Diocese’s demolition of church is shameful
It was sad but not surprising to learn of the decision by the Diocese of Buffalo to raze St. Ann Church.
While driving on the East Side with the windows open, I can almost hear the cries of the ghosts of former Catholic churches forced to close whistling through the wind. Transfiguration, St. Mary of Sorrows and St. Joachim are all gone. St. John Kanty and St. Adalbert Basilica are hanging by a thread. Corpus Christi, the church where I was baptized, and St. Stanislaus are both experiencing a renaissance of sorts. They continue to survive against the odds and the grim reality of being located in a dilapidated neighborhood. How long before the powers that be decide that these, too, must go?
What is maddening about the St. Ann decision is that the parish still has worshippers with strong ties willing to attend Mass and services. For over 100 years, St. Ann has been a beacon of light and a rock-solid institution for the Emslie-Johnson neighborhood. For all those years, parishioners of St. Ann supported the diocese both financially and spiritually. Now, it appears that the diocese asks: What have you done for us lately? That same question previously posed by the bishop’s bean counters undoubtedly sealed the fate of other closed parishes in the area.
It seems to me that as long as there are parishioners willing to commit and make the necessary sacrifices to continue on as St. Ann, or any other parish, then the Diocese of Buffalo should be obligated to respect the wishes of the faithful.