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Etnick Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AMM
Originally Posted by Etnick
Originally Posted by AMM
What will happen with the property and the physical plant?

It will all probably go up for sale. The church, the hall, and the rectory.

Is it all owned by the diocese or does the parish hold title to some of it?

I'm assuming that the Eparchy of Parma owns all of the property? Isn't this the norm of the Catholic church?

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Originally Posted by Etnick
Originally Posted by AMM
Originally Posted by Etnick
Originally Posted by AMM
What will happen with the property and the physical plant?

It will all probably go up for sale. The church, the hall, and the rectory.

Is it all owned by the diocese or does the parish hold title to some of it?

I'm assuming that the Eparchy of Parma owns all of the property? Isn't this the norm of the Catholic church?

Etnick is absolutely correct on that count. The battles of trusteeship were fought out alongside those of clerical celibacy.

Title to church properties in the US is almost invariably vested in a hierarch as a corporation sole*.

The nature of a corporation sole is that ownership is vested in the sole hierarchical office - in this case, the office of the eparch (not personally in the individual who is the eparch). The corporation sole itself has a sole officer - the individual who holds the office of eparch.

When the eparch leaves office by retirement, death, whatever, his successor eparch assumes the office of the corporation and the ownership remains vested in the office of the eparch.

*A few Latin canonical jurisdictions in the US (somewhere on the West Coast, if I remember correctly) have undertaken to make each parish a corporation sole - with the pastor as the sole officer thereof. The purpose is to limit the liability of the parent canonical jurisdiction. The effect is the same, however: ownership rest in the office of pastor - not the pastor as an individual - and passes to the successor pastor.

In its inception, it was intended to remedy the problem of church properties passing to a priest's heirs as a part of his estate. That it continues to be the Church's preference is illustrated in the fiasco that occurred in Toronto a few years ago. There, the heirs of the donor/builder of the Slovak GC Cathedral refused to convey unencumbered title in the Cathedral to the Eparchy of Ss Cyril & Methodius in Toronto of the Slovaks.

The result was that the Eparch interdicted the temple as a place in which the Slovak clergy may serve the Divine Liturgy or other divine services. I believe that the Latin Archbishop of Toronto, at the request of the Eparch, did likewise as regards the Latin clergy. The structure is now, for all practical purposes, abandoned and has fallen into disrepair.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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What recourse do the parishioners have if they don't think suppressing their parish is a good idea?

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They can appeal to the eparch and then on to Rome, I imagine, as some Latin parishes have done - most unsuccessfully, but a few have prevailed.


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
They can appeal to the eparch and then on to Rome, I imagine, as some Latin parishes have done - most unsuccessfully, but a few have prevailed.

An appeal sounds good, but when the money has run out of a parish with 30 people and three properties to maintain, well, you get the picture. My OCA parish will be facing the same fate soon. We have 50 people with another major repair needed for a 60 year old building.

It's sad to see what our Eastern Church (Catholic and Orthodox) has been reduced to in the 120 plus years we've been here. When you read of a Greek Catholic or Orthodox parish having 1000 plus members 100 years ago, it makes you wonder what happened... frown


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Originally Posted by Etnick
Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
They can appeal to the eparch and then on to Rome, I imagine, as some Latin parishes have done - most unsuccessfully, but a few have prevailed.

An appeal sounds good, but when the money has run out of a parish with 30 people and three properties to maintain, well, you get the picture. My OCA parish will be facing the same fate soon. We have 50 people with another major repair needed for a 60 year old building.

It's sad to see what our Eastern Church (Catholic and Orthodox) has been reduced to in the 120 plus years we've been here. When you read of a Greek Catholic or Orthodox parish having 1000 plus members 100 years ago, it makes you wonder what happened... frown

My brother is absolutely correct - and it isn't just happening here. See the article posted in the Church News forum about the donation of a Latin church in Vienna to the Serbian Orthodox.

Quote
In an open letter, Schonborn said he had promised to donate the church after determining it could no longer be maintained by its declining Roman Catholic congregation, adding that he had arranged Polish services in other local churches.

The cardinal said he believed Roman Catholics should “help sister churches in a spirit of Christian solidarity,” and would rather give churches to a denomination with which they had “so much in common” than sell them for use as restaurants or discos.

“I am aware this is a painful decision for people connected with this place. But the churches we own were built in other times in the expectation that there would be more Catholics,” he said.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Originally Posted by Etnick
An appeal sounds good, but when the money has run out of a parish with 30 people and three properties to maintain, well, you get the picture. My OCA parish will be facing the same fate soon. We have 50 people with another major repair needed for a 60 year old building.

The two major buildings erected by the parish I attend are between 50 and 60 years old and very much showing their age. The costs of upkeep are enormous based on what I've seen. I would guess our sanctuary is perhaps 1/3 full no Sundays. It's way bigger than we need. There many issues such as physical access to the building, especially during winter, and problems within the building itself. For instance you have to go down some stairs to get to the bathroom. It is extremely challenging for anyone with mobility issues or for the elderly. The parish does the best it can with what it has.

I don't know if it would be more costly to continue to maintain the current physical plant or give it up and start from scratch with something temporary or new. I know it would be painful for people to give it up whose families built up the parish. Long term, I don't think the parish can survive as is though. The facilities for worship, education and social gathering in my mind have too many issues.

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Today was the final Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory's. The church was packed. It was a beautiful liturgy with three former pastors and other clergy concelebrating with Bishop John.

The dinner was also well attended. More than a few tears were shed when the antimins, keys, and metrical book were presented to the bishop.

This was the first church closing I've seen, and it was clear that it was being closed when Vichnaja Pamjat was sung for the deceased pastors and parishioners at the end of the dinner.

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I'm very saddened to hear of the closure of this holy temple, which surely remains and shall remain in the hearts of many. My most sincere empathy is tempered somewhat, in that it seems in this case to have been done respectfully and reverently – a final Divine Liturgy with Bishop, current and past clergy officiating; a farewell dinner; etc. We have all likely heard horror stories of other parish closings (or near death experiences) that were not nearly as civil (no prior announcements; armed escorts; etc.). I do genuinely applaud Bishop John for his rather compassionate handling of the situation. That said, let us pray that we, Catholics and Orthodox alike, find ways to open our doors and keep them open!

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The history of St Gregory's [tccweb.org] can be read at Steve Osifchin's great site, The Carpathian Connection [tccweb.org].

Our brother, Etnick, has also posted photos of this final day at St Gregory's in the Photo Gallery Forum.

Joe is correct. As sad as this closure is, it was handled with the same respect and celebration of the parish's life as would have been done for the repose of a member of one's family. Bishop John is, indeed, to be commended for how he has dealt with these sad occasions.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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I've updated the St Gregory's directory entry to reflect that it is no longer an active parish.

I can't describe the sadness that I feel when I have to make this kind of change. It's one thing to create an entry that is historical at outset - for a parish that closed some years ago. Those, in some respects, I enjoy creating, because they document a record of what was and may afford memories to those who knew the parish. But, it's a whole other thing when a parish that was alive yesterday must suddenly be cast into that category.

Memory eternal!

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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I have a copy of the centennial history (1905-2005) of St. Gregory's if there is any interest.

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Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
I've updated the St Gregory's directory entry to reflect that it is no longer an active parish.

I can't describe the sadness that I feel when I have to make this kind of change. It's one thing to create an entry that is historical at outset - for a parish that closed some years ago. Those, in some respects, I enjoy creating, because they document a record of what was and may afford memories to those who knew the parish. But, it's a whole other thing when a parish that was alive yesterday must suddenly be cast into that category.

Memory eternal!

Many years,

Neil


Unfortunately as I predicted here over the past few years what you had to do in terms of putting the parish status to inactive will probably be done quite a bit over the next few years.......I really wish I was wrong in the past but it's not surprising is it?

It used to take Muslim hordes, cannonballs, lives lost, etc. to shut down a church.....now we do it to ourselves through birth control and liberals in politics, judicial positions, and in positions of power in our own church.......

Monomakh

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St. Gregory, Lakewood - December 11, 2011 - Photo Gallery [facebook.com]

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As I have said before, while parishes are being closed or consolidated in the north central and northeast part of the country, all is not lost! There are many new parishes and missions in the south and in the west. Ukrainians, Melkites and Romanians have opened new missions in those areas, not sure about the B.C.C. The population is growing in the south and west, declining in the north and east - is it surprising then that parishes would close or consolidate in those areas? People move, new parishes open and old parishes close. Too bad the new parishes are not as lovely as the old ones though . . .

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