Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Staten Island news

A few items on Staten Island Catholicism:

  • The disloyal Jesuits at Mt. Manresa are advertising their weekly Zen Buddhist "interfaith" meditation session, taught by their RESIDENT SENSEI, Kenneth Byalin. They are also touting their recent Breakfast with Santa and a talk by famed anti-war activist "Fr." Daniel Berrigan, who seems to have given an entire speech without even mentioning God, an amazing feat for a priest. Does this really sound like a faithful, Catholic organization? How do they stay afloat financially?? Surely it's only a matter of time before they end up selling off some or most or all of their beautiful property to developers, such as is happening now with St. Charles seminary...

  • ...I should say "St. Charles Mission Center", which is considering selling (they describe it as "leasing") a huge chunk of their land to developers. Two years ago they were talking about converting the mansion into assisted living units. Since the Center for Migration Studies moved to Manhattan, I really don't know what goes on up there. Every once in a while, they'll host an expensive talk by a Catholic speaker, but surely that doesn't pay the bills. A few decades ago this was a thriving seminary. Now it's deserted. Just more of the fruits of Vatican II. How long before the entire property must be sold? Is there anything in history comparable to the intentional self-betrayal and suicide of Catholicism since the 1960s? The nearest comparison I can think of is the decline of mainstream American Protestantism in the 20th century, but even that sad example doesn't sink to the level of the Catholic Church's monumental implosion.

  • The Archdiocese announced that 4 old and beloved Catholic schools on Staten Island will be closed. St. Sylvester, St. Roch, St. Margaret Mary and St. Mary will not reopen in the Fall. I'm sure the economy had something to do with the low enrollment, but I think the Church has been the architect of its own problems over the past few decades: horrible catechesis, zero pastoral care, apathy, heresy, stupidity, and cowardice have resulted in loss of faith, decline in parishioners, declining vocations, declining birthrate (the Pill has decimated the traditional large Catholic family, with zero opposition from the pulpit) and so we're left with the unbelievable situation of St. Margaret Mary school, located in a huge Italian Catholic neighborhood,with a student body of only 74 (that's an average of 9 kids a class).

    Still, I think the parents are being unfair, when they accuse the Archdiocese of greed. If the school is so financially unviable, how on earth do they expect it to remain open? Why do they think they deserve subsidies? Their children will still get a Catholic education, but at a different, nearby school. However, judging from the empty pews at Sunday Mass at St. Margaret Mary, and the hysterically ignorant comments from the people in the video at the silive article, maybe it's a good thing that the school is closing, since their students obviously haven't been learning their Faith, basic elocution, or logical reasoning all these years.

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