Lots of parishes closing in Archdiocese

Since many of us got our start at SHS, I thought I would put it out there for discussion abou the closing of parishes. Mergers and clusters and out and out closings are to be announced on Feb 20th. Why are they closing. Mismanagement of funds by the venerable Adam Maida is certainly one reason. The fiasco of the John Paul II center was the icing on the cake. But parishes have been borrowing money from the Archdiocese for years, knowing that the money would be impossible to pay back. St. Leo's owes "downtown" 2 million, Madonna owes 1.4 million, etc. St. Benedict's laid owe the Archdiocese $30,000 per month so they laid off all of their staff and work with all volunteers. Predicitions are that by 2021 there will only be 190 priests. Scary times for sure. Our own Fr. Walker retired a number of years ago and now, at age 80 (yup I said 80), he is pastoring 2 parishes. Four parishes on the Eastside have been told to seel all their properties, and merge into one, while building a brand new church on Jefferson near Belle Ile. None of the four parish communities agree with this. All the while the "faithful" seem to be going elsewhere or staying in bed on Sunday morning. The mega churches are growing in leaps and bounds, but I am not sure they are the answer either. The new pastor at Our Lady of the Woods is a big disappointment, forcing our family to look elsewhere in a hurry. Thank God we found Rick Hartmann at St. Roch- we hit the jackpot - but not everyone is willing to look that hard. many just give up.
Thoughts, Comments, Observations?


  1. I'm no financial expert, but I always thought the archdiocese made a big mistake when it closed so many parochial schools in the '70s, thus denying city residents an alternative to Detroit public schools. Seems like a church truly interested in people, social justice, etc. could have fouond a way to keep those schools open.

  2. Change is hard. It hurts, but sometimes it's necessary, and often for the good. For example, many of us were deeply hurt and/or effected when they closed our beloved CMLS. But over the years, I think they have done a remarkable job of utilizing the seminary and its resources, by closing St. John's, and opening up the building and faculty for training and education of lay people.
    2 questions for you guys local to the action:
    Did they sell the apparently valuable St. John's property, and what is the JPII center/scandal?

  3. St. John's is pretty vacant. The golf course is run by Carl's Golfland. There is a private hotel built by Bill Pulte (maida's buddy) - Inn at St. John's - I have stayed there it is nice but nothing special. The hotel has a nice restaurant as well. St. John's is a great destination for first class weddings - the chapel is for rent as well as fancy banquet facilities. maida has an apartment there. The bulk of the place is not used.
    As for John Paull II - Maida built it for $54 million. It never attracted the visitors that he thought it would. It was sold to the Knights of Columbus last year for $20 million. To pay for it, Maida took any cash he could find - including the priest's pension fund and the cemetary fund, which was for "rainy days".
    If Maida was a civiloian he would be in prison.

  4. Gregg, I'm not arguing for or against closing CMLS, but since it closed I fail to see how the seminary and its resources have helped high-school boys. Or girls for that matter :)

  5. Chuck, a lot of priests (and bishops)
    would be in prison if they were "civilians" -- not just Maida.