Saturday, July 22, 2006

Diocese of Manchester: More Parishes to Close

"We're in a crisis..." - Rev. Nicholas Rogers as quoted in the Union Leader.

While the Diocese of Manchester is experiencing a dire shortage of priests and religious vocations in general, those dioceses which have remained faithful to Magisterial teaching are thriving. Case in point: the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Although the Diocese of Lincoln covers a rather large area geographically speaking, the Catholic population there is relatively small at approximately 82,000. However, unlike the Diocese of Manchester which serves a Catholic population of approximately 310,000 - see - the Diocese of Lincoln is not suffering from a vocations crisis. This simply because the diocese is doing what every Catholic diocese should be doing: teaching and defending the Magisterial teaching of the Church.

According to Father T.I. Thorburn, the Chancellor of the Lincoln Diocese, in the last five years or so 19 young men have been ordained priests and there are currently 46 young men in seminary studies for the diocese. There are 114 diocesan priests in active ministry and 71 of these were ordained after 1967. Also, there have been no defections from the priesthood since 1976.

Father Thorburn also notes that, "Three diocesan communities of women religious serve in the Diocese of Lincoln. In 1993, six young women made First Profession of Vows, and three made Final Profession. These Sisters wear a traditional religious habit and are primarily involved in the teaching apostolate. They enjoy growth each year...In the area of Catholic education, the Diocese of Lincoln operates six central Catholic high schools, 23 parochial elementary schools, and one school for the mentally handicapped. Instead of following the national trend of closing Catholic schools, the Catholic school system in the Diocese of Lincoln has grown in number of schools in operation and total enrolment...Great care has been taken to preserve the integrity of Catholic doctrine and formation in the Catholic school and parish CCD programs in the Diocese....The Diocese of Lincoln propagates the Church's teaching concerning marriage and sexuality, as taught by Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae. In support of this doctrine, the Diocese sponsors teachers to be trained as natural family planning instructors, maintains 11 training centres at convenient locations, includes this doctrine in its marriage preparation policy, and even instructs high school students about the message of Humanae Vitae through its religious education program." (Source: ).

And you can be sure that, unlike the Diocese of Manchester NH, the Diocese of Lincoln Nebraska does not tolerate dissent groups such as VOTF. And it certainly wouldn't tolerate such a group conducting its meetings on Church property.

This is why, as the above mentioned article notes, a Cardinal from the Roman Curia commented that, "The Diocese of Lincoln is a very strong church." No Cardinal from the Roman Curia has made such a comment about the Diocese of Manchester, a diocese which continues to permit VOTF (which several Bishops have labelled "anti-Catholic") to meet on diocesan property and which has suffered from numerous sex abuse scandals over the past several years. According to an article in the Manchester Union Leader, "The Diocese of Manchester has told the West Side to expect only three priests by 2012."

I have said it many times in the past and I will repeat it until someone actually hears: The Lord Jesus doesn't bless infidelity. The solution to the many problems within the Diocese of Manchester will be found in a return to fidelity and prayer. All the task forces in the world won't solve our present difficulties. Nor will countless meetings. We can do NOTHING without the Lord Jesus....He has said so! However, "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13).

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

God love you,
Paul Anthony Melanson


Anonymous said...

Jesus said you would know a tree by its fruits. Our diocese has a vocations shortage, sex abuse scandals, toleration of "voice of the faithful" a group which dissents from Catholic teaching and wants to "re-structure" the Church, closing parishes, a diocesan newspaper which disappeared etc.

At a time when we should be growing, everything in this diocese is closing.

Pray.....pray unceasingly.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Paul. There is nothing "negative" about telling the truth. The real negative is to live in denial and pretend that there are no problems in the Manchester diocese.

Things have been going from bad to worse as parishes close and funds dry up. I was saddened when our diocesan newspaper was finished off.

The signs of decay are everywhere because the diocese has permitted dissent and (in the past) the sexual abuse of children. I remain concerned about the inappropriate website links at the Catholic Youth website here in NH as well.

There are few vocations in NH because there is little faith.

Anonymous said...

A lot of Catholics no longer donate to their parish because they are just tired of watered-down Catholicism. They feel unwelcome and even persecuted at times just because they follow the Holy Father.

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