruction.

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  2. I should start printing off the comments here and anonymously mailing them to his excellency himself. He thinks he is an incredibly great bishop. Yet, he has made the faith lives of his subjects in this little part of Indiana the worst it has been in all of history. It gives me hope the God will be just in the judgement of his soul. SMH.

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  3. Thank you to all the priests who offered confession for Divine Mercy yesterday. We’re so grateful for you! We are praying for you.

    We recently invited our priest for supper. He told us that the clergy gathering with the bishop in Tipton in Jan/Feb was good.

    Priests told the bishop frankly that Uniting in Heart was conceived in secret, with no real collaboration, that it has caused pain and suffering for the clergy and parishioners for over two years and that the bishop didn’t know his priests.

    Another told the bishop that he saw his priests as liabilities and was not their shepherd.

    Another said that the bishop didn’t have the capacity to listen.

    Another said the priests no longer trusted the bishop. Or the Vicar General.

    And so on. The upshot was that the bishop, aided by his staff, has made the diocese a corporate bureaucracy with no heart, with no authentic plan for the future and with 0 willingness to change course since Uniting in Heart has been such a failure.

    A priest of over 40 years told the bishop that he’s never seen the morale of priests so low. Ever.

    When a priest complained about a complicated unified finance scheme, the Vicar General told him that it’s too late for “buyers remorse” because “too much money”has been spent already.

    Of course to have buyers remorse you would have had to have all the info up front. And the diocese has a poor track record for sharing that – no matter what the Catholic Moment says.

    Our priest told us yesterday afternoon that the bishop doesn’t have the capacity to empathize or to respond in any meaningful way.

    The upshot is that parishes will be closed. When, is the only question. Which ones? The bishop told the priests that the period of consultation for all this has come to a close. So it’s all hush-hush until the announcements are made.

    According to our priest rumors have included (but can’t be verified) –

    Consolidating Benton/Newton’s churches from 6 to 1

    Closing a Muncie parish and one less priest

    One less priest in Kokomo

    One less priest in Logansport/Peru

    One less priest at the Cathedral pastorate and closing St. Ann’s

    One priest for the present Pulaski/Winamac/Rochester

    Closing St. Joseph Reynolds

    Closing St Augusta in Lake Village

    Closing a parish in the Winchester/Union City/Portland/Bryant pastorate

    Will it all happen this June? Or over the course of a couple years? Or at all? All our priest could say for sure was that everyone should be prepared to get on board the “Pain Train.”

    The stage is being set for changes that can’t be undone in our lifetimes. Gone is the concept of a parish family. Will the diocese survive as we know it?

    Doubtful financially. As the chair of our parish finance council told us at breakfast this morning, “The stable giving base has been so disrupted on the parish level that finances will continue to trend down for the foreseeable future.”

    Dear priests you are not alone. You are all in our prayers.

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    1. Big shocker! A decline-management plan actually causes decline!?!?!?

      Everything that has transpired so far was so easy to predict. These dumb, USCCB-approved, cookie-cutter plans have been tried in other dioceses and they always create the same result: dysfunction and decline.

      The scandal of pandemic church-closures just accelerated things…

      11
      1. One of the things that’s amazed me is how the poor Holy Spirit has been blamed for this disaster.
        The Holy Spirit doesn’t bully
        The Holy Spirit doesn’t coerce
        The Holy Spirit doesn’t call priests and then text them and then call them again to bully
        The Holy Spirit doesn’t speak badly about His priests to other priests

        Sounds to me like the Holy Spirit WAS present at the meeting in January speaking through His priests to His bishop.

        Let those who have ears listen to the Holy Spirit!

        68
    2. @DK I wouldn’t be shock too if they close or merge all the Anderson Alexandria pastorate into one new church. St Mary Anderson is getting old and doesn’t have a HAVC system which in summer make it hot. St. Ambrose is big and modern but is located in a bad neighborhood which crime is bad and St.Mary Alexandria which is a nice small parish is probably too small for all Anderson to travel all north.

      5
      1. If the St. Boniface church roof repair cost ends up being impossible to afford, instead of closing St. Ann church they should give it to St. Boniface to use. Or make the Franciscan Sisters’ newly renovated St. Francis Chapel (with arguably the loveliest sanctuary in the diocese) the new home. Anything would be better than packing into the parish school’s historic, small, un-air conditioned gymnasium for mass. But these would be practical solutions that would benefit the faithful and save the parish community. We can’t have that under “Uniting in Heart”! The smart money goes to the “pain train”.

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      2. According to the Catholic Moment the first parish to close is St Peter and Paul in Goodland. It merging with Sacred Heart Remington.

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          1. Playing Devil’s Advocate, has Goodland produced a priest itself to shepherd the flock? Remington?

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          2. And what has happened to the kids in Goodland? And to the number of families attending? To the population? Go visit. It is a dead town like so many in the industrial/farming Midwest that can no longer sustain a parish or much of anything. Times change. People migrate. Growth now is Fishers, Carmel, Westfield, Zionsville and surrounding areas.

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          3. It’s all part of the dehumanizing plan: “Mission, Community, and Witness” need only be exchanged for “Destabilize, Consolidate, and Close” for you to see the truth of things.

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    3. While the particulars of our diocese are relevant, this all supports the larger picture of the accelerating demonic trend of the post-conciliar Church and the secular world—which approved apparitions warned would happen. We can pray for our priests, and even for a new bishop, but the state of the episcopacy is such that chances are high that the next bishop would be worse.

      Prayer/Rosary, fasting/penance going forward while working to stay in a state of grace should be our focus while staying under the protection of Our Lady’s mantle. Buckle-up, and make ready the souls you are charged with protecting.

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      1. We were made for such a time as this, to quote St. Joan of Arc. Our prayers and fasting and standing fast in the Faith of Jesus Christ is definitely what is needed. And yes, buckle up.

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    4. Here’s how decisions are made by the Bishop of our diocese: lay out 3 or 4 terrible options (the Vicar “the sky is falling – the sky is falling!!” General loves to to this), and the Bishop will always choose the worst.

      Oh and every place the VG has been assigned, there’s always been bullying, coercion and mind-games to accomplish his goals. If you demean people enough they’ll come to love the Eucharist.

      Not.

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    5. Can I get a plush “pain train” stuffed-toy from the diocesan store with a Uniting In Heart logo on it? It’ll give my kid something to mangle at mass when the ushers hand out Catholic Ministries Appeal envelopes for the umpteenth time.

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    6. If a parish is closed and the building, property and furnishings sold, are those sale proceeds allocated to nearby parishes serving the displaced congregation or are the funds absorbed by the bishop’s discretionary fund?

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    7. I don’t understand why St. Ann’s is always the parish that is rumored to be the first to close. Our Masses are standing room only, especially on Saturday evening, and finances have always been solid. It would be a huge blow to the neighborhood.

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      1. 100% agree with this. If this is true, it’s because we don’t have a school, so we don’t have the politics of LCSS on our side. So sad, because St. Ann’s is such a wonderful parish.

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      2. If a parish needs to close in Lafayette, why not St Boniface? It now is closed due to serious structural issues making it unsafe and has had financial problems for years.

        1
        1. Site your sources. What data do you have to show that St. Boniface has had financial problems for years? St. Boniface always met and fulfilled it’s Fruitful Taxation pledge until this diocesan plan was enacted. This plan gutted St. Boniface, just like many other parishes throughout the diocese. Not sure why they are even surprised that money stopped flowing from many parishes after announcing a last minute plan and the moving of almost every priest from almost every parish in the diocese. It’s bad for business, it’s bad for vocations, its bad for formation and the spiritual development of the parishioners. Many parishes were doing just fine before the bishops plan. In fact, the combined income of all the parishes were more than the combined expenses as recently as 2019-20. That isn’t even close to the case anymore. What happened in 2020? The bishops plan. It is unfortunate that Chinese flu hit around that time, as it gives the bishop a scapegoat.

          We know better.

          9
  4. Today in the Divine Mercy Novena, we bring to Jesus the souls of priests and religious and immerse them in Jesus’ unfathomable Mercy. May our priests and religious in this diocese know of our unending prayers for them. They are loved and they are precious in Our Lord’s sight!

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  5. As long as “Uniting in Heart” is in the picture the disasterous status quo will CONTINUE!!! Get rid of this toxicity! Out , done , over! No more chaos, no more division in our Parishes please!

    31
    1. Looks like we’ll have to wait for a new bishop to purge the sickness that has been allowed to fester in this diocese. I think we’re down to two years to go this September. Until then we all can look forward to incoherent and heartbreaking parish closures, more panicked fundraising schemes, depressed and over-stressed clergy, financial bleeding, staffing instability, and a leadership that is too proud to admit failure with a bishop who is too indifferent to do anything about it.

      Pray. Tithe elsewhere. Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling, and we’ll see what’s left to rebuild with in two years.

      Come, Lord Jesus.

      35
      1. In the meantime, this Bishop has cemented his legacy. I’m sure it will all come out after this meeting- Church closures and cutting the Sacraments. I weep for the people of God in Lafayette-in-Indiana.

        29
        1. Words overheard in a restaurant in Upland…

          Catholic bishop Catholic priest:
          “ I’d like to sit down and talk to him about how to attract and retain vocations. But it would be pointless since he thinks he knows everything at all times.”

          37
  6. The smart money says “moving forward” will simply mean doing the same thing that got us into this mess in the first place, but with even more desperation this time.

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    1. What got us “into this mess” is that we – yes all of us collectively – gave into the culture and did not follow the faith. This led to to kids leaving the church in droves – led to a huge decline in vocations (how many priests of nuns has your family or your parish produced?). Add this this the moving away from a farming then industrial society and there has been a mass migration away from small towns to big cities. And this is not unique to our diocese. It is happening all over the US and most of the so called developed world. Easy to cast blame but change starts with YOU – that becomes the collective US.

      3
      1. We did not waste millions on the Tipton retreat house. We did not alienate our own priests from their diocesan leadership. We are not closing parishes. We did not get rid of long serving employees and replace them with highly overpaid people who are rarely in the office. We are not the reason our diocesan leadership allows no one in the chancery. That’s all on them

        55
        1. Quite the contrary!!
          Are diocesan and Pastoral Center salaries made public? It’s your money that pays the “overpaid” employees”. Yet some just may be underpaid. According to their position. Think about it!

  7. I don’t think the Bishop or any of the Uniting in Heart team have read the document quoted here. It’s full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes. Prayer, today especially, is needed.

    16
    1. The “Uniting in Heart”plan should be renamed “Dividing in Heart”! That’s what it’s done from comments that are made.

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