Hello, all! Much has been happening behind the scenes and I really appreciate your patience. I have not been able to share this simply because of time and wanting to give you the full story.
As you know, we began today what I feel is one of the most important things we can do to get the attention of the Archbishop and our ecclesiastical hierarchy. That is to “demonstrate” by physically walking for what we believe in, in effect, picketing.
I went to the Archdiocesan office building yesterday to let them know we were coming. The Information Office is staffed by two very kind people who understood our sincerity and desire just to express our views and share information with those entering and leaving the building as well as those passing by.
You’ll remember that I had posted that we would be demonstrating Monday – Friday from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM downtown, Sundays at the 6:30 PM Mass that the Archbishop says at the Basilica, and that we would greet him as he traveled within the Archdiocese. That meant going to Downingtown on Saturday at 4:00 PM for the rededication of St. Joseph’s Church there. We had volunteers at the ready.
You have been heard! The Archdiocese is listening!
WE ARE NOT GOING TO DOWNINGTOWN! WE ARE NOT GOING TO DOWNINGTOWN! SPREAD THAT WORD FAR AND WIDE! WE ARE NOT GOING TO DOWNINGTOWN!
Yesterday, I received a phone call from Fr. Steve, who received a phone call from Monsignor Kutys, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, who received a call from the Archbishop in California to ask us to please respect the celebration of those at St. Joseph’s. To show their good faith and acknowledge that we have been effective, Monsignor Rodgers, Coordinator of Archdiocesan Planning Initiatives, came out to greet me today. We spoke for at least one-half hour and covered our reasons that St. Joachim needs to stay as a full parish. If you know me, you know that I am more of a talker than a listener and this was our opportunity to make a good case – in a good way. In good faith, I agreed to respect the celebration scheduled for the people of St. Joseph’s. Monsignor talked about the idea that parish reorganization was to insure sustainability of our parishes. I did counter with the fact that no one knows the future and that the fact we are “small” has not kept us from making a “big” impact within the neighborhood in large part because of Father Steve and the 15th Police District. So many people have had contact with St. Joachim and our spirit of community. For those of you who remember Mary Teat, Monsignor would have tea with her and he said that’s probably what he would be doing now. I said that she probably wouldn’t give him any cake to go with that tea because of these announced closings. God bless you, Mary!
As we finished talking, Monsignor had to leave to hear confessions, but as Pastor of the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, he let me know that the Archbishop greets those who attend Sunday Mass there. He invited us to come. We can make the best of the good faith that we have engendered in the style of the way we have opposed the closing of our churches. We will not picket on Sunday but we will wear our badges and sit together. We hope to have our chance to greet the Archbishop.
We are demonstrating on Friday (tomorrow could be questionable due to the weather but Tina, Barbara and Mary may go – remember I can’t).
Shortly before we were finished downtown, I received a call from Father Higgins, Pastor of Holy Innocents, asking Bob and I to come to a meeting on Friday afternoon. I don’t know what it’s about and it might be related to our transition. You know I will inform you.
We are meeting tomorrow night at 7 PM at Church. This meeting to open to anyone who wants to actively help us in our efforts to show that St. Joachim, though a church building, brings the Church to our neighbors. We will be planning new strategies!
We will meet again after the 10:30 PM Mass! We must keep pressure on! We can’t let up!
Because of the Archdiocese’s efforts to reach out to us through several highly placed Monsignors, you have had an effect. We have stayed together, united and purposeful. Keep the Faith in Frankford! Keep working to spread the Good News of St. Joachim!