Thoughts, 1 July 2012, #1

June 29, 2012 at 13:46 2 comments

Our Bishop has announced pastors for some of the parishes to be reopened, with more to be announced soon. This is a significant step forward in what are, hopefully, attempts to heal the pain in our diocese. While there are the usual and predictable negative comments making the rounds, I think it is appropriate to posit good will unless there arises solid evidence to the contrary. The Bishop told one of the appointed pastors that he wants all the reopened parishes to succeed. I have no reason to question him or to doubt his sincerity. We all want them to succeed.

As far as the Bishop’s efforts to improve relations with the priests, things seem to b moving along according to schedule. There is a time line and an action plan of sorts.  Quite a lot of info has to be assimilated and processed, and dealt with according to the plan discussed at the meetings. While there is as yet no official information forthcoming, there is talk on the street about what happened and where, who said what, etc. Although there are a few more sessions, most of us priests have had the opportunity to express our thoughts to our Bishop, and now we will go wherever this process takes us. In the meantime we continue to serve our folks as best we can.

Each of us processes all this in our own way, bringing everything to prayer. I spoke my piece, made my recommendations, and now I am ready to accomplish the mission, whatever it turns to be. In the Army, a staff officer is expected to provide the Commander with alternatives and recommendations, all the while acting out of integrity and concern for the unit and mission. Having the Commander agree with the recommendations and accept one of the presented alternatives is not necessarily part of the deal. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. No big thing. This makes sense, it works, and I am used to it. I think all of us want things to work out. I certainly do. I believe things will work out because so many of us want them to. There is a lot of good will, perhaps tempered by frustrations, among us. I, for one, believe Jesus is true to his word and is with us always, even to the end of time. To paraphrase a recent movie, “at the end of time all things will be perfect; if things are not perfect now, it is not yet the end of time”, so Jesus is still with us. The Spirit is alive and well, and moving among our folks and us. What is coming might be something we do not recognize from where we are now at this point on our journey together. Then again, it might be something very familiar. The thrill of the chase.

A number of persons have been hurt by events in our Diocese, not the least of whom is our Bishop himself. There are also those who, for whatever reason, chose not to speak up when they had the chance. This might be embarrassing or even painful for them. Now is not the time for judging or blaming, but for encouraging and pulling together in whatever direction the Spirit guides us. This will not necessarily be easy to see and could require some serious discernment by each of us and all of us, but it is where we are. It is important that each of us, including our Bishop and whomever he selects as his advisors, act with integrity and concern for our diocese and our folks.


Entry filed under: Catholic, Church Leadership, Cleveland Diocese, Current Church, Local issues, Priest. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Recent Events, 23 June 2012 Thoughts, 1 July 2012, # 2

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bob Kloos  |  June 29, 2012 at 15:50

    I can’t help but notice that four of the five appointments earlier this week were simply adding another parish to a current pastor’s list of duties. Perhaps this is sign of the future and Bishop Lennon is on the cutting edge.

    In Boston, the current trend is to cluster five, six, or seven parishes and staff them with three, four, or five clergymen. A parish need never close. The clustered clergy can live in community and mutual support. A win-win.

    But recent appointments in Cleveland are simply one pastor for two parishes. It feels like a quick fix. It looks like an effort to beat the self-imposed deadline. I will wait to see how the pastors manage.

    But parishioners have indicated they are eager to open. So what have I to say? Go for it. The new set up gives them every opportunity, perhaps even a mandate to exercise lay leadership in ways that have not been encouraged in the past. “Don’t ask, just do it.” (+Bill Cosgrove, aux. Bishop of Cleveland, 1974)

    Let us see how the next few appointments go.

  • 2. Patty  |  July 1, 2012 at 08:05

    He should tender his resignation as bishop and offer to serve as as an associate priest. Some where outside our diocese. When I left Cleveland there were stories on the front page of the Plain Dealer relating threats of ex- communication of the members of St. Peters, and Cleveland Police at the door of St. Emetic to evict grief stricken parishioners there. He has to go in order to speed the healing and rebuilding of our diocese.


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