August 8, 2011

Church closings should have involved parishioners

A short time ago, the newspaper announced that three local churches would be closed and reported that people felt sad, yet were accepting of this change.

Perhaps the paper should have spoken to more people, as the ones I have talked with feel angry and betrayed.

Financial reasons were cited as the reason for closing the churches; numbers were crunched and the decision was made.

But we are dealing with people, not numbers. If numbers are a concern, however, what effect will these closings have on our faith community? How many people living in Belgrade, Rome, Smithfield, Sidney, Vassalboro, China, etc. will travel to Augusta for weekend liturgy? How many people who rely on their feet to get to Mass will be left out in the cold?

I do not recall anything in the past five annual financial reports that indicate that our parish is so destitute so as to make this step. St. Francis has been sold; how does that revenue assist our parish? How many people would have contributed to the diocesan fund drive if it was known that the money was needed in our own parish?

Even if this were the best financial move, the people who made this decision act as if we are ignorant fools who are incapable of engaging in intelligent discourse. Changes of this magnitude should have begun, rather than concluded, with "town meetings."

Father Joseph Daniels said he was proud of the conversations he had the two previous weeks; it would have been nice if he could have started those conversations 13 months ago.

I think we should set aside our weekly offerings until such time that our voices are heard and acted on.

Mark D. Morin

Waterville

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