Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Churches must take leadership on the streets

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan writes in this "Herald of Hope" column in our Catholic Herald on what the Church can do to help the City of Milwaukee with its many problems, including,
I want us as a church to strengthen what we already do well. It’s not that the church has abandoned the city. You know better: our soup kitchens, shelters, counseling services, job placement centers, housing, parishes, schools, adult education programs, youth outreach, child care centers, health clinics and hospitals, services to elders, our volunteers, twinning between parishes, and prison ministries are excellent, respected, and valued. We’re not starting from scratch.

No, but we're starting from a lot farther back. Here's Archbishop Weakland in the "Herald of Hope" November 22, 2001.
We consolidated many churches in the Central City and I have no regrets about having to do so. It was not psychologically and spiritually good to have fewer people worrying about the upkeep of so many buildings constructed for a Catholic neighborhood population that was quadruple the number now living there.


  1. What does the upkeep of a vast flock of albatrosslike, historically significant but almost impossible to heat, extremely expensive to repair, buildings have to do with service to the poor? Other than swallowing up all the parish resources?

  2. Weren't those buildings where the poor went to Mass and received the sacraments? And why wouldn't helping a few more of these parishes stay open have been a better use of money than later paying Paul Marcoux or renovating the Cathedral?

  3. And the local (poor) Catholics still offer Mass and receive the Sacraments in their parishes; just somewhat larger parishes in buildings that can be kept up better. Some of which, like All Saints, are getting properly renovated, or like St. Francis have built chapels so they don't have to try to heat the unheatable 1800's pile........

  4. I notice you didn't respond to my question about spending priorities. Is there a preferential option for spending it on the Cathedral?

    And how's what you say about services still available to the poor different than a commercial enterprise citing market conditions and the bottom line in closing inner city locations?