I've been tracking some of the developments in the Diocese's Journey in Faith and Grace
- the strategic plan to consolidate and close various parishes here in Buffalo, NY. I've dubbed it Journey to Avoid Housing Court
- and place many of my rants in Annals of Neglect
, as sections of Buffalo - mostly the City's East side are still dealing with the previous round of church closings back in the mid 90's. Transfiguration
of course being the poster child that we're still coming to terms with ten years after the doors were closed.
Earler this year - February 2006, Buffalo News
ran an article Trying to do More with Less...
) detailing some of the vexing issues confronting the diocese. Re-read it and just finished reading the diocesan planning document being used in this process - Guidelines and Resources for Journey in Faith and Grace
- (archived here
, link to .pdf file.)
The heart of the matter is presented on page 21 of this 32 page document. Here the 2005 priest level across the three vicarates making up the City of Buffalo include a total of 50 priests. In the next column, diocesan officals project a significantly lower number ten years down the road. Fast forward to 2015 and the priestly ranks diminish by 32 and according to this planning document the City of Buffalo is left with 18 priests! The time line for parish closings is outlined on page 9 of the planning document. Read it, brace yourself...it's happening sooner than you might think!
Oh, imagine this...couldn't find anything in the document about adaptively re-using existing structures. There were a few lines about the need for creating some new structures...like the one pictured above.
And so it goes...