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Is your parish thriving? #414968 02/14/16 12:13 PM
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jova Offline OP
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Do you have your own parish church building? If you are sharing a church, do you meet regularly? Does your priest assist at more than one location?

In the past few years I have noticed a decimation of the local ByzCath population. At one time, I have heard, there was a thriving mission. The liturgies are held sporadically now. The faithful are scattered. I really feel for the young families. A few I have heard travel hours to the nearest ByzCath parish to get their children baptized. So sad not to have a local priest/parish.

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: jova] #414975 02/14/16 08:56 PM
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Ray S. Offline
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There isn't a "thriving" Greek Catholic Church in the USA. They will be extinct in 10 - 20 years. What I hope for is that money is set aside for a museum so people can know the Church existed in the USA.


Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: Ray S.] #414998 02/15/16 08:09 PM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Originally Posted by Ray S.
There isn't a "thriving" Greek Catholic Church in the USA. They will be extinct in 10 - 20 years. What I hope for is that money is set aside for a museum so people can know the Church existed in the USA.


I've been hearing that for 43 years and those older have heard it for longer.


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: Ray S.] #415072 02/18/16 11:05 PM
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dochawk Offline
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Originally Posted by Ray S.
There isn't a "thriving" Greek Catholic Church in the USA. They will be extinct in 10 - 20 years. What I hope for is that money is set aside for a museum so people can know the Church existed in the USA.


Odd, then, how our attendance continues to increase year after year, the school adds grades, the day care is about to open, the new church will come soon, . . .

What an odd way to not thrive . . .

hawk

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: jova] #415087 02/19/16 11:28 AM
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Mark R Offline
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I have heard the extinction story too about 25 years ago too, from a monsignor who himself is probably extinct.
It is a question of where the parish is located. If it is in a dying industrial town, it is not likely thriving. If it is in a suburb of a growing center of the new economy, it will have a chance, attracting folks from the blah Roman rite parishes in the suburbs. I suppose now that there are Tridentine masses allowed there is more "competition".

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: jova] #415104 02/20/16 05:27 PM
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Booth Offline
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We have a lot of passionate parishioners, but we founder for lack of leadership.

Our priest and deacon are awesome, but where is the hierarchy?

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: jova] #415266 03/10/16 01:03 AM
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The Orthodox Churches in the area are thriving. As for the Greek Catholic Churches. Not really!. Small families and only bingo and food sales. As well as Latin Church practices during lent. Eastern PA. A real shame!.

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: Booth] #415418 03/29/16 10:23 AM
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JPC Offline
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Originally Posted by Booth
We have a lot of passionate parishioners, but we founder for lack of leadership.

Our priest and deacon are awesome, but where is the hierarchy?


Here is your chance to tell the Byzantine world what you would do if you were appointed Bishop of your local jurisdiction. What leadership vision would you put forth? How would you deal with declining attendance?

Put your money where your mouth is and offer some suggestions for everyone to see.

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: jova] #415563 04/26/16 04:43 PM
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It varies in my city. My nearest Byzantine church is a Slovak church, and there are usually not enough parishioners attending the English Liturgy -- it often gets cancelled. Which is unfortunate, because, as a Latin-rite Catholic, I don't know yet how to sing the DL.

I'm not of Slovak heritage nor Eastern Catholic (Portuguese background), but seeing the small numbers (even in the Slovak and Old Slavonic liturgies) saddens me. I decided to attend that parish, along with my children, more regularly, and am going so far as to (very slowly and painfully..ha ha!) learn Old Church Slavonic, some Slovak, and the Divine Liturgy in English and Old Slavonic.

I'm hoping to eventually help the parish become more visible. I will see if I can get some friends of Slavic heritage to attend.

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: JPC] #415566 04/27/16 10:02 AM
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Michael_Thoma Offline
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Originally Posted by JPC
Originally Posted by Booth
We have a lot of passionate parishioners, but we founder for lack of leadership.

Our priest and deacon are awesome, but where is the hierarchy?


Here is your chance to tell the Byzantine world what you would do if you were appointed Bishop of your local jurisdiction. What leadership vision would you put forth? How would you deal with declining attendance?

Put your money where your mouth is and offer some suggestions for everyone to see.
My radical idea - use English primarily with sprinklings of Syriac (in my parish's case). Start a regular soup kitchen/outreach/homeless shelter. Invite these local people to pray with us at vespers, and Divine Liturgy. Start a semi-Spanish Malankara-Syriac Liturgy. Provide basic medical attention and screenings free (lots of nurses and physician and medical professionals are members)..

Unfortunately, many of these ideas provide long-term group but short-term anxiety. The current mode of maintain, hope for immigration and reduction of leavers is a failed method, guaranteeing a downward trend in one to two generations (if not sooner).

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: Michael_Thoma] #415567 04/27/16 10:04 AM
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Also, in the next 5 to 10 years, provide a learning center for young people that can transition into a full-time school. Schools were the backbone of Catholic Churches when Italian, Irish, German and other immigrants first arrived.

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: jova] #415724 06/01/16 01:58 PM
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In reading about Eastern Catholic's evangelizing and how no one seems to be doing it. Why can't we do it? A little over a week ago, I paid for a booth within a Roman Catholic Polish Festival, about 10 miles from my location. Two people from my Byzantine Catholic church, assisted me. I printed 100 copies of "Two Different Traditions--One Catholic Church"--8 Pamphlet's of Office of Education services, were printed up(many sets). Spending about 4-5 hrs Fri/Sat/Sun- we talked and passed out information on EDUCATION IN THE EASTERN CATHOLIC LUNG OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. This was a first and won't be the last. Many Roman Catholic's were unaware of the rest of the Catholic Churches(rites). Anybody can do this, but you have to want to do it.

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: Ray S.] #415730 06/03/16 01:53 PM
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Peter J Offline
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Originally Posted by Ray S.
There isn't a "thriving" Greek Catholic Church in the USA.

On the contrary, there are numerous thriving GC churches (and OC churches) in this country. I can't give you a number, but they are out there, and I believe that those thriving churches will continue well into the future.

I think it should also be noted that the pattern of success might vary from one place to another. For example, in one place it may be that sharing a location with an LC parish, or not having a liturgy all 52 weekends of the year, or being served by an LC Biritual priest, might be taken as the "beginning of the end" ... yet in other places those same factors could be the very thing(s) that preserves GC parishes.

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: jova] #415751 06/07/16 02:52 PM
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Heh. It's kind of weird. Here I am rolling along with my seminary application thinking "You know, the local Latin priests could really use a hand. Mayhap I should get Biritual Certification".

Re: Is your parish thriving? [Re: jova] #415789 06/20/16 03:23 PM
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Absolutely NOT! Over the years, we have shared a Priest w/two different Cities, at different times. Both of vastly different personalities - but, you take what you can get.
So, as usual, we have no leadership, no enthusiasm, no direction - - shall I continue? The only thing we seem to have an abundance of is "Turf Protection" by the Pastor. Any time one of the Parishioners comes up with an idea for Parish exposure, Public forum(s), festival, etc., The Pastor shoots idea down - - because he didn't think of it, and/or it may require some time committment from him. Quote: "The Lord will provide; we're not going to chase souls for membership."
Obviously, this whole defeatist attitude in/at the Parish is contributing to the "draining away" of members.

Guess I'll be the Last Man Out - turning off the lights - - -
P. S. No, we don't own the facility.

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