Parishoners at two Catholic churches in Dorchester organize to try to keep them open

The Dorchester Reporter reports on the financial crisis at St. Ann and St. Brendan.

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Sad on a local level

I'll leave the acrimonious screeds about religion and the local branch of the Church to others but on a local level, it has to be sad to be a decades long member of a church and see it die off as kids and grandkids move out of the city or lose interest in the church. I've always liked the buildings more than the rites and sermons but for those who found meaning there, it's a bummer.

There's less community in the city these days perhaps and while I welcome 90% of the changes to the social fabric in terms of social acceptance and diversity, that's something which was lost with the passing of the parochial life a bit I think.

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Good luck doubling Mass attendance in Dorchester

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To save the two churches, the priests said, weekly Mass attendance at each will need to more than double, to 750 parishioners. Weekly offertories will need to rise by $5,000 in each church, and the $850,000 in debt incurred by both will need to be paid off.

Good luck! During the fairly recent days of a strict Boston residency requirement, both parishes became home to dozens, perhaps hundreds of police and fire, including State Police. Many are military veterans and conservative leaning.

Regardless of your views on illegal immigration, with Cardinal O'Malley preaching to ignore the rule of law, is it any wonder that these folks don't go to church? Right up there with the Globe taking a completely one sided political slant and wondering what happened to the readership?

Any audit should begin in O'Malley's office. How many six figure salaries? I predict the church with the highest property value will be the first one sold. Follow the money.

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Fake Fish

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I know some parishioners in one of those churches. There are absolutely zero parishioners at either of those churches that stopped going to Mass because of the recent statements by the Pope and several Cardinals and priests criticizing interment camps for immigrant children.

I can tell you however that my 89 year old Irish Catholic mother, who was the most devoted Catholic I ever knew, stopped going to Mass when it became clear that the church was a cult devoted to illegal rape of boys, and sometimes girls. And when the church covered it up and assisted the rapists before and after the rapes, that was illegal too.

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Conservative Catholic in Boston

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That means Christian charity and welcoming immigrants.

Somehow, the liberal atheists are more Christian than the conservative 'Christians'.

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Wow

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Can you be anymore dim or racist?

Wait ... don't consider that to be a continuous improvement challenge.

You are talking about people who don't live in Dorchester any more and don't go to church or Catholic churches. You want to know who does go to church?

Immigrants. A fair number of southeast Asian and Haitian immigrants are Catholic, as well as more than a few from Brazil.

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Don't let facts spoil your agenda

There are still plenty of cops and firemen at both churches, your fantasy of linking every problem in the world to liberal transgressions and righteous conservative indignation flies in the face of facts.

The article even mentions the growing amount of younger people in the neighborhood who don't attend mass. Take a look at the black bar on the right of the linked graph and keep in mind that this is for the US in general and we live in a corner of the country that is less religious than average.

But hey, don't let any facts get in the way of your outrage. I'll even let you tell me the story of your famous phone call to "Manilla" that ended your Globe subscription if it will make you feel better about yourself.

http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/compare/religious-trad...

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Catholics or Condos?

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We all know whose going to win this Holy War.

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Educate the young

My mother attended catholic school and daily mass. School was a dollar a month. In fact, it is what Isis is doing right now. When the Catholic church spread education across the world, they ruled it. If they want people to stay in the church they need to teach them to do it.

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Five grand a year ain't cheap

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And since the overall financial health of the parishes is pretty bad, I don't see a subsidy for the school as an option. The only other option is to convince a lot of women to become nuns, since they basically don't get paid.

The scariest number is that they get 300 people attending mass each week-end. For both parishes. With 6 masses, that's roughly 50 people at each mass. Not a good sign.

You hint at a way to right the ship. The Church (any church) needs to be relevant to the members' everyday life. Surprisingly, that does not necessarily mean doctrine. Active CYO organizations keep the parish at the center of kids' lives, while other groups help with "fellowship." If a church is just a place one goes for an hour on Sunday, one might easily skip that hour.

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It isn't a subsidy from the

It isn't a subsidy from the parish, it is a subsidy from the (large C) Church. If they don't go back to educating the young for free or close to it, then the catholic church will continue to dwindle. I don't think it is an option.

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Again

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Five grand times the number of kids in Catholic schools in Boston in, say, 1990 is still a lot of coin. You’d be surprised at how little money the Archdiocese has.

Also, there are parishes that are doing well without parochial schools.

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surprised? no, I realize the money is not kept here.

But the Catholic Church is very wealthy. Step back and look at the forests. If they sold their gold, paintings and historic relics they could afford it. And in 100 years, the Catholic Church would be running the planet (again).

By educating the young for free, they indoctrinated generations of parishioners that built all the churches in Boston. Its a long game, but it has a proven track record. And I would point out that Isis is doing that right now. Mormons do it, too.

You are missing the point if you think I am talking about individual parishes and schools.

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Mormons don't run schools

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But thanks for the example that runs counter to your theory.

And don't get me wrong. My son is at Sacred Heart, so I definitely value Catholic education, but the schools are not the reason for the declining attendance. I mean, St. Brendan's has a school, and if I'm not wrong St. Anne's former school is now the Neponset campus of Saint John Paul II Academy, so the lack of schools definitely is not hurting this area. Conversely, I don't believe that Most Holy Redeemer parish in East Boston has a parish school, but they have attendance that other parishes envy.

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Around here

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You know nothing of anywhere else in the country, and what you know of Boston is even very limited by your neighborhood.

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Sure, in Oceania

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Look at the section of that Wikipedia article on "Seminaries." It sounds a whole lot like CCD, in that one (or technically one's parents) need to make an effort to opt in to the program.

Not quite like the Catholic school system.

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You're arguing against yourself

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Essentially, if the quality of the public schools are good, there is no need for [Mormon or Catholic] schools, right? Well, let's take a second to ponder the improving quality of Boston Public Schools and the availability of charter schools as an alternative.

Once again, Mormonism is growing in the US, and they are doing it without the supposed benefit of the school system the Catholic Church had. There are undoubtedly things Mormons do that other churches should be looking at, but since they are doing it without a school attached to every temple, primary education is not one that should be necessarily emphasized.

And once again, these parishes are in crisis while they have two functioning schools affiliated with them. Say each child is an only child with two parents and all live (or at least attend church) in the parishes. I am willing to bet anything there are more than 100 kids total, since after all only 300 people are going to Sunday Mass between the two of them.

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Swell...

I'm sure a connected realtor or developer has their eyes on the property. A full city block. What would that be worth?

When St. Brendan's closes, the neighborhood will start to go into decline.

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