Over 100 parishioners and community supporters along with a number of City Councilors stood tall last night on JUNE 6, 2016 as they appealed to the Historical Commission to deny the Demolition Delay waiver requested by the Worcester Diocese.
Historical Commission were not convinced the Diocese does not have the capacity to correct the safety concerns suggested by the Diocesan hired architects and that all options were explored to properly monetize the property and to make it safe. Whereas the real owners of the building, The Diocese, did not make a case for under financial hardship, the demolition delay waiver was denied. The building can stand for another 12 months to allow time for concerned parties to find a solution to FIX the CHURCH and SAVE the Parish.
Repairing the building is not insurmountable. The Mount Carmel Preservation Society has been working on a comprehensive REVENUE AND OPERATIONAL plan that makes it worth 12 months to explore. The Diocese however needs to be opened to its parishioners needs in this case and willing to work with the MCPS.
In addition to a very thorough presentation by the Engineering firm hired by the Diocese,pointing out serious structural issues. The Mount Carmel Preservation Society agreed there are serious matters however called for time to organize a current repair project assessment with a plan to address priority risk and move forward with ideas and tools that the parish finance committee simply did not pursue.
The Diocesan representatives continued to blame dwindling parish members and weekly collections. The hearing brought light to the fact that to simply blame parishioners who for generations have committed huge amounts of money and sacrifice for their parishes, they deserve a chance to be heard and at the table when it comes to decision regarding the future of it’s church and parish.
Every Church may be facing dwindling parishioners rather than blaming the parishioners let’s ask them why they are leaving. Let’s find an answer to that and find a solution(s) to get them to return to the Catholic Church. That solution(s) should be at the heart of the Capital campaign brand. If the financial committee hasn’t done that , they failed at the start.
Phil Nigro a member of the Mount Carmel Preservation Society stated on his Facebook “Brilliant work on the part of this wonderful group of impassioned faithful parishioners. Quite a day in the history of Mt Carmel Church. My father would have loved it. To see the Worcester Historical commission raise their hands in unanimous support of the faithful parishioners was really something extraordinary..Unforgettable.”
I saw brilliant testimony but most striking was the overwhelming declaration, supported by a packed Council Chamber, of the strong faith, universal holy spirit, and love of parish family and community at this hearing. To think, this went on for hours, in City Hall, people professing their heartfelt FAITH and LOVE for their CHURCH is stunning and remarkable. Now the real work begins. Is the Diocese will to Shepherd it’s people, to allow them to participate fully in regards to the destiny of their beloved parish? Time will tell. It’s in the hands of our LORD Jesus Christ.
Holy Mary Mother of GOD, pray for us all. +
NEXT: Now is a time for some healing to be followed by opened cooperative dialogue. +
Tom Quinn reporter from Worcester Magazine wrote of last night’s Victory