St. Molokai parish ruling imminent
The responses came in letter form and on 3- by 5-inch cards. They represent a cross section of ages of Monongahela Catholics.
And they have touched Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik.
His impressions from the responses will be evident in a decision, likely to come later this month, about the future of a parish in Monongahela.
During a meeting Sept. 23 in the former Transfiguration church, the Roman Catholic leader directed parishioners to respond to two questions via letter:
• Do you want a parish in Monongahela?
• What are you going to personally do to make that happen?
They faced a Nov. 4 deadline to submit the letters to the diocese.
The bishop receive 414 responses, he told The Valley Independent Friday afternoon.
Zubik said the responses will drive his decision.
Asked about his impression of the responses he received in the letters, Zubik coyly said, “When the decision is announced, all of that will come out.”
“I was very, very pleased with the responses,” Zubik said. “I had hoped for a number of responses and I received them. I'm glad the people took it seriously.
“I think every step we've been taking has been serious, and the decision will be as a result of serious deliberations.”
Zubik declined to discuss how his decision on the fate of the Monongahela parish will be made – in person or through a letter to parishioners.
“I wrote to the people that sometime this month a decision would be announced and I hope to do that,” Zubik said of a letter he sent to St. Damien of Molokai parishioners in January.
At stake is the future of the Catholic community in Monongahela.
In announcing last summer the Sept. 23 town meeting, Zubik said he was going to Monongahela because of concerns over disunity among the city's Catholic community.
In August 2011, the diocese – citing dwindling church attendance – announced it would merge St. Anthony and Transfiguration churches into one parish. It was named St. Damien of Molokai, after a priest who served lepers in Hawaii.
Initially, all Masses were celebrated at the Transfiguration site.
But in late 2012, the diocese said Saturday night Masses would be celebrated at the St. Anthony site. The ruling came after a series of meetings between the bishop and members of The Society for the Preservation of St. Anthony's.
Masses are celebrated 4 p.m. Saturdays at the St. Anthony site and 8:30 and 11 a.m. Sundays at the Transfiguration site.
Zubik said after his announcement in 2011 that a two-year study had been undertaken by the combined pastoral and finance committees of the parishes to determine how many church sites are needed.
The committees reviewed three options: operating two worship sites, closing one site or reorganizing and creating one Mon Valley parish. The committee found that all of those options would create more disunity.
After the meeting, Zubik said there was a fourth option, which would be to dissolve the parish.
Asked afterward by The Valley Independent if he might consider a neutral site, Zubik said, “We're going to try to do whatever it takes to keep a parish here. We have to get at the core of what a parish is, then where.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Octogenarian priest recalls his early days growing up in Donora
- Salvation Army honors do-gooders
- Rostraver woman victim of home invasion
- North Belle Vernon woman honors son’s legacy of caring, strength
- Retired U.S. Marine general key speaker
- Charleroi Area putting comprehensive plan together
- Mon Valley towns hosting annual Halloween parades
- Parking, traffic issues discussed in N. Charleroi
- Charleroi mayor updates progress on master plan
- Allegheny official sees bright future
- Trick-or-treat times set for Mon Valley