Our Parishes, Our Home

My greatest joy as your archbishop is visiting our parishes! In my recent Catholic New York column, I wrote about my visits to some of the parishes in the last few weeks. Let me share an excerpt with you:

The colorful priest-sociologist, Father Andrew Greeley, used to comment that the Catholic Church was the most “grassroots organization in the history of the world.” He went on to explain that the heart of Catholic infrastructure was the parish, which was about as close to the people as you can get.

He’s right. When I arrived here as your archbishop a little over three years ago, the first thing Cardinal Edward Egan told me was, “The strength of this archdiocese is our 400 parishes and mission churches. That’s where the life is.”

To those observations I say, to use a Catholic word, bingo!

This, of course, flies in the face of the caricature of the Church as oppressively controlled by Rome. While our Catholic people love the Holy Father and cherish his mission as successor of St. Peter, they are hardly concerned about the intricacies of Vatican gossip, personalities of the curia, or the latest Roman controversy.

You can read the whole column here.

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4 Responses to “Our Parishes, Our Home”

  1. Robert Fox says:

    It is not necessarily a good sign when people care little about the intricacies of the Archdiocese or the Church at large in Rome. It is actually not something to be lauded.

    While it may not matter much for the elderly Catholic… such disinterest among young families is truly a very bad sign in the modern Church. It can only indicate one of three things: 1.) The formation of a young person is one which accepts a kind of clericalism which has no interest in the workings of the Church or… 2.) The young person believes that the internal sufferings and triumphs of the Church of Rome are of little consequence to them or… 3.) The Church Herself has no relevancy in the modern world.

    Such disinterest is like the young teenager or twenty year old who has no regard for the financial, spiritual, logistical sufferings, mistakes, successes of their parents. It is not indicative of a ‘detached unconditional love’… but rather of a sense “lay uselessness and futility”.

    Make no mistake… such a sense of “lay uselessness” makes for easy governance in the Church… but in the end… this kind of lay detachment or “lay clericalism” makes for a Catholic who does not really know their faith and therefore will not really take much risk to DEFEND the faith. It is an illusion to think otherwise.

    The present demographics of the local parish indicate that the youth are being lost to three things: 1.) Secularism, 2.) A Catholicism which will not multiply, 3.) Less and less reliance upon the sanctity of marriage. This is true because your average Catholic Mass does not appear very much different from a protestant gathering. The biggest proof of this is the lack of young men in parish life. Contrast that with the young men who are attracted to the traditional orders… and perhaps we can better understand the modern Catholic demographics of parish life.

    It will take another 2 generations and other men to rite the ship… no matter how hard this excellent Pope tries. Why? Because our sense of the Kingship of Christ is conditional now and our understanding of the various councils is myopic.

  2. Irwin says:

    Totally agree!!! Now when will these New York Catholics start voting as Catholics? After abortion the greatest tragedy to befall the American Church is the attack on our Dioceses and parishes by liberal lawyers that are bankrupting the Church and ALL of the members for the financial benefit of a few. The overwhelming majority of innocent Catholics have been hurt by the Democratic party and their class action lawsuits. When will New York Catholics start voting their concsciences??

  3. Charles J Murphy says:

    I’ve made the Gothic gem, the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, my parish church even though I live in Wisconsin. I don’t need a local church with such a magnificent edifice available to my via the internet.

  4. Angela Vitulli says:

    Dear Timothy Cardinal Dolan,

    How I wish that every parish could be privileged to hear the talk which you gave –
    At the Los Angeles Prayer Breakfast in 2010. I for one believe whole heartedly that The Catholic Church
    is the true Church that Jesus founded and like him desire for all to come back home lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Cardinal Dolan you show the Catholic Church in it’s glory, humility and sins
    grace, mercy! . If there is one talk that stands out above all others it’s the the one I began this letter with.

    God Bless you!
    AngelaDandryVitulli New Rochelle, NY