Portland, Maine TLM chaplaincy: their budget and acrimonious reaction

Some time ago I wrote about the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in the Diocese of Portland, Maine.  His Excellency Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Portland, set up a chaplaincy structure and assigned a priest.  The group of people whom this chaplaincy would serve would need to follow a budget and support the chaplaincy financially.

I wrote in favor of this development.

Now the details of the budget have been released and some people are angry.

For example, there is a website that is taking a very harsh line toward the Diocese and this structure, particularly the budget.

Here is the item with emphases and comments by WDTPRS.

AQ Report

Latin Mass Community to be charged $72,000 for Mass

By John Grasmeier
Angelqueen.org
April, 2008

Since the release of Summorum Pontificum – Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio removing restrictions on celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass – many local prelates and their diocesan hirelings have gone to great lengths to make life as difficult as possible for Catholics seeking to take advantage of it. From requiring priests to sit for formal Latin language examinations before offering the TLM, to suffering difficult (and even unlawful) permission schemes, traditionalist priests and lay persons have had to suffer all types of dubiously devised obstacles laid out for them by hostile ecclesiastical chains of command.  [So far, I agree.  I think we have shown how this is playing out fairly well.]

Some who follow such matters may tend to think they’ve heard everything regarding these shenanigans. Others, who know better, realize that when it comes to suppressing of the immemorial rite, never think you’ve heard everything.  [Never underestimate the ability of the other side creatively to think up obstacles.]

[This is where this post starts to go off the rails....] In a first (a first not only in anti-TLM hubris, but quite possibly a first in the history of Holy Church) the TLM community in the diocese of Portland Maine billed for their Mass. They are to be charged $72,000 per year, with an initial $18,000 down payment being due on or before July 1st, only a little over 2 1/2 months from the time this is being written.

The 72-grand will go toward the [1] priest’s salary and benefits, [2] office supplies and, astoundingly, [3] rental of the church. Should anyone think this a joke or simply too outrageous to be believed, the following is presented:  [It looks like the objection is based mostly on the rental of the church.  However, the budget is for more than rental.  I wonder what the amount for rental really is.]

[Here is the letter explaining that there will be a budget....]

3 April 2008

Dear Members of the Latin Mass Community:

Christ is Risen & Lives Forever!

As Msgr. Marc Caron, the chancellor of the Diocese, announced to you some weeks past, Bishop Richard Malone has honored me with the newly created position of Chaplain to the Latin Mass Community in south-central Maine effective 1 July 2008. I look forward to serving and working with the faithful who are attached to the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy. Initially, I will be celebrating Holy Mass in the extraordinary form every Sunday at 8:00 AM at the Basilica of Ss Peter & Paul in Lewiston and at noon at the Cathedral Chapel in Portland.  [NB: NOT St. Ipsipisy in Black Duck, or a run down chapel in Tall Tree Circle, but the Cathedral and a Minor Basilica.] Once the Chaplaincy is underway, additional Masses will be scheduled at other locations as the need increases and other priests are available. I also will be available to you for the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, including funerals, as needed. [So far, this sounds pretty good.]

I am happy to announce that the Bishop has accepted a request for a patron for the Latin Mass Chaplaincy. We will now be known as the :

St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy

As Bishop Malone announced, the Chaplaincy will be funded by those benefiting from this ministry, [That is not unfair... on the contrary!  It is just.] and the Chaplaincy will continue only if there is sufficient funding to meet its expenses. [Someone has to pay for this.  It should be paid for by those who benefit from it.] The initial annual budget has been prepared, which I have approved and accepted. [So, their priest/father figure is acting in their best interest.] The budget for the first year is $72,000.00 and includes salary, room & board, health insurance and pension, travel expenses, church rental, office expenses, and other ministy (sic) expenses.  [These are the basics and they are all necessary.]

Prior to 1 July, and before the Chaplaincy will begin, we are required to raise from contributions one-quarter of our annual budget, or $18,000.00. This initial funding is necessary to ensure that we will be financially independent and able to meet our weekly ongoing expenses as the Chaplaincy begins and grows. We must begin our fundraising efforts immediately to raise this initial amount. We have established an account at TD Banknorth in Lewiston that will be used exclusively for the Chaplaincy. Contributions to the Chaplaincy should be made by check payable to "St Gregory (the Great) Latin Mass Chaplaincy" and sent to the following address: Latin Mass Chaplaincy, Department of Ministerial Services, P.O. Box 11559, Portland, Maine 04104. Please be as generous as your means allow.

After 1 July collections taken up at all the Masses of the Chaplaincy will go totally to the support of the Chaplaincy.
[That is very good!  It could have been arranged that those contributions would be given to the hosting parish!] Also the faithful will be able to register with the Chaplaincy and will have their own envelopes come the New Year. I will also be making regular financial reports to the community.  [This is just.]

I will be able to join you and address you after Mass on Sunday 20 April 2008 at the Cathedral to enlist your support for the many important tasks we must undertake in order to build the Chaplaincy so that it will be a vital, growing, and long-lasting ministry in the Diocese. I also hope to answer any questions you may have. Unfortunately I may arrive during the Mass as I must complete my duties in Sabattus first. I hope you will be able to stay for a short reception after Mass so that we may become personally acquainted.

I thank all the priests who have served and who will continue to serve you. They have been a blessing from God. I look forward to meeting and serving you. May God prosper the work of our hands.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Rev. Robert A. Parent

A few things occur to me upon reading Father’s letter and the angry and, in my opinion, acrimonious reaction to it.  I understand that they may not be sniping at Fr. Parent, but perhaps at others in the chancery or parishes who may have imposed these conditions.

Any number of parish priests could jump in with stories about how many people come to the parish desiring services for one reason or another and have the idea that everything ought to be free for them, without any personal obligation or expense. 

This also happens with payment of tuition in Catholic schools and also Sunday giving.  Very many Catholics have it in their heads that the pratice of their faith shouldn’t have to cost them anything.

Having a parish costs something.  Somebody has to pay for what you receive.  When you go to Mass and there is heat or A/C, someone pays the bill.  There are bills for lights and salaries for maintenance and cleaning.  The priest has the right to a just salary, room and board.  If you expect him to travel,  his expenses must be paid.

It strikes me that if a community cannot handle $72,000 per year, how could they dream to handle a whole parish, with all of its expenses.

If a parish priest has a group come into his place and turn on his lights and enjoy the heat or A/C and then know that they will come to a clean church when they return, that parish priest would want to know how it is going to be paid for.

Were it possible simply to do everything and not need to worry about money, that would be a different matter.

I am struck also by the example set by some Protestant groups who practice rather disciplined tithing: 10% of their wages going to their churches.  I wonder how many people in the TLM groups around the country are giving 10% of the income to their parishes.  If Protestants, with their lack of sacraments, can do this, how much more should Catholics, who receiving infinitely more from their shepherds and the Church be willing to ante-up?

The bishop established this chaplaincy in such a way that it could have a very clear identity and in such a way that, if successful, it could be given and church and made a personal parish.  (Remember: if they pay "rent" at a parish, they will also have certain rights, which they would otherwise not have.)

But much will depend on them.  I don’t mean just in how they cough up money for their venture, but also in their attitude.  They could really spoil this for everyone.

Finally, however, I would have to ask serious questions:

Are there other groups in the diocese that don’t have their own parishes paying expenses in this manner?  For example some ethnic group with their own priest chaplain?  If there are, are they paying to use some parish facility?

Is the treatment shown to the TLM group the same as that shown to other groups or is there a demonstrable, provable double-standard?

Even if there is, I would have to advise the folks in Portland to leave aside the acrimony and prove they can do it anyway!  Noblesse oblige.  At least for the time being keep your spirits up and think about that tithing thing.

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198 Responses to Portland, Maine TLM chaplaincy: their budget and acrimonious reaction

  1. John Collorafi says:

    Fr Parent is a Melkite priest, so provision must be made for his support and expenses.

    But room and board? Are the rectories so full of holy priests that nobody can spare him a room?

    If you look at what SSPX has accomplished, it’s obvious that traditionalists can be quite generous and sacrificial in their giving. The anger– and in my opinion just anger– is at the perception that the churches were unlawfully taken from us, and now are being rented back.

  2. Brian Mershon says:

    Father Z. My only question would be “What about the obvious simony expressed in the letter?”

    This sort of ridiculous letter and requirement would NEVER be presented to any burgeoning or new Novus Ordo community–English or Spanish. NEVER. Only the traddies get singled out.

    There of course is no specific financial REQUIREMENTS of any parishioner other than to give to the benefit of the Church within one’s means. Tithing is a good thing and spiritually edifying, but in now manner a requirement. I would venture to say that Traditionalists I know give a disproportionate amount of their “time, talent and treasure” to their parish than does the average Novus Ordo Catholic. They also spend a lot more time on diocesan and parish politics and other things that are NOT their state in life–thus detracting from their relationships with their spouse and families. I know. I have done it for years. So have many others.

    Gas prices, food prices and everything else is skyrocketing, yet when a parish begins to suffer some financially, do they EVER cut back their primary expense? Their payroll? Ever? Or does the priest continuously go on and on about our OBLIGATION to tithe (which it is NOT) or why/how we should be giving more. Of course, many of us should be.

    But what about fiscal responsibility? How many months in a row does a parish have to run in the red before it begins to adjust its staff accordingly? Do parish workers have tenure that the rest of us do not enjoy?

    Just asking?

  3. TNCath says:

    John Collorafi wrote: “But room and board? Are the rectories so full of holy priests that nobody can spare him a room?”

    Sure, they can spare the room, but parishes can’t afford for priests to live in a rectory gratis. Even retired priests who live in rectories usually pay something to live there.

  4. RichR says:

    Are these critics crazy? I DAYDREAM about being given this golden opportunity by my bishop!

    $72,000 is nothing, if you think about it. If everyone gave 10%, that would mean a combined parishioner income of $720,000. If average income is only $36,000, then only 20 families would need to join the LMC and tithe.

    That having been said, I would be a little wary about one thing: could this type of arrangement degenerate into a debacle like ArchBp. Burke is facing with St. Stanislaus Kostka parish? IOW, if a community like this is not given any financial support from the diocese, could it be tempting for the community members to begin to feel independent of the chancery? I would hope, if successful, and if eventually given a personal parish, that the new parish would then receive financial support from the diocese.

    In this trial period, it is prudent to arrange things like this because the diocese should not take a financial hit on a gamble. But if the gamble pays off, they should reward the hard work and dedication of the people and recognize a parish which is entitled to support.

    Again, Traditionalists have been dreaming for this type of opportunity. Kudos to the Portland, ME diocese for giving the people this chance.

  5. John: But room and board? Are the rectories so full of holy priests that nobody can spare him a room?

    Spare him a room?

    Having just a room at a rectory doesn’t always work very well.  And it is especially hard when the priests are not of the same rite, etc.

    If you look at what SSPX has accomplished, it’s obvious that traditionalists can be quite generous and sacrificial in their giving.



    I know this is true.

    The anger—and in my opinion just anger—is at the perception that the churches were unlawfully taken from us, and now are being rented back.

    Well, that isn’t the case, is it, certainly not juridically or legally.  Also, I think they should deal with the situation as it actually is, rather than be unrealistic.  But your point about the anger and hurt is valid to a certain extent.

  6. Mark says:

    When I first read this on the Angel Queen site last evening, I was upset with this as well. That was my first reaction.

    Upon further reflection, if there are on average 100 people attending 52 Sunday Masses in one year – each would need to place $13.85 in the collection basket to cover the $72,000. Definitely it can be done!

    However, the announcement comes across poorly. I’ve never heard of charging parishioners before and appears to be a double-standard, and unfairly, the LM Community appears to be singled out. This is where the ‘acrimony’ comes from in my opinion.

    It’s all in the positioning and delivery of the message. As the saying goes, ‘it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.’

    Mark

  7. TNCath says:

    John Collorafi wrote: “But room and board? Are the rectories so full of holy priests that nobody can spare him a room?”

    You cannot expect a parish rectory to take in a priest gratis! Also, it isn’t as easy as it seems just to have a priest living in a rectory as “in-residence” and not having pastoral duties. Even most retired priests who choose to continue living in a rectory usually pay some kind of rent for living there.

  8. Dave Deavel says:

    I agree with Fr. Z here. This seems fair enough–and it is an opportunity for the Latin Mass community to show they’re serious. It would be great if they showed some appreciation to the parish they’re using as well, whether this be monetary or in terms of service, to show that the TLM community is about building up the whole Church. And I for one think they’ll step up to the plate, so to speak.

  9. Volpius says:

    While I understand that we live in the world and so things cost money I am utterly appalled by this, frankly it is abhorrent. When I talk with Lutherans they always bring up the accusation that the Catholic Church sells salvation for money, God forbid they ever hear about this debacle, where is the Christian charity and love for souls in this letter?

    Demanding money in this fashion is not how the Catholic Church is meant to operate, the Mass is effectively been held to ransom, pay up or else no Mass, disgusting.

    How about we all just say get stuffed and go find a church that will welcome us instead of been treat like unwanted dirt.

    Scandalous.

  10. RichR says:

    I can see how the diocese wants to minimize the risk by using this arrangement in a sort of “trial balloon” fashion. However, I would hope that if the LMC becomes self-sustaining and prospers, their efforts would be rewarded with a personal parish that receives financial support from the diocese.

    Look at the can of worms the great Archbishop Raymond Burke is facing with St. Stanislaus Kostka.

  11. TNCath says:

    Before we had two Polish priests serving in our diocese, the Polish Catholic Mission here supported the monthly transportation, room, and board of a priest to be flown from Chicago to say Mass for the Polish-speaking community. They also made a sizeable offering to the parish in which the Mass is said. None of this was ever subsidized by the diocese. To me, this was a lot cheaper than supporting a parish, especially since this “Latin Mass Chaplainacy” is in its formative stages. Besides that, they get to keep their collections! I don’t know if they will be assessed a cathedraticum or not, but if their community was a personal parish in our diocese, they’d be paying the diocese 16.66%! So, one might think twice about the “fairness” of this arrangement.

  12. John Collorafi says:

    The faithful paid for those churches– and can’t use them in many cases because of decades of liturgical abuse.

    They paid for seminaries to train priests, and now they have to pay a priest of another rite because the seminaries didn’t do their job and teach Latin.

    They paid for rectories and everything necessary to feed and house the priests, and now they’re being asked to pay twice.

    Meanwhile, I will do what Father Z asks in the anti-spamming word: “Pray for our priests!”
    Let us pray for priests, for holy vocations, and for the good Catholics in the Portland diocese.

  13. Brian: My only question would be “What about the obvious simony expressed in the letter?”

    Well… I think I would want to know if it is really simonious.  I know what simony is, but I am  genuinely not sure that this an example.  I am willing to hear calm and reasonable arguments for or against.  I don’t read in anything so far that there cannot be Masses etc. without paying money.  But if this group wants some arrangement they can depend on, someone is going to have to pay for it.  Simony?  Maybe… I don’t know.

    This sort of ridiculous letter and requirement would NEVER be presented to any burgeoning or new Novus Ordo community—English or Spanish. NEVER. Only the traddies get singled out.

    I don’t know that either.  I wonder if there are any, for example, Neo-Cat groups out there who pay for the use of a parish church.  However, I did raise the same question you address here.  I would like to know if there is a double-standard at work here, or if there are indeed other groups operating under those guidelines.  If there is a provable double-standard then I think I would be on this with some pretty serious and frequent attention.

    There of course is no specific financial REQUIREMENTS of any parishioner other than to give to the benefit of the Church within one’s means. Tithing is a good thing and spiritually edifying, but in now manner a requirement.



    No, not in the manner of a requirement.  Tithing is not obligatory, of course, and individual means must be considered.  This is all true.

    I would venture to say that Traditionalists I know give a disproportionate amount of their “time, talent and treasure” to their parish than does the average Novus Ordo Catholic.

    I don’t have any data about that.  I hope it is not true.  I would like to know that all Catholics are doing their bit. 

    And I really don’t welcome the term “Novus Ordo Catholic”, which I am sure you and others will never use on this blog in the future.

    They also spend a lot more time on diocesan and parish politics and other things that are NOT their state in life—thus detracting from their relationships with their spouse and families. I know. I have done it for years. So have many others.

    You have, but I don’t have any data about others.  That may be true.  It also may not be.  I know an awful lot of people involved with their parishes and there is no TLM in sight (sadly).

    Gas prices, food prices and everything else is skyrocketing, yet when a parish begins to suffer some financially, do they EVER cut back their primary expense? Their payroll? Ever? Or does the priest continuously go on and on about our OBLIGATION to tithe (which it is NOT) or why/how we should be giving more. Of course, many of us should be.

    I don’t know what your experience is, but in very many places the priest’s salary is not the greatest expense.  Try heating a church in Minnesota.  Also, salaries for priests are usually fixed by the diocese.

    Or is this really an objection to priests to being paid or having a living? (That is rhetorical.)

    But what about fiscal responsibility? How many months in a row does a parish have to run in the red before it begins to adjust its staff accordingly? Do parish workers have tenure that the rest of us do not enjoy?

    This is an entirely different matter.  There should be financial accountability at a parish, or church institution, of course.  But what you raise doesn’t really pertain to this situation.  It might in some months, but it doesn’t pertain before it starts up!

  14. ADDENDUM: As I think about this, it strikes me that even if this situation is not an example of simony, perhaps it would be good to avoid all appearances of such.

    This situation is unclear to me but the questions it raises are good.  If there can be good and calm discussion here, I will keep the combox open.  If not, I will shut it down. 

  15. TNCath says:

    John Collorafi wrote: “They paid for rectories and everything necessary to feed and house the priests, and now they’re being asked to pay twice.”

    Priests who lived in the past were indeed fed and housed. Priests who live in the present also need to be fed and housed. So, I’d say this needs to be done more than twice. Given the less than stellar salaries priests receive, food and housing for priests are important, ongoing concerns for the faithful: Latin-rite, Melkite-rite, or whatever rite they belong to. If you want a priest, you’ve got to be able to support him! Money in a parish or other community doesn’t come from above like manna in the desert.

  16. John Collorafi says:

    Question: since the faithful are being asked to pay a full time salary and benefits, will they be getting a daily Mass?

  17. TNCath:  You raise excellent points.

    1) As I observed before, the TLM group gets to keep the collection! Who knows about the diocesan assessment (cathedraticum).

    2) Priests pay rent when not assigned to a rectory they live in.

    3) $72000/52/100 = $13.85 per capita/per week

    4) A chaplaincy like this, as I observed, is a lot cheaper than having a parish.

    5)  It’s not what you say, it is how you say it.  That may be the case here.

  18. Flambeaux says:

    I’ll be a dissenting voice.
    I see nothing wrong with the letter. I wish my parish would be so upfront as to the actual costs of operation.

    The fact is Catholics have been able to cheapskate by for decades. It was indulged while we were poor immigrants. It was winked at during the post-V2 “silly season”. It is now at a crisis level and any attempt to remedy this is met with lamentations and imprecations.

    I recall a story of a rabbi in NYC in the 1960s who was, at that time, paid nearly $80K per annum simply to read the Torah. He was thus able to raise a large family while performing his duty without fear of imminent penury.

    I have seen many Prots who take excellent care of their ministers.

    It never ceases to amaze me how we Catholics treat our priests. And the sheer ignorance of the actual costs of running a parish or a diocese saddens me. The priests are overworked and underpaid. And we, the faithful, as well as our Fathers, the bishops, continue to demand more of them.

    So I’m going to say “Bravo!” to His Excellency and the good Reverend Father for coming to an agreement and stating clearly what is required for this venture to succeed. Would that all diocese would take such an approach with all their parishes and missions…and all parishes and missions be so frank with the faithful in their care.

    And to anyone who wants to prattle on about churches paid for by the sweat of the faithful being rented back, I say, “Piffle.”

    This is not England in the 19th century.

  19. Kradcliffe says:

    I am very grateful to the parish of Sacred Heart in Glasgow for having a Latin Mass at a reasonable hour on Sunday. Father Dunn is really struggling to keep that historic building from falling down and we as a family are very happy to give what little we can to the parish. (I just wish the 120+ people going to the SSPX chapel would join us. The Catholic Church needs them, and the parish needs them, ya know?) I’m grateful to Msgr. Boyle for coming over and saying the Mass, too. I know he’s not always in the best of health.

    Apparently, the Latin Mass has been moved around a few times. “Every time we have to move, we lose people” one lady told me.

    Being an enthusiastic, financially supportive parishioner can only help. It’s good for the Church and it will be good for the Latin Mass.

  20. Kradcliffe says:

    Flambeau, that was an excellent post.
    I have recently realized that I have been guilty of taking priests for granted and so my husband and I have built a web site to support the priests of Glasgow with prayer.
    Sacred Heart has a few utility bills pinned to the front porch – just so people know how much things really cost.

    I hear that people are writing angry emails to this priest and his bishop. (People who don’t even live in the diocese.) Sigh. I think maybe a nice email of support would be helpful.

  21. Christian says:

    “This sort of ridiculous letter and requirement would NEVER be presented to any burgeoning or new Novus Ordo community—English or Spanish. NEVER. Only the traddies get singled out.”

    Damned right! Fr Z has, unfortunatly, been totally unfair. Having to rent the Church from the Church is ridiculous and is simony. It is hardly as if saying Mass contributes to wear and tear! Any charge for the use of the church that exceeds the amount it costs to maintain the Church is profiteering and thus simony. Naturally the Bishop can wage a tax to subsidize poorer parishes but the trads should not have to pay any more than any other group.

  22. Chironomo says:

    Not really sure what to think of this… I have no particular objection to having to contribute to the church… I think that should be expected of everyone, whether attending the TLM or not. Again, the double standard thing raises it’s head… are the parishioners who attend the OF Masses going to have to come up with 1/4 of the projected yearly expenses in advance or else no Mass? I don’t think so… and even if they are expected to cover the extra expenses incurred for the TLM apostalate (which they should be expected to), why is there a requirement that money be paid “up front” as though it were some kind of a “deposit” in the event that they don’t give their fair share. I think that is what is causing the complaints. Also, the situation is not analogous to an outside group using the church facilities, and so the issue of charging rent naturally leads one to wonder why other groups (Spanish Mass, Polish Mass, Ukranian Mass, Hungarian Mass, Creole Mass) are not also charged rent. I think it could have been better handled by simply emphasizing to those attending the TLM that it is important to give financially in support of this effort, perhaps provide a quarterly financial report to make the point and let the Holy Spirit handle it from there. I don’t think anybody feels it is unreasonable to ask that these parishioners give to the church, it is simply the way that it is made to seem like a required “condition” when it shouldn’t be.

  23. TNCath says:

    Fr. Z: “It’s not what you say, it is how you say it. That may be the case here.”

    Overall, I thought Fr. Parent’s letter was positive, and well stated. I’ve seen letters from pastors in parishes that were much, much worse! The only part I could see where people might have reacted negatively was the line that “the Chaplaincy will continue only if there is sufficient funding to meet its expenses.” As innocent as that statement probably is, I could see where people would perceive that as a veiled threat based on their past experiences of being refused a TLM. So, these good people might be a bit on the gun shy side right now about these arrangements. In time, perhaps they will come around.

    But, of course, no matter when or how a priest discusses finances, as long as there are “two or three gathered in His Name,” there will always be someone out there who will say, “There he goes AGAIN! All he ever talks about is MONEY!”

  24. Scott says:

    I suppose the good news is that $72k should be fairly easy for them to come up with. I suspect there are plenty of parishes that can raise that in a week.

    But I reject the argument that “those who benefit should pay for it”. The reason is that the *entire* Church benefits from the extraordinary form being celebrated, not just the ones attending it.

    Conversely, I think it would be nice if some of the money collected at the Masses went to the diocese (or followed whatever normal parish protocol), as a token of solidarity.

    pax,
    Scott

  25. Patrick says:

    I will have to add to the dissent!

    Brian said:
    This sort of ridiculous letter and requirement would NEVER be presented to any burgeoning or new Novus Ordo community—English or Spanish. NEVER. Only the traddies get singled out.

    This is simply not true. I was working with a Mission in my diocese a couple of years ago. In order to have their canonical status elevated to Parish they need to show an ability to stand on their own. The gentleman from the chancery who runs budgets here went out to the mission church and told them (through a translator — this was a Spanish speaking Novus Ordo parish!) how much the collection would have to be weekly in order to support the salary and room and board for the Priest. If people aren’t told what will be needed, they can’t be responsible. Imagine if this letter hadn’t been written and the community lost the Priest because they simply weren’t making ends meet.
    Everybody seems to think we can run on luv, but it doesn’t work that way. If a group of people want to have their own parish structure, be it for Mass in the Extraordinary Form, or for having a parish closer to where they live, they need to have a clear idea of what it costs. Once they know how much it costs, they then must determine if they can afford it.

    As for “sparing a room,” I just can’t see that either. Why should the good people of one parish pay to support a Priest who works in another? This is a matter of justice. When, please God, they grow to the point of having their own edifice, they will have to pay rent (mortgage) and lighting, and room and board for the Priest, etc., etc.

  26. Scott: Okay… that is true and certainly it is part and parcel of what I argue when I say


     

    On the other hand, there are those who are the most immediately concerned.  They should also bear the cost.

    However, you introduce a new element into the mix.

    Perhaps shouldering this burden, even if it is unjust (and I don’t think it is) could be seen as a great spiritual work of mercy for the whole diocese and Church. 

    If they must bear this Cross, perhaps this might help them bear it well and cheerfully?

  27. This sounds like a just and reasonable arrangement. When Our Lady of the Atonement Church was beginning, we had no building of our own, so we paid rent to a local Italian parish for a few years, and then an even higher rent to the convent where we moved. The Faithful also gave their support for my salary, living expenses, housing, etc. We operated on a budget, and that’s all the bishop is asking for in this case.

    I hope the “attitude” and the anger can be put aside, or it will be a sure recipe for this important endeavor to fail. How could anyone begrudge less than $14.00 a week for something they claim they want? A family spends more than that when they visit McDonalds.

  28. Renee says:

    I don’t believe the total amount of $72000 is out of line. But asking for $18000 upfront does come across as holding the TLM hostage even if it was not meant to and that is probably the part that set everyone off. Regardless, it is still only $180 per person for 100 people and that doesn’t seem particularly outrageous. I’d pay that and more to have a nearby TLM.

  29. Scott says:

    Father,

    I agree completely.

    Anyway, I’d be thrilled if the prospects looked so good in my diocese.

    pax,
    Scott

  30. SteveJ says:

    Surely being cheerfully ready and eager to pay our way, to put in the work required to raise money, put a TLM community on a sound financial footing, and contribute both financially and otherwise to the diocese would be a better way of making such communities attractive to bishops than scolding them and putting the worst construction on their every move.

    Steve

  31. Katherine says:

    I have spoken with one of the members of the committee and spoken several times to Father Parent on the phone. Father is on loan to the diocese to take care of and live with his elderly mother. So, he would not live in a rectory if it was available. He seems to be a very good priest and wants to expand the TLM to as many places in the state as possible. The money would go to rent churches to say the TLM (at $100 a pop, since none of the collection would go to them) and to train/educate other priest in the TLM.

    I was upset and shocked at first at what I considered such a large sum for the bishop to proceed with this chaplaincy. Since then I have resigned myself to the bishop’s prudence, if not his lack of trust in providence. If Mainers do not pony-up with the $$ we will never be given another opportunity to have a TLM in the state. I do not want to give up this chance by being stubborn about the bishop’s grudging stance so our family is changing its tithe to the St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy. I want this for both my children, but all the Catholic children in the state of Maine.

  32. (In the hope that this is more light than heat…)

    Well, I for one think the budget is reasonable. Not only that, if people really want the Traditional Mass, the ability to financially support it is by far the best long-term strategy. Think about it. If you send a message (that is, money) in the only language a certain group can understand (that is, certain operatives in the Church infrastructure), then, by gosh, you have sent a message!

    Now, that is an admittedly jaded view of the situation, but we Catholics tend to be stingy with our financial support of parishes. Five percent is a bit of a stretch for many of us, never mind tithing.

    This is one of those battles with a known adversary, and can be won when you play by the rules. I honestly don’t see the injustice here.

  33. Bob says:

    In our diocese parishes over a certain income have to pay 75% of that to the diocese, people should be grateful for getting away with a lot less.

  34. Christian: Fr Z has, unfortunatly, been totally unfair.

    Totally? I don’t think so. I have admitted my lack of certainty when needed and made practical observations. Furthermore, I think that making this issue as widely known as it is bound to be now does a positive service for both sides.

    Having to rent the Church from the Church is ridiculous and is simony. It is hardly as if saying Mass contributes to wear and tear! Any charge for the use of the church that exceeds the amount it costs to maintain the Church is profiteering and thus simony.

    Since you don’t know what that expense is, in concrete terms, perhaps you are the one being unfair?

    First, the whole budget is $72000, not just for the rental. Also, there normally charges for the use of a church for weddings and for funerals. Someone has to unlock, set up, clean, pay for lights, heat, etc.

    And I suppose we are dealing with even a daily Mass here, not just 30+ weddings and funerals with Sundays and Holy days in a year.

    We don’t know how the budget breaks down, friend.

  35. kaneohe says:

    Even if paid for, existing churches and rectories still, and will always cost the parishoners money. Every church and rectory pays for insurances, electricity, heating expenses, AC expenses, general maintenance and upkeep. Many older parishes have needed extensive repair work and this also cost money and many are in debt because of this.

    Every church I’ve been in has had to buy and pay for candles, wine, hosts, incense, flowers, missals, Paschal candle, booklets, sacred linens and every blue moon maybe a new vestment…If we don’t want to use those white hooded cotton altar server outfits for our young boys adn youths but rather cassocks and surpluses where can we get those for free?

    Do the people want to have any get togethers after Mass, coffee, a snack? We can’t say bring your own cup and plate, sugar and cream or should we? What about cathetecial programs? Kid and youth programs?

    Cachink, cachink, goes the cash register!

    The rectory might be paid for but the priests still use electricity, heating/cooling, telephone, internet connections. Everyone, priests included have to pay for public services such as water, sewer, trash removal, etc. Priests eat, last time I looked food prices were rapidly rising. Even consuming only 1,800-2,000 calories a day on a very tight budget is still expensive. Adding a priest to an already establish rectory means the use and cost of these things will be increased so someone will have to pay for it. “Gee Fr. Robert, you already have two priests at your parish rectory so we thought two more since this obviously won’t increase your costs or budgets…”

    I spend well over $300 on gas for my vehicle out of pocket($3.65 a gallon as of yesterday). My insurance is $1,200 – out of pocket. I paid for my vehicle (always used and kept till they were barely passing inspection) all repairs and maintenance are out of pocket. My medical insurance is $256.00 a month – for a total of $ 3,072 bucks a year – I don’t have coverage for scripts, eye glases, dental – those are all out of pocket, as are all the costs the insurance won’t cover.

    You have to pay into social security…

    I am just trying to put what things actually cost in focus. It’s easy to criticize and say these things should all be free, but I’ve never figured out how a parish would ever survive without cash flow.

    It would have helped to have given the budget/estimate budget breakdown (which I always recommend) when presenting the community with a financial request. Most families have a budget, they know what food, electricity, car expenses, etc cost them a year – so when you approach people for monies they always respond better and more supportively when the see the “hard facts.”

    Well, that’s my two cents worth!

    Grace and peace to all and please be financially supportive of the things you care for.

  36. TJM says:

    I’d be happy to throw in $13.95 a week if it would get me the TLM locally. Simony, to my understanding is charging a direct fee for a sacrament. I don’t
    think simony applies to situations where you’re being asked to support a ministry. It’s certainly not simony to contribute weekly to your
    parish. I don’t see the distinction between supporting your parish or a ministry such as this. Tom

  37. John Collorafi says:

    My prayers and sympathies are with Catholics like the generous and long-suffering Katherine. It will also be very positive if other priests receive TLM training. That the diocese should have to turn to a Melkite priest for this work speaks volumes, however.

  38. Demo says:

    LAST WEEKEND’S’ COLLECTIONS
    Sunday Offertory $25,516.00
    Family Assistance/Poor Box $ 206.00
    Debt Reduction Campaign $ 5,349.00
    TOTAL: $31,071.00

    I post the above as an example of what a very prosperous parish receives in Northern Virginia on a weekly basis. This parish has 1200 families in it, with an average family size of 3.9.

    That’s $6.64 per person, and $25.89 per family each week.

    Now, this parish is new, and is substantially overproducing when it comes to fundraising. In fact, it raises approximately double what the surrounding parishes raise. So, if you halved it, you would find the average donation to be about $12.94 per week.

    Do I think $13.85 is an unreasonable target? No I do not. However, this same parish is simply instituting a daily mass in the Extraordinary form. No charge was associated with it.

    Also, it seems arbitrary to establish that one must come up the $18 K before one can have the Mass. What about those who literally cannot afford $13.85 because they are feeding 7 children? It’s not unheard of. Living where I live, a townhouse is about $400 K. I have 6 children living in a three bedroom townhouse.

    I make about 90K a year as a congressional staffer. My mortgage is $2400. After taxes and every other deduction, my takehome pay is $4219.27 per month. This leaves me $1819.27 per month.

    $130 per week for food, $100 per month on health care (in addition to insurance), $270 a month on gas, $50 a month on car insurance, $100 a month on natural gas, $130 a month on electricity, $50 a month on clothing for the whole family, $135.00 on student loan, $100 on diapers/wipes, $800 a month on tuition for parochial school.

    These are my general costs per month. If you add it all up, you will see I am behind by $45 per month before I even get to any discretionary costs.

    So, I work a second job to pick up about $100 a week, which gets me to the point that I can donate $80 a month to the Church.

    Yeah, this means I see my kids exactly 10 hours on Sundays.

    That’s it. It’s not necessarily easy to come up with $13.85 a week.

  39. Cathy Dawson says:

    I agree with Scott. The EF is being treated as if it is a kind of luxury and
    special privilege that the small group who desire it should sacrifice for and
    pay for. The reality is that the Holy Father made it clear (to me any way) in SP
    that freeing the EF is to have a salutary effect on the OF. Further, from
    reading Spirit of the Liturgy, it was my understanding that the Holy Father was
    saying that the problems in the OF are causing serious harm to the spiritual
    health of the faithful. I would think that it would be a high priority for the
    Church to make the EF as available as possible to bring about these vital reforms.
    So, like Scott said, it is of benefit to the whole Church. But, if I’m
    understanding things correctly, it isn’t just beneficial, it is crucial.

    What confuses me is why we don’t make liturgical reform the highest priority in
    the Church, given what the Holy Father has said about the necessity to the
    Christian life of authentically praying the Mass. Most Catholics I meet have no
    idea what the Mass even is. Most priests I meet say the Holy Father is wrong about
    the liturgy saying that the Mass is a time to focus on Christ in one another, not
    Christ on the altar, the Blessed Sacrament is “just food”, blah, blah, blah. That
    philosophy seems to prevail at nearly every OF Mass I’ve attended. Given what I
    read in Spirit of the Liturgy, I would think this would be a crisis of epic
    proportions. Nobody seems to be treating it that way.

  40. B. says:

    Actually, if I understand this correctly and the whole budget goes back to the Latin Mass community that is a lot better a deal than what we get in Germany.

    Here it works like this: Every Catholic has to pay Church tax, it is deducted automatically from your income, if you stop paying it, you get excommunicated immediately (this is the only way to get excommunicated in Germany, btw). This is used to run the diocese and the Novus Ordo parishes.

    Not one cent of the Church tax does go to anything that has to do with the TLM. The FSSP priests are paid fully from the givings of the massgoers (who have already paid Church tax, but from this only NO priests are paid – the difference is striking, the NO priests drive Audis and Merdedes, the TLM priests are happy if they can afford a car at all).

    Whether we have to pay a third time (for using the buildings, which are maintained by the Church tax, which we have already paid) is depending on the benevolence of the host parish.

    But it is not enough that all TLM goers are already paying twice or thrice, therefore an additional scheme has been devised: All Trads are by definition schismatic therefore they have to “prove their adherence to the diocese” by giving some of the collections (which is, as I said the only way of maintaining the TLM community) to the diocese – and that although every single person has already paid Church tax.

  41. Brian C. says:

    At the risk of derailing the thread back toward one of its starting points… :)

    Fr. Z. wrote:

    I am struck also by the example set by some Protestant groups who practice rather disciplined tithing: 10% of their wages going to their churches. I wonder how many people in the TLM groups around the country are giving 10% of the income to their parishes. If Protestants, with their lack of sacraments, can do this, how much more should Catholics, who receiving infinitely more from their shepherds and the Church be willing to ante-up?

    I cannot possibly concur strongly enough with this; thank you for mentioning it, Father! My wife and I tithe (i.e. literal 10%) on our gross income (and on the gifts we receive), and it’s true: you cannot out-give God! We’re far from rich: I’m a high school math teacher at a Catholic school, and my wife is a (happily) stay-at-home homemaker (and co-coordinator of our parish’s RCIA–it’s rather hard work to dig up the *real* truths of the Faith and teach them in RCIA, rather than spoon-feed people the 1970′s pablum which is usually dispensed with the RCIA spoon, but she’s stellar at it). And yet, our spiritual lives have boosted and strengthened by tithing, and our debt (which I’d had before I married my wife–over $50,000 in college loans) evaporated 4 years earlier than the payment plan predicted. We’re now debt-free (though still living very frugally).

    Seriously… no matter which way you take the example of this particular parish: I’d urge you to start tithing, for your own sakes! Certainly, choose your charities wisely; we donate to our local parish, and to a rotating list of 10 other charities, but we avoid programs that might run counter to the Faith, even if they’re diocesan-sponsored. But take the plunge, and tithe!

    In Christ,
    Brian C.

  42. Tzard says:

    It strikes me that people were expecting the diocese to pick up the tab (rightly or wrongly) and the diocese accountants would determine whether the enterprise is “self supporting”.

    I think this expectation is fraught with pitfalls. While the diocese might cover initial underages, they will certainly keep overages (in donations). Might not “self supporting” also then include the costs of doicean accountants and bureaucrats to “evaluate” the finiancial health of the chaplaincy?

    They way they have it setup, on the other hand, gives all the proceeds to the chaplaincy. Considering how we all think of TLM, why are we not considering that the influx of cash will be MUCH MORE than is strictly necessary. Perhaps they can pay for new vestments, altars, and such. Or sock some money away to start paying out of the interest on the bank account!

    Think big, people.

    (Honestly, probably the initial shock is the initial up-front costs. Once masses startup, collections can begin. Can they not find someone to mortgage their house for a year or so to cover expenses? How about someone with a business who can give a $5k donation?)

  43. Jrbrown says:

    Fr Z., this certainly has the ‘appearance’ of simony based on what I have seen. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), simony is “deliberate intention of buying or selling for a temporal price such things as are spiritual of annexed unto spirituals”, including selling sacramentals, sacraments, ecclesiastical positions, etc. It would not seem that he faithful are actually being sold Mass and Sacraments in the traditional form, per se, as in they pay a cover charge at the door (which is specifically condemned by the Church). On the other hand, divine law would seem to forbid even the appearance of such sales, where a priest or bishop seem to condition offering Sacraments on remuneration, divine grace for cash. This is the definition of simony in slightly starker terms. In this case, the arrangement certainly appears to have faithful paying a priest and a parish for the right to receieve Sacraments according to the 1962 Missal (a right they already enjoy anyway, under Summorum Pontificum). Thus, failure to pay up front, or continue regular payments, results in foreclosure of the chaplaincy and end to the Sacraments. One does not get the impression from the letter that the payments are a necessary evil, which while important are secondary to the spiritual good of the faithful in this chaplaincy. Instead, it’s like a commodity, and if they are a day late or a dollar short, the repo man is coming. It’s that business like appearance that is repugnant to so many people. There is no problem with bishops and priests setting up parishes and chaplaincys on the basis of whether they can be supported-parishes are routinely closed because they are not so supported. As Summorum Pontificum says, if a bishop sees the need, and if substantial faithful are interested, the bishop can set up a personal parish or chaplaincy. Perhaps after a year or two if the chaplaincy or parish is having financial problems, it needs to be redressed or the situation changed. But requiring a business contract in which down payments are made, deadlines enforced and the threat of the loss of Sacraments is palpable seems unseemly and not in line with the commands of Our Lord to ‘feed the sheep’, even if they even if the spiritual food is freely given (which indeed it MUST be).

  44. Jrbrown: Yes… I think this might have the appearance of simony. I just wonder if the style of the letter could have been more felicitous. Hopefully in the meetings with people involved some of this can be put to rest. It would be a shame if these people spoiled this through unnecessary acrimony.

  45. Suzanne says:

    Fr. Z — Having come from that Latin Mass community in Maine, I can say that there’s a long history of acrimony/mistrust between the TLM community and the diocesan leadership. A lot of what was done to breach trust with the TLM crowd is rather upsetting. I won’t repeat incidences here because they are not germane to the conversation, and I fear would constitute gossip.

    However, there are reasons why many in the the Portland TLM crowd feel like the diocese is only appeasing them for the sake of bringing in money. The community have been beaten with the money baton for years — so they’re suspicious of the manner in which this was immediately brought up as a condition for the TLM. The TLM attendees at the Cathedral were told (threatened?) many times that the Mass would be discontinued if they didn’t start contributing more money — due to heating costs at the Cathedral, etc. – which sounds fair until you realize, they keep the heat on all the time in the winter at the Cathedral, regardless of whether or not the TLM happens. To my knowledge, the “threat” to discontinue a Mass if more money wasn’t taken in was never made at one of the Novus Ordo Masses. (All of which bring in far less than the 13,86 per capita figure.)

    Also interesting to note is that when a certain centrally located parish within the diocese was shut down, a TLM order offered to purchase it from the diocese and set up a TLM parish there. The diocesan leadership turned down the order’s offer, and then sold the church building to the city which then turned it into an ethnic heritage museum. The question asked was asked among them: If they want us out of their hair (they made it seem as though they did), why do they not want to let the order take over the TLM community? The TLM community are the among the most faithful Mass attendees and financial contributors in the diocese. Many felt that the fear of losing the TLM change chunk was the cause. Perhaps, that was way off base – but you have to wonder why someone keeps you around when you know they don’t like you.

    Given the history, I’m sure many in the TLM community are asking themselves what is the pill in all this jam. I, personally, think there is too much suspicion among the community where the benefit of the doubt is better given. I just offer this information for the sake of understanding a fuller picture of what fuels this kind of reaction. There is not a comfortable or easy relationship among the Portland diocesan leadership and the TLM crowd. Some of it is due to how members of the TLM community have behaved themselves, to be fair, and yet I know many individuals of that group who have been treated very unjustly. Would that there were more saints on all sides!

  46. B. says:

    Suzanne:
    Also interesting to note is that when a certain centrally located parish within the diocese was shut down, a TLM order offered to purchase it from the diocese and set up a TLM parish there. The diocesan leadership turned down the order’s offer, and then sold the church building to the city which then turned it into an ethnic heritage museum.

    I think I have read somewhere – and I could be wrong on this, I would appreciate if someone with more knowledge could comment on this – that there are certain church laws that say that if a Church has to be sold a continued use as Catholic Church has to take precedence over other offers, if possible.

  47. Volpius says:

    to B,

    That comes from Canon Law.

  48. Rob Nadeau says:

    I attend the Trid in Portland. I have discussed the budget with the bishop’s office and have found the response to be reasonable. I am very disappointed that the post was made. Bishop Malone has treated the Trid community fairly. The chaplaincy is an opportunity for the Trid community to demonstrate to the bishop that we are willing to work with him, that we are reasonable people and that maybe we should have a parish in the future. This post does nothing to advance the ball. We should, I suggest, thank the bishop for what he has done and work very hard to meet that budgetary goal.

  49. Volpius says:

    How can it be reasonable for them to demand that we pay an exact amount for something we have a right to?

    Can. 213 The Christian faithful have the right to receive assistance from the sacred pastors out of the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the sacraments.

    Can. 214 The Christian faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescripts of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church and to follow their own form of spiritual life so long as it is consonant with the doctrine of the Church.

    Every Catholic knows that we have a duty to support the Church financially but for the shepherds to turn to the sheep and demand that they produce a certain amount of wool a year or the shepherds will no longer feed them is just not right, this is not the action of a good shepherd who loves his sheep.

  50. Jamie says:

    So – If I understand correctly those of you who say this is a small amount per person/family – the traditional Mass is now available for the Middle class and Upper class because they can pay? How would this go down if a paris in calcutta were to put forward the same proposition – or perhaps even a parish with a large number of people living on welfare? They can’t afford that money so they don’t get the traditional Mass? What happened to the Church supporting the poor? While I realise that many families can afford this, putting a dollar amount on the Mass is, frankly, unChristian (and, therefore, unCatholic).

    The Chinese underground Church have managed to have Mass in extremely dire circumstances – my own “parish” at home was Mass in the home of an 80 year old retired priest’s cousin – he said daily Mass and virtually ordered us not to take a collection at Sunday Mass. For 30 years he has said Mass privately for over 100 parishioners and asked for no money. He has done this tirelessly and has given the traditional orders MANY vocations. In the meantime – my nation has 3 men in the seminary (not including the “parish” of my own priest).

    Something is seriously wrong here and it is a shock to me that so few see it and are seeking excuses for this situation.

    Can we really wonder why so many traditional Catholics are now attending SSPX masses exclusively? Frankly, it is extremely tempting.

  51. Suzanne says:

    Can someone from Maine tell say if the TLM community has had the opportunity to discuss alternative options if the $18,000 downpayment for a travelling TLM priest doesn’t materialize? Will they still have at least one parish where the Mass is offered — eg. the Cathedral? Were any other options discussed with the community or was this: Here’s our offer, take it or leave it.

  52. Katherine says:

    The TLM in New Castle is completely seperate, the parish priest went to the FSSP training and expanded it to 2 times a month.

    When I first heard about all of this from a friend I was very skeptical about giving money to an account that only guarantees 2 Sunday Masses a week: 8am in Lewiston and 12 in Portland, both about 3 hours from our farm. I wrote Father Z, asking for his opinion but he was very curt and not helpful. [Fr Z: Right... and I get to deal with hundreds of e-mails a day.  It is precisely comments like this that are pushing me to respond to fewer and fewer.] Then I researched more and after talking to some folks involved, including Father Parent, I decided to just give it to God and have faith. Father Parent has said that there are more than a few priests interested in the TLM closer to us. One FSSP parish would not help more than 30% of the people of Maine since the diocese is so large and the bishop didn’t think it could financially support itself.

    We must trust in God’s love and goodness and hope in the generosity of his ministers. Prudence and prayers are our best tack, not gross accusations.

  53. js says:

    My concern is not that a community, any community, might be made aware of the expenses involved in providing the Sacraments and supporting Priests and Parishes. It is the clear message in this that, apart from the situation with the rest of the Faithful, the TLM community is merely “renting” space – ie, the Diocese is not meeting their Sacramental needs first, as is their duty, and expecting them to meet their duty as Faithful as is expected of PARISHIONERS, but treating this particular community as one that must not be PARISHIONERS with affection for a particular Rite, and the additional expectation of a STABLE home (Parish). Also, how does this jive with His Holiness’ desire that the possibility of Personal Parishes be entertained by Bishops?

  54. Patrick says:

    The Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland, set up a chaplaincy back in September. Since then there has been Mass every day. Hundreds attend. There is no ‘budget’. The normal collections are taken up, and people are encouraged to give to a special Chaplaincy fund. There is no fuss. See http://www.latinmass.dublindiocese.ie

  55. Brian Mershon says:

    Brian said: Gas prices, food prices and everything else is skyrocketing, yet when a parish begins to suffer some financially, do they EVER cut back their primary expense? Their payroll? Ever? Or does the priest continuously go on and on about our OBLIGATION to tithe (which it is NOT) or why/how we should be giving more. Of course, many of us should be.

    Father Z said: I don’t know what your experience is, but in very many places the priest’s salary is not the greatest expense. Try heating a church in Minnesota. Also, salaries for priests are usually fixed by the diocese.

    Brian responds: I should have been more clear. There are many larger parishes that employ 10, 12 or more people full time. This is my point. The payroll, not expenses, and not the priests’ expenses, is probably 85% of the budget. In the business world, right or wrong, for the business to survive, people often lose their jobs. My personal experience is that this rarely if ever happens FOR THIS REASON in parishes. Instead the priest will talk on and on and on Sunday after Sunday about all the “services” the parishioners will lose if they don’t contribute more. All we really want is solid catechesis and the TLM Mass and sacraments.

    Fr. Z said: Or is this really an objection to priests to being paid or having a living? (That is rhetorical.)

    Brian responds: Again, in my experience, this applies to the lack of facing the reality of a situation and deciding to cut parish staff. I know they aren’t paid a lot, but again, they are 85% or more of the monthly expenses. Prior to 1965 priests used to actually give catechesis, talks, run novenas, give instruction for potential converts, etc. rather than delegate it all to deacons and lay staff. They also used to make hospital/house calls for Extreme Unction rather than delegate it to priests whose sole or primary task in a deanery is to do this.

    The priests of the SSPX are workers. They are men’s men. Like ‘em or not. They are out for the salvation of souls and they do NOT count the costs. They let God take care of it.

    One further reflection, this entire thread, and I include myself in this, shows how much of Americanists we all truly are.

    I wonder if the Jesuit martyrs went and demanded payment from the Native American Indians before catechizing and baptizing them. Hmmm…

  56. M.Z. Forrest says:

    A chaplaincy is a provision of the diocese. The bishop is going above and beyond what is required in SP. If people still want the EF at their parish, they can petition their pastor accordingly. For a comparative example, the US military pays for its own chaplains. I’m not sure who pays for hospital chaplains, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many orders do so out of their own funds or if the hospital pays for it.

    The way this appears to be set up, this chaplaincy will be privately using parish assets. Weddings similarly do so, and they are typically billed a use fee. If the EF were being offered as a ministry to a parish’s parishioners, it would be improper to bill itself. This would also be a different issue if this were an ad hoc basis. Since this is being scheduled, the parish community is being denied use of its facilities during this time, and it is only proper they be compensated.

    As to the question of simony, I don’t think there is much merit. This is a requirement placed upon chaplaincy itself. There is no specific obligation being placed on a particular person that impedes them from the spiritual goods of the Church. Finally, this is a private mass (but the public is of course welcome.) Of course, special provision should be made for the poor and destitute since we are all charged to do so.

  57. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    First, I would like to remind every one that when John the Baptist’s disciples came to ask our Lord if he was the Messiah, one of the proofs he gave was that the Gospel was preached to the poor. This statement does a bad job of reflecting our Lord’s teaching. Obviously, the Mass will need support. Most likely if they would have just pushed forwarded all would have worked out well. But instead for what ever reason this letter was issued. I think a 72,000 budget is reasonable, and probably would have been raised through normal collections. Also remember the priest will receive stipends as well for Masses, weddings, funerals, etc. They should have just said that the Mass will not be able to be a financial burden to the diocese, mentioned that a reasonable budget for this would be about $72,000 and left it at that.

    With regard to to tithing, I am against it. It is pure protestantism. In the New Testament, our Lord demands more and less. If you are starving and can not fulfill your duties in state ie feeding your family, you have no obligation to take food from your child’s mouth to give to the Church (extreme example but one that shows how extreme some people take tithing). That said if you make a lot of money and you think you have fulfilled you obligation by giving only 10 % you could be in for a rude awaking. Christ’s Church does not take a legalistic mentality to this sort of thing, in the way that the OT laid down the law, or the way our separated brethren continue to lay down the Old Law.

  58. JP says:

    Brian said: Again, in my experience, this applies to the lack of facing the reality of a situation and deciding to cut parish staff. I know they aren’t paid a lot, but again, they are 85% or more of the monthly expenses.

    Actually in those parishes that have a school, I think the overwhelming bulk of the monthly budget goes to keeping the parish school running. Most parishes would be unhappy about having to reduce the size of their school staff.

    As for whether or not this chaplaincy budget arrangement is simony, I guess I agree with Father Zuhlsdorf that it does seem to have the appearance of making the sacraments conditional on payment of money. But I’m not sure I could go so far as to level so deadly serious an accusation of simony. The arrangement looks above board and honest, but has been presented in a way that is liable to offend.

  59. It is not unknown that a sitting parish council president, who works but who lives with his parents, brags in public about never contributing a dime to the parish. It is one thing to be poor, to support a large family, and be capable of giving only the “widow’s mite”. It is another thing entirely to take from the community and never give a thing to the common purse. There were early Christians smote dead for such things!

    Rental covers expenses such as heating, air condition, cleaning, water and all the other amenities that parishioners expect to be available to them when they attend Mass. Let’s tone down the overreactions and engage in reasoned debate and conversation. This is not supposed to be bloodshed, for God’s sake! The Lord already took care of that on the Cross and does it again for us every time we attend Mass. No more victims!

  60. It is not unknown that a sitting parish council president, who works but who lives with his parents, brags in public about never contributing a dime to the parish. It is one thing to be poor, to support a large family, and be capable of giving only the \”widow\’s mite\”. It is another thing entirely to take from the community and never give a thing to the common purse. There were early Christians smote dead for such things!

    Rental covers expenses such as heating, air condition, cleaning, water and all the other amenities that parishioners expect to be available to them when they attend Mass. Let\’s tone down the overreactions and engage in reasoned debate and conversation. This is not supposed to be bloodshed, for God\’s sake! The Lord already took care of that on the Cross and does it again for us every time we attend Mass. No more victims!

  61. Kate Asjes says:

    Pride. Pride. Pride!

    Be humble. Do what the bishop askes out of obedience and humility. What a beautiful statement bringing in $25,000 or even $50,000 before the deadline would make to the whole diocese!

    Stop grousing. When asked to walk a mile, walk two!

    Peace.

  62. BK says:

    This post from the original article thread seems to have been overlooked:

    This TLM community has been in place for years, and has been refused an (ostensibly free of charge) FSSP priest when they indicated they could provide one willing and able.

    The diocese currently has all types of Masses, including Spanish language Masses. Nobody, including the Latinos are billed.

    Imagine if every long established indult or other TLM community in the country was suddenly given a diocesan bill for $72,000, with $18,000 due up front, simply to continue in existence, with a similar explicit threat that the TLM would cease if said fees were not paid.

    I think that is a large part of the outcry. Its not as if this TLM effort is starting from scratch.

    It is also safe to assume that if “This TLM community has been in place for years” they’ve been paying their fair share of parish upkeep, and have been donating all along.

    Another question: is this indeed a case of two forms of one Latin rite? If so, why would one form of that rite be charged for — over and above the other? Its not as if a protestant group is asking to use the physical plant of the parish, or even if an eastern Catholic rite was trying to establish itself and paying rent to a latin rite parish for use of its building.

    Are the two forms truly equal forms of one Latin rite? If so, how is charging extra for one form in line with the principles spelled out in Summorum Pontificum?

  63. Simony would involve withholding the Mass and Sacraments if the money does not materialize in the bank account. That has not happened yet and I sincerely doubt it will. Such a case could surely go to Roma and result in “bruta figura” for the bishop involved. Not happening.

  64. Brian Mershon says:

    JP: The parish staff of which I write have nothing whatsoever to do with parish schools. Many parishes have at least a dozen or more “full-time” employees–outside of the parish school setting. My comment excludes Catholic school employees.

  65. BK says:

    Comment by Haurietis Aquas: “Simony would involve withholding the Mass and Sacraments if the money does not materialize in the bank account. That has not happened yet and I sincerely doubt it will. Such a case could surely go to Roma and result in “bruta figura” for the bishop involved. Not happening.”

    Actually, in a canonical court, one must only prove the appearance of simony.

    This situation indeed has the appearance of simony. And according to the Catholic Encyclopedia (see esp. the bolded area):

    The spiritual object includes whatever is conducive to the eternal welfare of the soul, i.e. all supernatural things: sanctifying grace, the sacraments, sacramentals, etc. While according to the natural and Divine laws the term simony is applicable only to the exchange of supernatural treasures for temporal advantages, its meaning has been further extended through ecclesiastical legislation…

    In conventional simony an expressed or tacit agreement is entered upon. It is subdivided into merely conventional, when neither party has fulfilled any of the terms of the agreement, and mixed conventional, when one of the parties has at least partly complied with the assumed obligations… Simony is called real when the stipulations of the mutual agreement have been either partly or completely carried out by both parties.

    …As he who preaches the gospel “should live by the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14) but should also avoid even the appearance of receiving temporal payment for spiritual services, difficulties may arise concerning the propriety or sinfulness of remuneration in certain circumstances. The ecclesiastic may certainly receive what is offered to him on the occasion of spiritual ministrations, but he cannot accept any payment for the same. The celebration of Mass for money would, consequently, be sinful; but it is perfectly legitimate to accept a stipend offered on such occasion for the support of the celebrant. The amount of the stipend, varying for different times and countries, is usually fixed by ecclesiastical authority (SEE STIPEND). It is allowed to accept it even should the priest be otherwise well-to-do; for he has a right to live from the altar and should avoid becoming obnoxious to other members of the clergy.

  66. dcs says:

    I think a $72,000 budget is reasonable. It’s being asked to raise $18,000 of it in advance that seems like such a bitter pill to swallow.

  67. The text you quote does not concern itself with expenses for physical plant, only with funds received for the personal remuneration of a priest celebrant. The TM community will have, as Fr Z has already said, much bigger fish to fry than the typical $2K a month to support a priest in the US.

  68. Gerard says:

    What kind of guarantees is the bishop offering for the money?

    This should obviously be a two way street and not the pray, pay and obey system.

    What recourse do the faithful have if the situation turns out less than what was promised?

    How does anyone know that the bishop is providing the most cost effective services?

    The TLM community should organize, form a corporation, raise the funds themselves and require bids for all services performed, and get a receipt for those services.

    Perhaps they can find a priest who will work for less, a heating company that will provide services more cheaply, better health insurance, a better pension for the priest and many other market oriented items that are brought into the costs of the Sacrifice of Calvary.

    Perhaps a system of divesting any extra funds back to the faithful can be arranged as well when the bills are paid.

    All masses and public sacraments should be recorded for training purposes and assuring quality service. Review of those masses and performance of those sacraments will be voted on by the corporation in which warnings can be issued, probationary periods, sanctions etc.

    All vestments, Church decorations, monstrances, chalices etc. should be the property of the corporation so, should the contract be broken by the bishop, the TLM community doesn’t have to start from scratch a third time.

    This should prevent some of the temptations that come with money without strings attached to it that I’ve experienced. The split between the Norbertines of Archmere Academy on the east coast in 2001 was the most recent and essentially all about money and control of multi-million dollar corporations that had lost all sense of Catholicism.

  69. And that 2K a month remuneration for the priest to cover gas, car, meals out of the rectory, vacation, books, music, culture (some priests even go the opera as part of their education in human arts) does not include the extra $800 a month the priest does not even see but that is taxed to the parish by the Diocese to cover his retirement.

  70. And now let’s talk about the items needed for the offering of the EF of the Latin Rite. No more polyester vestments, folks, and no more albs and stoles; candelabra, candles, incense, vestments for each celebrant, sacred vessels, and much more will need to be purchased. The shortcuts for which we have paid nothing for forty years are over with…

    There is no such thing as a EF Mass on an OF budget!

  71. NOTA BENE: I have deleted a few unhelpful interjections and a couple of comments that strayed off of the issues for the sake of simply being disrespectful to me. Stick to issues or I will delete comments or block your IP address.

  72. Perhaps a system of divesting any extra funds back to the faithful can be arranged as well when the bills are paid.

    “All masses and public sacraments should be recorded for training purposes and assuring quality service. Review of those masses and performance of those sacraments will be voted on by the corporation in which warnings can be issued, probationary periods, sanctions etc.

    All vestments, Church decorations, monstrances, chalices etc. should be the property of the corporation so, should the contract be broken by the bishop, the TLM community doesn’t have to start from scratch a third time.”

    Protestant. We don’t do that in the Church – already being done very well by the heretics.

  73. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Most of the listed items of expense seem to be reasonable enough, given that this is a chaplaincy. But to include rental of sacred space is surely unusual. Presumably, this is space which is not otherwise being used at the same times–or should not be, that is, unless we are to think it normal to have bingo games and Oktoberfests in the nave (as we did in my old parish church). Also, having to raise a lump sum of $18,000 in only two months seems to be unusual. I wonder if the supporters of this chaplaincy would have supported the scheme if they knew this was coming?

    We have just had our Masses restored every Sunday in Victoria, Canada. They started as private Masses with invited guests. There was not even a collection. Last week, they became public parish Masses, and the collection was taken for the first time. But we are part of the Parish. Those who attend the N.O. Masses in the Catholic church of this Parish do not have to pay to rent the church; nor do those who have their Mass in Spanish at 2.00 p.m.

    I suggest that those favouring the old Mass might want to start their Masses simply as parish Masses. Once numbers warrant and a war chest has some loot in it, then may be the time to establish a chaplaincy or a personal parish.

    P.K.T.P.

  74. Jordan Potter says:

    BK claimed: Actually, in a canonical court, one must only prove the appearance of simony.

    I find that hard to believe. I would think that Church courts would operate in accordance with justice. Convicting someone of a crime based only on appearance, without proving that one has actually committed the crime of which one is accused, is unjust.

    Perhaps a credentialed canonist can weigh in here.

  75. At noon at the cathedral!

    To what heights of ingratitude are the faithful capable?

    Do you know what the suffering multitudes would do for noon at the cathedral?

    Ingratitude is its own punishment!

  76. “Upon further reflection, if there are on average 100 people attending 52 Sunday Masses in one year – each would need to place $13.85 in the collection basket to cover the $72,000. Definitely it can be done!”

    Bravo, Mark!

  77. BK says:

    Comment by Jordan Potter: “I find that hard to believe. I would think that Church courts would operate in accordance with justice. Convicting someone of a crime based only on appearance, without proving that one has actually committed the crime of which one is accused, is unjust.

    Perhaps a credentialed canonist can weigh in here.”

    I think its because even the appearance of simony causes grave scandal to the faithful, but I could be wrong.

    Call up the St. Joseph’s Foundation and ask them. That’s what they told us ten years ago when we consulted them on a case of simony.

  78. Every novus ordo parish that is carved out of an existing one must raise sufficient funds for a church building of their own before they are permitted to move beyond renting the cafeteria for Sunday Mass at the local public elementary school. The accusation that the TLM community is being targeted is unjustified.

  79. The bishop is charged by Christ with being an “episkopos”, or overseer; it is his vocation and mission to oversee and ensure the financial soundness of the Diocese for the good of his flock. In this way he protects them by making sure they are fed consistently and protected from the wolf of bankruptcy. Why are you attacking the bishop for doing his difficult and thankless job?

    Go to your room without your dessert and get on your knees before bed and thank God that some men are foolish enough to want to be bishops or accept the role when offered!

    Mea culpa, padre Z, non ho pensato bene prima di postando questo bruto messagio. Ci vediamo venerdi. Buon viaggio!

  80. Matthew says:

    On Christopher Sarsfield’s note above:
    It is not correct to say that “It is pure protestantism”. A simple search of the old catholic encyclopedia article on tithing gives a bit of history on it. Apparently the Catholic application of tithing goes back to the early medieval period.
    At some point this developed into an ordinary, widely-adopted system. See for example the reference to medieval English ‘tithing barns’ in this text It’s pretty easy to turn up citations like this to demonstrate the wide expectation of tithing in the Catholic Church.
    The great innovation of Protestantism seems to have been to move responsibility for collecting church tithes from the church to the State. An interesting modern result is that the Catholic Church in Germany is one of the wealthiest in Europe, on account of the traditional ‘church tax’ (NOT 1/10 anymore!) deducted by the government and distributed to churches.

  81. boredoftheworld says:

    The amount being tossed around as the weekly contributions necessary to make this happen would require my family to give about $100 per week. As I think about all the traditionally minded families I know, most of them have 4-7 children and most are single income families. A “community” of 100 traddies would probably only be 12-15 family units and $72k does seem to be an enormous burden. $5-6k per family per year for people who are already spreading the peanut butter a little thinner just isn’t going to happen without someone giving up health insurance, and I know some of us already don’t have any to give up.

    Nevertheless, we do manage to get the basics and I can think of nothing more basic than access to the Sacraments in the form to which we are most spiritually attuned. My kids may not go to Harvard, but they’re going to get every opportunity I can beg, borrow or steal to go to Heaven. Yes, on the surface this may appear to be just the latest nutty hoop people are being directed to jump through, but this time it’s only money. I remember a few years ago in my own diocese when it was psychiatric evaluations for everyone involved (No, I’m not making this up).

    At the same time, these things don’t just pay for themselves. I used to be a parish/school bookkeeper, the modern parish doesn’t run on “ifs and buts” and if we’re going to operate in “their” facilities we’re going to have to play by their rules.

  82. Gerard says:

    Haurietis wrote:

    “The bishop is charged by Christ with being an “episkopos”, or overseer; it is his vocation and mission to oversee and ensure the financial soundness of the Diocese for the good of his flock. In this way he protects them by making sure they are fed consistently and protected from the wolf of bankruptcy. Why are you attacking the bishop for doing his difficult and thankless job?”

    I’m going to go on the presumption that this statement is not sarcasm. Perhaps it’s time to remove that burden from the bishops and get them back to their real mission, the salvation of souls.

    Personally, I’d like to hear these words come out of a bishop once in a while.

    “Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk.”–St. Peter

  83. My dear Gerard -

    How does my comment preclude the first importance of the salvation of souls which is always the highest law of the Church? Must the bishop bury his head in the sand with regard to financial propriety in order to satisfy you that he places the immortality of your soul above the riches of this world?

  84. Are not we engaged in this conversation for the very purpose of discussing the proposal of the bishop with regard to the celebration of the Holy Mass which is the “silver and gold” that Peter and all his successors must ensure is given faithfully to the flock of Christ precisely so that they may “rise and walk” – that is be saved?

    Pax tecum!

  85. Jordan Potter says:

    Gerard said: Perhaps it’s time to remove that burden from the bishops and get them back to their real mission, the salvation of souls.

    If bishops have no responsibility to ensure the finances of their dioceses are sound, whose responsibility is it? (In other words, who has God really put in charge of our dioceses, since the bishops evidently have no authority over diocesan finances and therefore cannot be the real overseers of the dioceses.)

    It’s impossible to separate the bishop’s vocation to ensure his diocese’s financial house is in order from his vocation to save souls.

  86. Gerard says:

    Haurietis,

    I’m just bringing up a set of truths. Christ did not establish the bishopric in order to be bean counters.

    There is no charism in Holy Orders for accounting and there is no proof that the bishop in question or any other bishop for that matter is particularly suited to make sound financial decisions.

    It’s sound financial advice not to throw good money after bad. And going by the state of finances in many of the dioceses in the U.S. alone, it appears the liberalism that has afflicted the theology of many clerics and faithful has also spread into liberal economics.

    I think a tightly run and transparent financial arrangement in which the bishop does not “own personally” or have final control over the finances would be mutually beneficial.

    Sort of a “trust but verify” situation for the post-conciliar Church in crisis.

    The bishop is freed to hear confessions and even say Mass more often, now that he would be no longer shackled by the drudgery of handling so many bean counting matters.

    He would also have time to pay attention to his priests and how they say Mass (in whatever form the priests are allowed to say it.)

    I’ve seen a lot of bishops over the years and only one of them was willing to hear confessions from the great unwashed, and it was the dreaded bishop Williamson of the SSPX.

    Ironically, I called my local parish this morning, the one from my childhood and they weren’t hearing confessions because the bishop was coming and confirmation was going to be given.

    I would think, what a great opportunity to get people into the confessional instead of chit chatting in the Church prior to the beginning of the confirmation ceremony.

  87. Even the insane sometimes do the right thing.

    There were other churches in your vicinity with priests available to hear your confession – did you think of calling them before thinking of blogging negativity here?

    Overcome yourself and grow – it’s a spiritual thing. And VERY traditional.

  88. Gerard says:

    Jordan,

    How did the Apostles have authority and yet no gold nor silver?

    Just as a man or woman shouldn’t marry for money, the bishop shouldn’t exercise authority on the same sandy foundation.

    The bishops will have to learn to spread the faith with zeal, truth, creativity, love, orthodoxy and their own examples of piety. Maybe even knock on a few screen doors and eat Mac and Cheese once in a while with the faithful or the lost sheep.

    Providence will provide both the faithful and the bishops and priests with what they need and each parish will be different. But only if they pray as if it all depends on God and act as if it all depends on them.

  89. Bigt says:

    I’d be interested to see how they break down the “church rental” amount; seeing as how this TLM moves from Church to Church. Moreover, there’s a mention of a Cathedral and a Minor Basilica, which strike me as diocesan buildings and shouldn’t really be charged out to this community; especially if there are no real marginal costs incurred by having the TLM in these places.

  90. “Act”.

    There you have it, carissimo Gerardo! To act also means to support others in the Church by the act of giving from one’s treasure.

    And there’s also “Acts” in which the first bishops act to take care of finances by creating the order of deacons. Try reading Acts sometime and fill in the blank areas in your understanding of early Church history.

    Con tanto affetto,

  91. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    With regard to who the “bean counters are” I believe the Apostles gave that ministry to the deacons, something about being freed up so they could preach the Gospel.

  92. Gerard says:

    Haurietis,

    I don’t know what it was that I stated that evoked the ad hominem comments but I was only stating the truth.

    Is there some reason why you think that bishops should have complete dominance over the finances of the faithful without any evidence that they are competent in financial matters? Maybe I’ve been reading too much Chesterton lately, but it doesn’t strike me as a common sense presumption.

    And yes, I called to several parishes and the answer was “no.” No one was available for confessions. I started with the closest Church and fanned outward. Tomorrow, I’ll try the churches out by my office. There is a very good priest out in that area that is heroically holding onto the faith while he has been stone-walled from saying the TLM by political machinations. (My old priests are dying off due to age and infirmity unfortunately.)

    So, I tend to be less impressed by titles,position and protocol when I see the local bishop walk past the tabernacle without a twitch of the knee and I see a good priest being figuratively but practically shackled for his concern for souls, his faith and fidelity to the Holy Father and the Catholic faith.

    I’m done on this topic.

  93. Jordan Potter says:

    Gerard said: I’m just bringing up a set of truths. Christ did not establish the bishopric in order to be bean counters.

    True, but that doesn’t mean the bishop has no authority to oversee the finances of his diocese, as you suggest.

    There is no charism in Holy Orders for accounting and there is no proof that the bishop in question or any other bishop for that matter is particularly suited to make sound financial decisions.

    A bishop doesn’t need a charism for accounting or sound financial decisions in order to be the one responsible for the finances of his diocese.

    Nor does his appointing a treasurer or financial officer for the diocese mean he no longer has supreme oversight of the diocesan finances.

    I think a tightly run and transparent financial arrangement in which the bishop does not “own personally” or have final control over the finances would be mutually beneficial.

    A bishop who does not have final control over the finances of his diocese is not a bishop. But having authority over diocesan finances does not mean he “owns personally” the treasures entrusted to his care.

    How did the Apostles have authority and yet no gold nor silver?

    Who says they had no gold or silver? Just because St. Peter wasn\’t carrying any coins on his person one time when he healed a man doesn\’t mean he was destitute of all money throughout his pontificate, nor does it mean bishops have no authority, or should have no authority, to oversee diocesan finances.

    Just as a man or woman shouldn’t marry for money, the bishop shouldn’t exercise authority on the same sandy foundation.

    No argument there. But you didn’t say bishops need to keep money in perspective, you said (whether you meant to or not) that bishops should be deprived of their authority to oversee diocesan finances.

    Okay, I’d better make this my last comment on this subject. It’s a rabbit trail, and we all know how Father loves rabbit trails . . . .

  94. Please indicate for me which of my remarks was ad hominem.

    How could you be “done” on that topic when you have asked a question that implies the desire for an answer? Or was the question insincere? Unless you were not serious when stating that you are “done”…Which is it?

    I have never refused a confession to anyone – you have not called me yet.

    And, to be completely honest with you, I do not believe that conditions could possibly be as bleak in your part of the vineyard as you paint them to be. There is a very good chance I have traveled far more in my short life than you ever will and I have met good and holy people in the Church everywhere I go.

  95. BTW – Canon Law requires the establishment of finance counsels precisely for the reason that priests, and bishops, were not called to the ministry for their expertise in matters fiscal. No requirement exists for pastoral counsels or any committees, which are ubiquitous, but a very specific requirement for financial deliberation by expert lay advisers to the pastor which is, deplorably, often neglected with sometimes catastrophic results.

  96. Kradcliffe says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z. for leaving this combox open, in spite of the highly charged emotions. If it makes you feel any better, I have decided, after reading this and thinking about it, to renew my efforts to actually tithe.

  97. Si, daccordo; grazie Padre!

  98. Zach says:

    Unfortunately, I find this situation contrary to what Summorum Pontificum wished to set up. I don’t think the purpose of the document was to have those attached to the traditional Mass marginalized by creating a seperate chaplincy for them but to intigrate them into the parish community.

    Not only that, but how can a community be formed to raise this money when the traditional Mass would be, according to this document, jumping from parish to parish. That’s hardly what I would call being favorible to the traditional community in Maine.

    Although I understand that a parish should be self sufficiant, I do agree with the person in the post that this is just another roadblock. I think this situation would be justified if a personal parish were set up, thus creating a solid community to raise the needed funds. I also think that a “down payment” of $18,000 is unjust based on the simple fact that it is the diocese literally selling the sacraments to its flock. It would be different if they were raising $18,000 for a down payment to build a new church, but instead they are paying to have Mass said for them. Not only is that not fair, but it’s sinful.

  99. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Dear Encyclical on the Sacred Heart,

    I think you need to calm down and relax a bit. Your words sound very pious, but they have little to do with the reality most Catholics find themselves in.

    With regard to money, obviously the Bishops have to maintain final authority, however, Bishops today seem to be consumed with that. As Acts teaches us, the role of Deacon was to free up the Bishops so that they could do more important things like save souls. If the Bishops are sticking their heads in the sand it is not to ignore finances, but to turn a blind eye to the flock entrusted to them running along the broad path to hell. Now, I am firm believer that the bad bishops we have are a just punishment from God, but I will not start misrepresenting the reality on the ground. There is a history with this Bishop that pre-dates the letter that should be considered. The letter was badly done, and has caused the scandal, not the people that pointed out the bad letter. Finally, I am glad you live in a place where confession is readily available. I can assure that is not the case for many Catholics. I have to drive 35 minutes to hit a 15 minute window for confession on Saturday. I have eleven children, five of whom also have to go to regular confession. I live in rural area where Churches are many but confession times are few. Before I lived here I lived in Steubenville, OH. Confessions were an hour and half on Saturday, but every Saturday people were turned away in order to start the Vigil Mass. Do you think the Bishop could send a couple of priests there on Saturday to help out … He could not be bothered. I will tell there is going to be a very hot place in hell for many of our bishops. They have made their dioceses an occasion of sin to live in. BTW I define occasion of sin as a place that would require heroic virtue to maintain the state of grace. This is what the Church has become, at least where I have lived. If you are not willing to call a priest and admit to him you are in a state of mortal sin, and begged to be confessed, you are in trouble. I have been forced to send my children to the SSPX for their confessions, because it is the only place in the area that has ready access to the Sacrament. To go to the average Novus Ordo parish, you have to have heroic virtue, or not care. Contraceptors, pro-aborts, heretics, and syncretists are all welcome, but a Catholic trying to save his soul, no thank you.

  100. Dear Father-of-Eleven,

    Thank you for the assistance with my examination of conscience with the resulting judgment of lack of serenity and the need for a stiff drink. I will hurry to the confessional!

    And my gratitude for the accusation of piety. What a relief!

  101. BK says:

    Comment by Kradcliffe: “Thank you, Fr. Z. for leaving this combox open, in spite of the highly charged emotions.”

    Amen!!!

  102. P.S. Parents, not bishops, are the solution to the priest shortage and they will decide when and how many pious and good priests we will have in the Church. Priests start out as sons and sons are the result of marriages.

  103. I would only like to add that I have edified, from the most part
    with the comments here. Most of the posters have sufficient
    contact with reality to recognize that if they want the Church
    to provide them with a service they must support it.

    Having worked in both secular universities and run a Newman Center
    I can say that the total costs in this budget are a bargain. I have
    lived in recctories and paid as much as $1000 a month for room
    and board. Buildings require cleaning and maintanence. Etc.

    As to the “down payment,” frankly, this sounds like the best
    test I have ever heard of concerning the existence of a coetus
    that exists “sabiliter.” Put your money where your mouth is
    and I suspect your invovlvement will suddenly get more stable.

    Thanks to Fr. Z. for introducing a voice of reason in a world,
    secular and saddly often religious, dominated by “gimme, gimme, gimme.”

  104. RC says:

    Bigt commented:

    I’d be interested to see how they break down the “church rental” amount; seeing as how this TLM moves from Church to Church. Moreover, there’s a mention of a Cathedral and a Minor Basilica, which strike me as diocesan buildings and shouldn’t really be charged out to this community; especially if there are no real marginal costs incurred by having the TLM in these places.

    I wouldn’t look for much relief along those lines: the minor basilica, despite its honorific title, is a parish more or less like any other, and of course the cathedral is a parish too. If the TLM community is to use churches maintained at the expense of other Catholics, it should bear some share of the costs — ideally in proportion to the attendance at the TLM vis-a-vis the other Masses.

    The cathedral is quite pretty, and I’m sure the basilica is also, but who knows: perhaps some other willing parishes in Portland or Lewiston will offer the TLM community a better rental deal. The bishop could scarcely object to their relocation. After all, he is a just man and is not trying to exploit the TLM community financially.

    On a quite serious note, the diocese in Maine seems to be in bad straits, with 109 parishes and 35 missions and only 79 active diocesan priests; 80 others are retired, sick, or absent. Already in Lewiston three priests serve five parishes.

  105. Joseph says:

    Just to give some perpective:

    I worked recently in a Southern California parish with one priest, and then no priest resident, a pastoral administrator (deacon) and ONE Sunday Mass, and not much else, sacramentally, a few babtisms, and the budget yearly was $300,000, of which the diocese subsidized one half.

    So plant maintenance and repairs, insurance, music budget, priest salaries and stipends, and so on really add up, especially in certain locales.

    It is easy for many folks to really not be in touch with the cost of things, especially year to year as things change so rapidly.

  106. Gerard says:

    Please indicate for me which of my remarks was ad hominem.

    Okay….

    “Must the bishop bury his head in the sand with regard to financial propriety in order to satisfy you that he places the immortality of your soul above the riches of this world?”

    My soul is immortal whether the bishop cares or not. But I wish he would care about the salvation of those immortal souls in his charge.

    “Even the insane sometimes do the right thing. There were other churches in your vicinity with priests available to hear your confession – did you think of calling them before thinking of blogging negativity here?
    Overcome yourself and grow – it’s a spiritual thing. And VERY traditional.”

    Try reading Acts sometime and fill in the blank areas in your understanding of early Church history.”

    Funny since I quoted Acts in the “silver nor gold” reference. But hey, you know all of my limitations.

    How could you be “done” on that topic when you have asked a question that implies the desire for an answer?

    I realized that I was getting disgusted with path of the discussion.

    Or was the question insincere?

    No. The question was sincere. The expectation of getting an honest answer diminished as I typed the post.

    Unless you were not serious when stating that you are “done”…Which is it?

    No. I was genuinely done. But, your baiting and bantering has made me change my mind.

    I have never refused a confession to anyone – you have not called me yet.

    The Catechism of Trent states that we should be careful in choosing confessors.

    And, to be completely honest with you, I do not believe that conditions could possibly be as bleak in your part of the vineyard as you paint them to be.

    Well, perhaps you are simply pollyannish, or our standards are different. Or perhaps I’ve dug a bit more deeply than the average person on what some clergy actually believe.

    Off the top of my head:

    It took an hour and a half of discussion with one priest who has a great conservative reputation to find out that he didn’t believe in transubstantiation, the filioque, the devil, that anyone goes to Hell, he didn’t believe that the resurrection was a physical event and I could go on and on and on…(By the way, he was living like a King in a rectory that was far above the standard of living my family enjoys. The St. Michael statue alone was lightyears above my salary. It’s a shame he believed Angels were a myth incorporated into Judaism from the time of the Babylonian captivity.

    I can tell you about the lesbian nuns that are a mini-society in a local girl’s college. My friend is related to one of them, it’s no secret that they are all paired up in same sex “unions.” They rewrite the Creed for their “masses” in order to fit their unique beliefs.

    We just found out about another ex-nun who has been having a relationship with an incardinated priest for 28 years. They were recently married in an unofficial “ceremony.”

    How about the priests that don’t know how to absolve correctly? I’ve had to run around parishes trying to find one of my old fellas to “follow the form” as they said when I told them what happened.

    How about some of my former classmates who have become priests? No loyalty to the Pope. No sense of shame. No knowledge of the faith. Instead one of them teaches graduate level theater studies (and yes..he is…) He says he can’t wait to see such and such on their deathbed to give them last rites and tell them a thing or two about how he really feels about them.

    There is a very good chance I have traveled far more in my short life than you ever will and I have met good and holy people in the Church everywhere I go.

    How would you feel about a doctor that never finds anything wrong with any patients and then talks about how nice they were after they’ve keeled over?

    You can find good and even holy people (humanly speaking) in any number of Churches and non-Catholic religions. The difference between them and us is that we have the truth. Finding the truth and those who believe in the truth is getting more and more difficult these days in supposedly Catholic Churches and orders.

  107. boredoftheworld says:

    … a bunch of posts which culminated with:

    P.S. Parents, not bishops, are the solution to the priest shortage

    And suddenly we’re back to the clergy telling the laity to shut up and get out the check book. The literal and figurative check book: One with which we sign over the money and the other with which we sign over our children.

    What short memories so many of us have: It was only six years ago that we all woke up to find out that the bishops had been up to no good for some time… and now we’re supposed to forget all that and carry on as if St. Francis de Sales is in every cathedra in the United States. He’s not. Until and unless the clergy start acting like the laity have a right to exist, and do have a broad spectrum of legitimate concerns that are not being addressed the checkbook is closed, I’m done being an enabler.

    If we ran our businesses the way the hierarchy are running the Church we’d all be broke and homeless… or imprisoned.

    Gerard and Christopher Sarsfield have swayed my thinking on this whole issue: If a bishop wants something like this chaplaincy to happen he will make it happen.

    Before anyone says it, I don’t think this is a rabbit hole because this isn’t happening in a vacuum. The people in Maine are being told to fork over $18k per quarter (and the first $18k due before they even get started) for access to the Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form. How much of that money is necessary because of increased insurance costs in the diocese due to the ongoing sex scandal, beyond that the diocese of Portland had to spend about $3mil in 2002 (who knows what’s happened in the last six) to settle claims and implement programs because of the scandal… the chaplaincy could have been funded for 40 years with that money alone.

    And yet, they’re back at the well again as if none of that ever happened (or is not still happening) without so much as a “Look, this time it’ll be different.” Instead what we hear is “sit down, shut up and don’t blame us for any of this mess, it’s all your fault anyhow”.

  108. Gerard says:

    One last point. It’s bishops not parents that are responsible for the priest shortage.

    Parents pray for and foster vocations, but parents can’t consecrate a man into a priest.

    But anyone who has actually studied the issue and Micheal Rose’s “Goodbye Good Men” is a good starting point, will find that the priest shortage was deliberate and manufactured. Many good men were turned away while others that were dubious were allowed into seminaries.

    “Pastorally insensitive” was the buzzword for anyone believein in or teaching about the fires of Hell or the reality of sin.

    The attack is against, the celibacy of the priest, the sacrificial aspect of the Mass then, pave the way for female priests with females in the sanctuary, altar girls, co-presiders and eventually priesthood itself will be eliminated in favor the “community” and it’s humanist “this world” goals.

    The TLM is the anti-thesis of all of that, so it must be opposed by those who favor those changes.

    Just as Fr. says “Save the Liturgy, Save the World” the reverse is also true, “Attack the Litugy, attack the World.”

    And as a famous loyal priest once said, “Behind it all is the grinning face of the Devil.”

  109. Geometricus says:

    Kudos to all you tithers out there. It seems to me that very few of those who bring up stories about starving children don’t really have starving children, and can probably give more than they are giving. Tithing is a blessing to all who do it cheerfully. All the grudging givers should hold on to their money and their misery. But if you want to be a cheerful giver, you can start to change little by little…

    Everytime I read or hear a rant like some of the above about the “money-grubbing” Church/priest/diocese/bishop/etc., it sounds to me a lot more like the voice of the Accuser than the voice of the Advocate. I’m just sayin’…

  110. Matt Q says:

    Set up a box office and charge admission to Mass. Problem solved.

  111. Deborah says:

    Honestly, this set-up with the traditional Roman rite faithful being treated as a separate entity at a Roman Rite Catholic Cathedral is ridiculous! Yes, it is unjust.

    All of the parishioners at the Cathedral should be collectively contributing to all of the Roman Rite Masses that take place there.

    Charging the TLM faithful separately would be analogous to charging each Mass time slot their share of the budget.

    Does the diocese charge Lifeteen or charismatic parishioners for church use during their “special” Masses? No, because these Masses are open to serving all of the faithful at a particular parish just like the EF in this case is open to all of the faithful within the Cathedral and really the entire diocese.

    The fact that another priest has to be brought in is not the fault of those desiring the traditional Roman Rite. It is up to the bishop to ensure the training of priests or bring in a priest to be able to meet the spiritual needs of the faithful within his diocese.

    Of course, there are financial considerations, however why not have all of the faithful of a parish work together financially no matter what time or which Roman Rite Mass they attend?

  112. John says:

    The argument that the people in the territorial parish of the Cathedral should pay for all the Masses said in the Cathedral is ridiculous. What percentage of the EF attendees are going to donate generously or enough to a parish that is not theirs. A continuation on this thought is how many attending the EF are going to send weekly donations to the territorial parish in which they reside. Most likely an insignificant percentage will do either.

    This gives the EF attendees the chance to be self sufficient, set the groundwork for the eventual erection of a personal parish and not be a burden on the NO parishioners. BUT WAIT YOU SAY WE AREN’T A BURDEN- you are using their facilities their utilities and someone else’s priest. Look at the facts- you keep asking for a subsidy from the diocese. Show that you are self sufficient, show that you are generous and prove to the ordinary you can jump through all of the hoops and then some. Sacrifice, humility and obedience are the hallmarks of saints. Make yourself known to the diocese by your works not your words.

    I know what sacrifice is. I live on $800 a month disability. I would love to go back to work the way I used to do but it is physically impossible. My EF parish gets the same percentage of my income now that it did when I made 10 times my current income and I contribute to the annual diocesan appeal. My $20 a week is more than the minimum of $13.85 that keeps getting mentioned and I am not starving or living on the street. Yes I wouldn’t mind living in a larger apartment or eating fancier foods but these things are not in the budget. When you give you learn to make do without some things and it is a matter of setting your priorities. I am not saying this to seek sympathy but rather to show that it can be done. I do without luxuries not necessities.

    It could be worse you could be stuck in some abandoned building owned by the diocese in the most out of the way location that lacks adequate utility service. Instead you have the best possible time slot at the Cathedral and a Minor Basilica at your disposal. If the ordinary didn’t like you you DEFINITELY wouldn’t be welcome in the Cathedral. He is sacrificing his Church for you and you should return the favor and then some.

  113. boredoftheworld says:

    Everytime I read or hear a rant like some of the above about the “money-grubbing” Church/priest/diocese/bishop/etc., it sounds to me a lot more like the voice of the Accuser than the voice of the Advocate.

    I’d help build an actual palace for the bishop who made it clear to me that my wife and children were worth more than his bottom line.

    But now I get the distinct impression that when I write what I’m about to write next someone is going to tell me to get another job. The $100 per week figure that I came up with came from multiplying $13.50 by the number of people in my family and rounding up to the nearest 10. In a five week month that’s 20% of our gross family income. I still can’t imagine how that’s possible, but it is.

    My wife and I have managed somehow to exercise some form of fiscal responsibility and are quite comfortably raising our five children on that kind of money. We’re not all that uncommon among traditionalist families in that respect. Requiring us to come up with another $200-250 each month would mean that something would have to go. You may quite cheerfully tell anonymous people online to stop being grudging givers but the difference between 10% and 20% is the difference between having enough money in the bank to fix the van if it breaks down and not.

    But even that’s not the point anymore, it’s not “money-grubbing” it’s total irresponsibility that offends me. If father has to drive all over the place to say Mass and visit the sick and do all the zillion things the parish secretary can’t do then not only should he have a dependable car but it should be comfortable… I don’t even care if it’s a jaguar (in fact I think it’s cool that I know a priest who drives a jag and it’s even cooler that he let me drive it even though I had to almost wedge one of my legs behind my head to fit in the drivers seat). I even think priests should have cooks and housekeepers and bishops should have drivers.

    Nevertheless, last year the Church in the US paid out over $600 million because of the sex abuse disaster, over twice the 2006 amount. In just two years that’s close to a billion dollars. A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money. Collectively the bishops in the United States have proven themselves incompetent at financial management. I don’t see any other way to put it, I don’t think I’m nailing anything up on the cathedral door either. Now that I’m looking at it this way when a bishop starts talking about how much it’s going to cost to do something that should be done anyway I’m not eager to step up to the collection plate.

  114. I have a friend who is a chaplain on a university campus, the first diocesan priest in some years to serve in this position (his diocese has taken the chaplaincy back from a religious order). He is expected to raise something like $100,000/year to support not only himself but his small staff and all the expenses of the ministries. I don’t know if he pays rent to the secular university for his turn at the multi-faith chapel, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

  115. boredoftheworld says:

    John,

    You started out by besmirching all but an “insignificant percentage” of the people who would be attending the Mass in question.

    And then this happened:

    Sacrifice, humility and obedience are the hallmarks of saints.

    I know what sacrifice is.

    He is sacrificing his Church for you

    I don’t think you do after all. If allowing the traditional Mass at the Cathedral is a sacrifice for the bishop then we’re not even speaking the same language.

    And with the deepest respect for you as a brother in Christ and the acknowledgment that your personal holiness probably far exceeds my own in every way, I believe that the attitude you are displaying is directly responsible for the mess the Church is in today.

    The wholesale collapse of Catholic life, ritual and education can be laid at the feet of those who shouted “humility, obedience and sacrifice” at anyone who said “hang on a minute!” when some new and improved program or policy was introduced by those to whom we are to be obedient. I can’t live with the cognitive dissonance anymore, there are two opposing realities which I just can’t resolve.

  116. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Zach’s comments:

    Actually, Article 10 of S.P. does mention both the personal parish and the chaplaincy option. Another option, of course, is simply the scheduled parish Mass. Another option (not mentioned in S.P. but possible), is the use of non-parochial churches, oratories or chapels set aside for use of the Traditional Rite of Mass. These different options enable a degree of flexibility so that local resources can be matched to circumstances and demand. Perhaps this situation in Maine should be a caveat to us: don’t demand more than you can pay for. I don’t see anything wrong in principle with making the beneficiaries pay for a chaplaincy, but I still wonder about that rental item in the list of expenses.

    Some of us might want to think about developing our local movement slowly, step by step. This might mean starting with parish Masses until numbers and resulting funds are adequate for more.

    P.K.T.P.

  117. Richard says:

    A few comments as an accountant.

    It is indeed just that we should, if possible, pay our way. However it is very easy to create a reasoned but unfair budget.

    I would ask a few questions:

    1) Will the priest be serving the TLM community full-time? If not, how are his costs (wages, health insurance, living costs etc.) split between that and his other duties? How does that split compare to the time he really spends on his different activities?

    2) How is the rent calculated? What costs are included, and what proportion of the total costs is the community paying for? How does that proportion relate to the time they have use of the churches for? (remember that churches, especially the cathedral, are probably not only used for Masses).

    3) Does the cost include diocesan overheads, and if so how are they calculated, and how do they compare to the payments expected from other groups?

  118. Demo says:

    Well, I just noticed something about my previous calculations….. as I said, I am already working a second job so I can donate $80 a month to the Church. But, if I needed to come up with $13.85 per person in my family of 8, I would need to find either a NEW second job, or a third job on Sundays to come up with the $110.80 a week for Mass.

    And believe me, I am not exagerating when I say that where I live is very expensive. The average townhouse on 1/8th of an acre runs between 400K and 700K. So things can be extremely tight for a congressional staffer that makes 90K a year, to the point that he cannot support his family onthat salary, and requires a second job.

    But, then again, I am now blessed to live in the Arlington Diocese where I have a pastor that refused to take $ for an offering for a Mass, or when my son was baptized. His statement “Not from you guys! You are already giving so much.” And, of course, we will be having a daily low mass soon.

    But here’ the thing, this Pastor recognizes the sacrifices of larger families. I would be willing to bet most TLM communities have disproportionately larger familes attached to them. And yet, the diocese still whacks them with a charge.

    If I were one of those parishoners, I would ask how much the social justice groups and the pro-life groups are charged for use of the parish center etc. Then I would cost score the data out, excluding chaplain, use of church, to only affect the cost data for the use of facilities.

    I can assure anyone that this would score out substantially differently.

    Secondly, I would love to know what the religious rders in that diocese are billed for their chaplains.

  119. If the Bishop was in need of funds and had not just surpassed his fundraising goal for his annual appeal I think this demand would have been better received. How about a show of support from the Bishop? Fr. Parent, who I am sure is very good priest has been in the diocese for sometime. Who has paid his expenses until now? Why, that would be the diocese.

    And to the person who excoriated Catholics for not tithing! Yes, the protestants are very generous…with their money. The average family size is 2 children. There are people in Maine who are struggling to raise 10-13 children. And while you may look at the numbers and amount being demanded and say that’s not much. Well in Maine or anywhere else in New England, where it is very expensive to live and salaries are not very high, that is a lot of money. It will certainly be a burden on the faithful. As it was designed to be.

    And the nagging question or suspicion in everyone’s mind is this- “Are the people of Maine being set up to fail?” Are there elements who do not want to see the Traditional Mass in Maine so they have set the bar high enough so that they will not be seen as refusing it?

  120. Jrbrown says:

    Fr. Z, the appearance of simony, if culpably caused, has to be in some way against divine law, under the species of scandal. Even the appearance, if a reasonable person is led by it to think simony may be occurring, undermines the faith of all exposed, or at least potentially does so. At any rate, while I do not support the SSPX and would prefer them to be fully regularized in some manner, they and the FSSP do not condition their apostolate to traditional minded Catholics on financial quotas and budgetary constraints. They understand that this is a spiritual need of these faith, and indeed the entire Church (both SSPX and FSSP oppose idea of ghettoizing traditional faith and practice), something to be freely offered, not bartered as a commodity. Again, I don’t think Fr. Parent or Bishop Malone are guilty of simony, but the appearance of simony has been created, I think. This chaplaincy has more of the feel of a ‘club’ renting space, and which will be disbanded if the dues aren’t paid, instead of what Canon Law says it is, namely the “pastoral care, at least in part, of some community or particular group of the Christian faithful”, Canon 564. It is created for the pastoral care, in a stable manner (canon 564) of the faithful when the good of the faithful would indicate. It is not something bought by the faithful as a special right, or which can be granted only if monetary quotas are fulfilled-again, this seems like quid pro quo, grace for cash. The chaplaincy and the chaplain are, of course, analogous to a parish and pastor and NEED sufficient support, but what comes first, the support or the need? That is the fundamental question here-what comes first, the Sacrament or the donation, the offer of pastoral care or the pledge of funding?

  121. John says:

    Yes large single income families are often pressed financially, but I often assist in the taking up of the collection on Sundays and you would be amazed at the number of known professionals such as doctors and lawyers that don’t think twice about only throwing a couple of singles or even just a single dollar bill in the basket on Sunday. Then at the coffee hour after Mass when there was a mention of money by the rector they are the ones complaining loudest that all the money talk isn’t necessary and that THEY donate and don’t see why everyone else gets away without donating enough.

    Maybe a partial solution to this problem would be to have the federal government intervene! If they force the elimination of the dollar bill in favor of a coin and flat out stop printing them maybe they can shame the dollar “Bills” in the pews to cough up a 5 so they don’t look cheap tossing coins in the collection basket.

  122. Jrbrown: Okay let’s stipulate that there is, at least, an “appearance” of simony.

    What must be done to correct this, without blowing the whole worthy project up and having to start from scratch.

    Explanations? Modifications to the plan? What?

  123. boredoftheworld says:

    This is now completely off topic, but “rich” people often make annual contributions and/or stock donations directly through the parish office.

  124. js says:

    I think we HAVE to separate the issues out to see the problem. The budget put forward, solely as a financial plan is not an unreasonable measure of what it takes to Administer Sacraments long-term, nor is it an unreasonable goal of any community. More Pastors should put to their Parishes the real expenses of running a Church. Arguments about what one “gets” out of it misses the point – by answering you agree you are “renters”.

    It is the “rent” part, not the “taking responsibility for expenses” that is the problem. It puts the TLM community apart from “real” Parishioners, without rights or recourse, and marks them as separate from the “real” communities worshiping at their Churches. For the TLM to be incorporated into the whole body of the Church, there cannot be two classes of Parishioners, “real” and “renters”.

    This goes against the stated purpose (don’t even have to resort to “Spirit of Summorum Pontificum”) of His Holiness’ Motu Proprio – that the EF is a gift and a part of the WHOLE body of the Church and is to enrich it ALL.

  125. js says:

    I think we HAVE to separate the issues out to see the problem. The budget put forward, solely as a financial plan is not an unreasonable measure of what it takes to Administer Sacraments long-term, nor is it an unreasonable goal of any community. More Pastors should put to their Parishes the real expenses of running a Church. Arguments about what one “gets” out of it misses the point – by answering you agree you are “renters”.

    It is the “rent” part, not the “taking responsibility for expenses” that is the problem. It puts the TLM community apart from “real” Parishioners, without rights or recourse, and marks them as separate from the “real” communities worshiping at their Churches. For the TLM to be incorporated into the whole body of the Church, there cannot be two classes of Parishioners, “real” and “renters”.

    This goes against the stated purpose (don’t even have to resort to “Spirit of Summorum Pontificum”) of His Holiness’ Motu Proprio – that the EF is a gift and a part of the WHOLE body of the Church and is to enrich it ALL.

  126. Jrbrown says:

    Fr. Z., I think that the record needs to be set straight by Fr. Parent and/or the diocese regarding the nature of this chaplaincy, and that its survival is based on pastoral need, and the support of the faithful, and not cash. Also, I think the 18,000 down payment is silly-to what end is it made except as literally a down payment on services, which of course we know cannot be sold. A clarification of some type, which removes the appearances of quid pro quo, and reiterates that this is for pastoral need and salvation of souls, and not the local traditionalist book club renting space and a priest, would be welcome I would suppose. My underlying assumption here is that the ‘slow burn’ on this issue by those offended reflects more of a sensus Catholicus than a reticence to support priests financially. As others have noted, traditionalists tend to have larger families, less disposable income, and still give very generously to support their priests. These faithful know the VALUE of traditional forms of Sacraments and priests orthodox and traditional in outlook-it helps save souls! That is a priceless gift which cannot be bought, but is freely given by God, so any implication that the availability is based on revenue production, quotas, inflation and who knows what else does far more harm than good.

  127. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Fr. Z,

    With regard to modifications to the plan/what to do:

    1. The Bishop issues a letter in support of the MP, and states clearly that he will find a way for the needs of those attached to the TLM to be taken care of, with out the appearance of holding the Sacraments hostage to a dollar amount. Admit that the letter could have the appearance of simony and reassure the traditional Catholics that this is not the case.

    2. Form some type of committee to find out what they are capable of supporting. It would be nice to have a Traditional parish where I live, but there is little chance of financing such a project.

    3. Once you have an idea of money available, then come up with a realistic budget. $72000 may be realistic, but it might not. It is usually unwise to make an expense budget without first determining realistic income.

    4. Review after six months to see if the proposal is working. If the collections are not meeting expenses, revision of the plan may have to occur. This may mean trimming down the project, or possibly expanding it. It could also mean establishing additional means of fund raising.

    I do not think anyone wants to hamper the diocese with a financial burden. They only want what the MP grants, access to all the Sacraments in their traditional forms.

    Finally, all the talk of “put your money where your mouth is” etc. seems to be a very non-Catholic/American attitude. I would be interested if someone could produce quotes from the Saints speaking in such manner. Most of the Saints I have read that have taken on spiritual projects like missions generally did them because they were the right thing to do, and trusted in God to provide the means. This does not mean tempting God. Certainly, there is a place for prudence, but money should never be a criteria for meeting the needs of the faithful. It appears the FSSP was wiling to trust God, and provide a priest to the diocese of Maine without financial guarantees.

  128. Fr. Kevin Christofferson says:

    Dear Fr. Z,
    I began offering the TLM in my parish on the first Sunday of the month. The initial start up cost was about $2,500.00 which my parish shouldered. The finance council agreed that the collection from the TLM would even out this expense on our parish books. I let the TLM folks know how much it cost the parish to provide the Mass…it was only fair since about 75% of those who attend are not from my parish. I also let them know that once the initial expense was taken care of the Sunday collection would go to the regular parish fund for operating expenses. I also let them know that I had a separate checking account that contained funds to be used exclusively for the promotion, enhancement, and maintainence of the TLM. Once I explained the finances and the options for giving and where their donations would go, I was met with generosity. I do not think it is unfair to let people know that “Mass” is expensive, especially the TLM when it is being introduced for the first time in many years. I think the situation in Maine is perfectly just and I applaud the chaplain for being upfront and honest about the expense. Peace, Fr. Christofferson

  129. To answer one of Fr. Z’s questions:

    Is the treatment shown to the TLM group the same as that shown to other groups or is there a demonstrable, provable double-standard?

    Yes, this is done for other groups. It’s done for the Anglican Use, for example. (Yet another similarity between the AU and the larger Traditionalist community.)

    If you visit the web site of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, TX, you’ll be able to read their history, which did not include financial support. The group had to fund themselves and support their priest and buy and build their own church.

    The latest Anglican Use parish, St. Thomas More in Scranton, PA, is actually set up as a chaplaincy, The St. Thomas More Society. They take care of their own budget as well; priest’s salary, housing, insurance, etc. The group began with under 70 people, yet they managed to fund the budget.

    What this takes is stepping up to a real financial commitment on the part of Catholics–people can’t just drop their spare change into the collection basket.

  130. M.Z. Forrest says:

    Parish assets belong to the parish. Charging rent is treating non-parishioners like non-parishioners. Parish schools charge different tuitions for parish members and non-members. Often this isn’t seen due to behind the scenes agreements between the parishes, i.e. the parish of the student agrees to pay the subsidy for him to attend the other parish’s school. Legally, I’m not even sure the bishop could force a parish to offer the use of their church to a group that they aren’t charged with serving. Now there would be nothing wrong with going to your parish and asking them to subsidize the chaplaincy. The way things appear to be set up, it appears the parish would solicit this chaplaincy to provide a priest if they decided to offer the TLM as part of their parochial ministry.

    As far as poverty goes, if there was a list with 10,000 people and the fundraising was $2 short, the charge of simony might be appropriate. There are several parishes in my area that charge for CCD. If people demonstrate need, the fee can be waived. It does not appear need has been shown yet, and there is no evidence that profit is attempting to be extracted.

    As to church rental, two masses every Sunday equals 100 masses (rounded) for back of the envelope calculations. We can say for sure they aren’t being charged $1000/mass. Back in the day, weddings seemed to be about $100. This would put church rental costs at $10,000 for the year. One could probably pretty easily justify $250. That would place it at $25,000. If I were to speculate, much of the down payment may go toward a vehicle, but that would be speculation on my part.

  131. Volpius says:

    You know if they had just not said this: “and the Chaplaincy will continue only if there is sufficient funding to meet its expenses.” the letter would have been ok, not good mind you (there are other questionable issues like having to pay rent, how about we get a mortgage out and buy the Church instead? and also the tone which gives the i impression that this is been allowed very begrudgingly and only because we are willing to pay for it,) but ok.

    I am also not sure I actually agree with the idea of setting up a chaplaincy, it seems very much like segregation to me, I would much rather have the Mass available in a normal parish on a Sunday were it can be more widely available, it seems to be an admittance on the part of the Bishop that the rupture is so great that the Extraordinary form cannot co exist with the ordinary and so needs to be corralled so that it can be more easily hidden. One chaplaincy cannot hope to serve all the people in Maine that is a certainty.

  132. Volpius says:

    You know if they had just not said this: “and the Chaplaincy will continue only if there is sufficient funding to meet its expenses.” the letter would have been ok, not good mind you (there are other questionable issues like having to pay rent, how about we get a mortgage out and buy the Church instead? and also the tone which gives the i impression that this is been allowed very begrudgingly and only because we are willing to pay for it,) but ok.

    I am also not sure I actually agree with the idea of setting up a chaplaincy, it seems very much like segregation to me, I would much rather have the Mass available in a normal parish on a Sunday were it can be more widely available, it seems to be an admittance on the part of the Bishop that the rupture is so great that the Extraordinary form cannot co exist with the ordinary and so needs to be corralled so that it can be more easily hidden. One chaplaincy cannot hope to serve all the people in Maine that is a certainty.

  133. Steve C: That is helpful, but I am mainly interested if within that same Diocese of Portland, there is a double-standard. But it is good to know that in other places similar arrangements work.

  134. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Mr. Forrest,

    I am intrigued by the whole “back in the day weddings seemed to be about $100.” Are you referring to the stipend, or to the rental of the building? When I was married (at the parish my family and I had been members), there was no talk of money for rentals, or even stipends. Certainly, I did not receive a bill for services. Is this really the traditional practice of the Church? And how is this not simony? Catholics must be married in the church building (no outdoor services are allowed), so if you can not come up with the rental, you can not be married. I would think that what you are referring to is a suggested donation, rather than a requirement, but I would be interested in any clarification you could give.

  135. Ed says:

    If they have to pay they should ask for their own chapel

  136. M.Z. Forrest says:

    Depends on the place on how explicit the charge is. One does have the option of receiving a lot of the Sacraments at a regular mass. There have been stories in recent years of parishes organzing multiple wedding to regularize a lot of couples who married outside the church due to cost and other considerations. IIRC, the cost of a baptism around here is $50. Some place that is in the ‘suggested voluntary contribution’ column. Most left it to be assumed that you will let your need be known even if you don’t have the money and accomodation will be made. The rental fee was considered seperate from the stipend for a wedding. Doing some googling earlier to try and find what the Cathedral charges, I happened upon the Atlanta Cathedral’s website that helpfully noted the fee included parking in a garage next door, but it didn’t give the actual amount.

  137. Suzanne says:

    I was married at the Cathedral in Portland ~ in the smaller chapel where the TLM has been offered for the last fifteen or so years, without a previously explicit rental fee. My husband was reminded that the ‘suggested donation’ of 200 dollars for our wedding was required ‘now’ – two minutes before I walked down the aisle. We were also required to use the church choir director if we wanted music for the wedding, no matter what other musicians we might use ~ another 200 dollars.

    I am really puzzled as to why the Cathedral would start charging rent as such when the Mass has been there for so long. And I am curious to know if the community were given options other than the chaplaincy. I suppose I will have to contact one of my former friends from the Mass to find out.

  138. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Mr. Forrest,

    I called the Cathedral in Atlanta and spoke to the woman in charge of scheduling weddings. The “rental fee” is only to help defray the costs, and is not required but suggested. This applies to all people parishioners or not. She told me that anyone has a right to be married there (parishioner or not) as long as it can be scheduled. She also told me there are no set stipends for the Cathedral, but could not confirm if the Archdiocese gives guidelines.

  139. Father Totton says:

    Ed,

    If they asked for their own chapel, I can assure you they would have to pay much more than $72K. Sadly, many would complain about that.

    I am a pastor who has taken the initiative to learn to offer Mass in the extraordinary form and has volunteered to say a weekly EF Mass – this in addition to the three Masses (one Saturday evening, two Sunday morning) already in place. The Parish pays my salary and living expenses, and I don’t complain.

    On the other hand, I am also in the midst of trying to make budget for our staff (we run on a parish support staff of 3 paid employees – a business manager, a secretary, and a maintenance man) and the faculty of our school. All the while projects come down the way to request further funds – re-plastering the ceiling is the topic du jour this week, we are also looking at tuckpointing bids [these two projects easily exceed the $72k which is being requested to support this chaplaincy]. It is frustrating to read so many comments in this post which go on and on about “rights” “give me my rights” and so forth. Many of these folks would also balk at a stripped down bunker of a church, yet few are willing to admit that there are costs associated with running a parish.

    Should we have beautiful, historical churches? Yes, but they are not free – and no building, if it is to last beyond a generation, is ever fully paid for.

    Should we use beautiful vestments and implements for Mass (in whatever form)? Yes, but vestmentmakers and goldsmiths do not work for free either (even religious that do this sort of work have to meet their expenses).

    As a priest, I am willing to go wherever, whenever (within the scope of the finite reality of space and time and the commitments I already have to my duty as pastor/parish priest) to bring the Mass and the Sacraments to those who request them, to those who “have a right” to them. And no, I do not charge anyone for any such services, but reason suggests at least that such folks would help to meet expenses.

    If the people of Portland Maine who desire Mass in the extraordinary form are fine with having it said in a public picnic shelter, at 5pm in the afternoon, by an overburdned priest who has already celebrated three Masses that day, then I guess they need not indicate their support.

  140. I think the way the letter was written is an issue. Perhaps there is also a confusion between what is a parish and what is a chaplaincy. It seems that since a chaplaincy doesn’t have it’s own church or oratory that it is only just that it should pay for the services it uses: heating/cooling, lights, cleaning of the building, maintenance, bread and wine, sacristan, organist, etc. All of these services cost the parish money. It is not fair to expect the parish to pay for what others uses. It must be remembered that members of the chaplaincy are not members of the parish. The chaplaincy should also be expected to pay for the living of its priest as any parish would. Chaplaincies by definition are to provide the priests living.

    I think what is an issue here is that everything was decided for the chaplaincy without their input (at least this is how it seems). A chaplaincy should have a financila committee that is an integral and equal part of the budgeting process. I understand the hurt and anger. I think it could have been avoided if things had been handled differently.

    Finances should never be hidden. They should be published to a parish or chaplaincy so that people can see where their money goes. That is just and fair. It’s amazing to see what happens when people see the real financial situation of their parish. They take ownership. Those who can give more financially. Those who cannot give more financially give more of their time and talent. But in order for this to happen there must be complete financial disclosure showing income, expenses, investments, and savings.

    I served in an inner-city parish that was not meeting it’s expenses. The expenses were less than typical parishes in that the rectory was owned by the order so the parish did not pay for its maintenance and upkeep, a considerable expense. It got to the point where the priests did not take their salary for several months so bills could be paid. No one knew about this. However, once the word got out the finance committee went into action and began to publish a quarterly and annual report. Things changed rapidly.

    I think that Bishop Malone has not done anything wrong other than not including the members of the chaplaincy in the budget planning and making the finances transparent and available. Catholics are often maligned for not being generous. In my experience this is not true. They just want to know, especially in difficult financial times, how the money they give is being used. When they know it is being used for good they give, and give generously.

  141. Do people ever do the math around here?

    How big is the group served by the chaplaincy? Let us suppose it is one hundred. If the obligation were to be spread evenly among every man, woman and child, $72,000 would come to $720 per year per person. Divide that by twelve, and it would come to $60 per month per person. A family of four would be called upon to contribute $240 per month. Yes, that seems like a lot. But if the annual household income of this family of four were $15,000 per year (below the poverty line), it would come to just under five percent of that income.

    Now, given that, under this scenario, larger families would be obliged to contribute more and smaller ones less, a sliding scale could be introduced to mathematically compensate for the demands on the larger families. This means that the larger families might be asked to contribute, say, three or four percent, and the smaller families might be asked to contribute as much as six or seven percent.

    Encouraging automatic payroll deductions into the chaplaincy’s account would give the keeper of the purse the necessary peace of mind (as I am sure any pastor reading this will agree). There are programs out there which can help initiate such a program. Your own bank can do as much.

    If the group is larger, the obligation is easier. If there’s an annual bake sale, and regular bingo nights (another time-honored Catholic tradition, at least here in the States)… well, need I say more?

  142. M.Z. Forrest says:

    I’m not sure canonically there is an issue of explicit versus implicit. No one is arguing at this point that the Sacraments are being denied as a matter of destitution. There are people claiming this is a not-so-insignificant sum of money. After further investigation, there may turn out to be real need without sufficient resources. There seem to be two arguments going on. The first argument seems to be there shouldn’t be a funding requirement. Can. 221 explicitly states “The Christian faithful are obliged to assist with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what is necessary for divine worship, for the works of the apostolate and of charity, and for the decent support of ministers.” There really hasn’t been an argument that the budget is out of line. The argument seems to be charging rent for church use is profane. Not to go on another tangent, but if a Lutheran church burns down and they ask to use the Catholic church, I don’t think anyone would object to a fair rent being charged. The simple fact is that this chaplaincy and its beneficiaries are not supporting the churches they are using, the parishioners are. They have every right to be compensated. The second argument seems to be that this is an undue burden. Like much of SP debate, this something better judged once we have more information. If this is only going to support 50 people, it may indeed be an undue burden. If it is going to support a 1000 people, it will most likely turn out to be wholly insufficient. Maybe the community is particularly impoverished. We have no way of knowing this presently, and I would hardly expect the bishop to ordinarily expect this would be the case given all the SSPX chapels around the country and many of the very well endowed indult communities.

  143. Suzanne says:

    It seems to be the impression in these posts that the people of the Portland TLM are the ones grumbling about contributing financially to the chaplaincy. John Grasmeier, who wrote the acrimonious article, is not a member of the Latin Mass community in question. More than one person in these posts have accused the people of the TLM in Maine of being unrealistic, and worse, if they do not think that they have to financially support the TLM chaplaincy.

    I too for some reason was given the impression by the post that it was the Maine folks who were complaining. However, so far, only two people currently part of that community have commented in this thread — both endorsed supporting the endeavor financially. I find it a bit upsetting that so many have implied that the TLM community in Portland needs to reshape their financial support attitudes.

    Having come from that community, I find the whole thing very interesting (and frankly have suspicions, though I may be completely in the wrong there) based on previous history regarding how the issue of money was handled by those in leadership over the TLM community. However, my experiences in the diocese come from the era under the previous bishop and a previous Cathedral rector. I have very little knowledge of Bishop Malone or the current situation.

    I think critical questions to answer are — are there less expensive alternatives to chaplaincy for the TLM community if their numbers are still too small to make the financial quota? Was this arrangement per their request or the proposal of the diocese? What happens to the money if they raise, say 12,000 dollars instead of the requisite 18 grand? What is the exact purpose of the downpayment?

    Until we have answers to these questions, it’s really hard to comment very far on the situation. Isn’t it?

    Moreover, I don’t think anyone questions that these endeavors have to be supported financially. I think anyone here who is objecting to the situation is objecting to it’s presentation and the strange requirement of a very high downpayment.

  144. Deborah says:

    js said “For the TLM to be incorporated into the whole body of the Church, there cannot be two classes of Parishioners, “real” and “renters”.”

    I agree with this entirely. When Catholics are parishioners at the same place it shouldn’t matter whether they attend Mass at 8am, 11am, 6pm, or whether it be the modern Roman rite or the traditional Roman rite. Why can’t they co-exist together, all being parishioners of the Cathedral? Also, the Cathedral is the ideal location since it is the Mother church of the entire diocese.

    What quickly happens with the proposal made by this diocese is called congregationalism where each group becomes their own individual entity separate from each other and wanting to be democratic in all things – there is no desire to share with each other.

    It is my understanding that collections at each Mass time are recorded separately therefore it will be easy to see how the TLM is doing financially. When there are items needed for the TLM then fund raise for those specific items. There are a number of people who would gladly pay for a set of new candlesticks or a new vestment if they know what they are donating toward.

    My proposal would be to consider all of Catholic faithful who attend the Cathedral as parishioners of one parish all working and contributing to the necessities and upkeep of the place. If a priest needs to be brought in then the entire Christian community should be charitable toward this.

  145. Rob Nadeau says:

    Rob from Portland, Maine again. It is my understanding that the Trid community is being treated the same as any chaplaincy in the state. I know for example the Spanish community is self-supporting as well. I do not believe there is a double standard.

    We currently bring in $600 per week with one Mass and that money does not go to support only the Mass but also the Cathedral parish. Once the chaplaincy is established, we will need to triple that. We will however have at least one additional Sunday Mass (and more likely 2 or 3 other weekly Masses) to support the cause. The money raised will go directly to the chaplaincy not the parish. This is not impossible.

  146. Volpius says:

    It may go directly to the chaplaincy but it won’t stay with the chaplaincy because the chaplaincy has to pay rent to the parish for the privilege of using their own church, likewise room and board will likely go to the host parish as will office expenses, and “other ministry expenses” could be anyhing, it would be interesting to see what the actual figure for that is.

    In short this arrangement will leave the chaplaincy completely at the mercy of the host parish, (what happens if the Bishops decides he wants to put the rent up or the room and board etc.) and a part of the money raised will be given to the host parish for various services with the price been decided by the parish because quite simply the chaplaincy have no other option.

  147. Suzanne says:

    Triple the current cash intake? Gulp. That doesn’t seem like that’s going to be as easy as it sounds. The majority of TLM devotees in Lewiston/Auburn were already driving to the Cathedral at noon every Sunday for Mass, as it is only a 40 minute drive (depending who’s behind the wheel).

    So, the size of the community in Portland is going to decrease, with those driving from the Twin Cities presumably staying in town to attend Mass at St. Peter and Paul’s. I don’t know how the numbers are going to be made up in L/A in terms of warm bodies to offer more cash for the collections — let the TLM evangelization begin, I guess. With the Mass being scheduled at 8 a.m., it is very difficult for folks coming from any distance with families to arrive that early. They’d be more likely to wait for the Mass in Portland at noon, even it meant having to drive another 30-40 minutes. Frankly, when visiting family there, I might wait to go to the noon in Portland.

    This is all very strange to me. I’m very perplexed. Another tidbit, prior to this currently proposed arrangement, a good number of those attending the TLM became parishioners of the Cathedral parish –partly in hopes of being able to receive sacraments in the Traditional Rite (however, only first Holy Communions were allowed). They were part of the parish — and now, they will be renters – outsiders. I can’t wrap my head around this.

  148. Rob Nadeau: “We currently bring in $600 per week with one Mass… The money raised will [eventually] go directly to the chaplaincy not the parish.”

    Given the scenario I depicted above (@10:53 am), a congregation of one hundred people, each obligated to contribute an average of $720 per year, would have to bring in a minimum of just under $1400 ($1385, to be exact) on a given Sunday. That’s the total collection from the congregation, with the goal of meeting the $72,000 obligation. If you add several holydays, the expectation might go down.

  149. MaineCatholic says:

    it is assumed he has been paid a salary, etc., by the diocese up until this point… why is the diocese no longer responsible just because he will be saying a latin mass and/or teaching/finding someone else to say it?
    it is already established he (the chaplaincy) is getting 100% of the collection.

  150. John says:

    Another point- If the money is raised the bishop can defend the EF chaplaincy when it comes under fire from NO groups. He will be able to point out that they are more than paying their own way and as a result are in no way a burden or an expense to the NO parishes or the diocese.

  151. Volpius says:

    Suzanne do you think then that this could be a case of divide and conquer?

    Perhaps they have deliberately set targets they expect not to be met so that when the three years is up they can go to Rome and tell them it was not economically viable to have the extraordinary rite.

    I wish I wasn’t this distrustful but experience has taught me to be like this, sad isn’t it.

  152. It seems to me that a lot of us are making assumptions about what someone else should be doing. In my half-century or more on this Earth, I have found that if everyone waits for someone else to do something, no one will do anything. At some point you may decide to stop asking yourself whether Big Daddy Warbucks should be footing the bill, and take matters into your own hands.

    Now, I can think of all kinds of reasons why someone else should just give me what I want. But “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Not only that, but if I call what might be the bluff of a local church official, he might realize I mean business. He might even stop associating me with all those antediluvian sourpusses he’s been hearing about (not that anyone here would be among them, of course). In the institutional church, money talks. Like I had to tell you that, huh?

    You might say, but what if they decide to use the money for something else, and we’re still holding the bag? Well, two things will be likely to prevent defrauding those served by a chaplaincy. One is canon law, the other in nearly every state of the union (I’m referring to the USA specifically here) is civil law. The money aside, the greatest sacrifice I can see most people having to make, is to give up whining. You’d be surprised how many efforts at instituting the Traditional Mass have been frustrated by that very thing. (Don’t believe me? See, I told you you’d be surprised.)

  153. KWC says:

    Thank you Fr. Z for allowing a forum where people can disagree with one another, sometimes rather harshly, w/o banning someone for simply having stating a contrary opoinion. I was banned from Angelqueen for simply presenting some financial statistics and suggesting that one check with the SSPX and see what their operating budget is for their chapels. No meanspiritedness, no namecalling simply banned.

  154. Volpius says:

    If canon law had any power the Mass would never have been illegally suppressed in the first place. No one is talking about been defrauded, at least not in the legal sense of the word. But the diocese has a monopoly and so can charge any price it wants for things like rent of the church etc. which means they can force the chaplaincy to hand over as much of its money as they want simply by increasing what they charge for these services.

  155. KWC says:

    The current drive for the Tridentine Mass my family attends is 55 miles each way. Driving our big 12 passenger van it costs about $30 round trip for gas. 52 X 30 = $1560. Now if I could get a Mass 10 miles away I could save about $100 month which I would happily add to the current collection. 10 families in similar situation plus a few others and you could easily reach $1400 month. In fact there is a historic parish only a few miles away that is currently more or less vacant except for special occasions and rented out to other denominations/groups etc in order to keep it open. It would make a great location for a Traditional Mass chapel. If they would give us a priest and the Church for $75K a year I know a number of people that would jump at the chance.

  156. Volpius: The matter of the suppression of the Traditional Mass has been rendered academic, if only for the purposes of this discussion. (In other words, we won this one.) I can tell you from experience that local and canon laws concerning fraud can be and are enforced. Is there any evidence of foul play by the local church? Is this proposal anything other than the normal means of financially supporting an apostolate?

  157. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Mary Alexander’s comments about being set up to fail:

    I sometimes wonder about this. Our Bishop in Victoria has recently given his blessing to our every-Sunday Mass and to its publication in the parish bulletin . . . but he will not allow an advertsement for it in the diocesan newspaper. I sometimes wonder if, a year from now, we will be told that it is being cancelled owing to a lack of interest. We shall see . . .

    In the case of Portland, much here depends on who started what for whom. Was the idea of a chaplaincy entirely that of the Bishop or did people petition for this? Anyway, I note that there was already an every-Sunday Mass in the Diocese of Portland in the Traditional Rite.

    P.K.T.P.

  158. Deborah says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with calmly approaching the diocese and trying to negotiate for the rights of the faithful when something is unjust. And I think these demands for a deposit and the renting of the church for Mass, are unjust.

    There have been TLM groups proving themselves for 15-20 years and their dioceses still keep them suppressed. So, don’t be fooled to think that by just going along with everything they will be given some recognition or favour.

  159. boredoftheworld says:

    Do people ever do the math around here?

    A family of four would be called upon to contribute $240 per month. Yes, that seems like a lot. But if the annual household income of this family of four were $15,000 per year (below the poverty line), it would come to just under five percent of that income.

    I think I understand why we’re in such a financial mess in the US…

    A FIFTH is not 5%. $62.50 would be five percent, maybe they could alternate Mass attendance, one could go and the other three could stay home.

  160. Volpius says:

    No David it hasn’t, if the supression was illegal then it shows that canon law offers no protection because laws are only as effective as the enforcement of them and canon law is very rarely if ever enforced, they should change its name from canon law to canon guidance because that is all it is treat as. Might I suggest the parts that deal with fraud are enforced to protect the Church from been hauled in front of the secular courts, ie. they are actually enforced by the secular law already and it is this enforcement that ensures they are followed.

    Anyway as I already said no one is claiming this is a fraudulent proposal.

  161. EVERYONE: I think the dollar amount per capita breakdown is useful to put into perspective what, over a year’s time, a hunderd or so people can do, that is, that $72000 isn’t that much when shared by many over time.

    Some people will be able to given more. Some won’t be able to give as much. Things work out.

    When I started this thread a friend called and told me of something printed on a envelop for a parish. It suggested that a possible amount to be given might be one hour’s wage. Other parishes suggest other ways to figure it out.

    In the meantime, Acts 5 does seem to apply.

    Let’s not get bogged down in the particulars and then PANIC.

    Years ago, when just ordained, I remember hearing confessions of some elderly people who, remembering the old days, were pressed to put $1 in each envelope in their box and turn them in so that every envelope would be registered and counted. Why? They had the impression from decades before that if they didn’t have all their envelopes turned in, they couldn’t be buried from the parish! That was, of course, an unfounded fear. But they got it from somewhere! From what they heard as children.

    I think it is time to relax a little and get some perspective.

  162. boredoftheworld:

    I never mentioned a FIFTH of anything. Five percent of $15,000 is $750. $750 divided by 52 equals $14.42. $14.42 times four equals $57.68. It’s coming to it from the other direction, but it’s close to $62.50.

    Point is, I think it’s possible to support such an apostolate this way, and there are precedents mentioned all over this thread (the Spanish Mass, et cetera).

  163. “No David it hasn’t, if the supression was illegal…”

    …then it would be another subject, wouldn’t it? I don’t like getting dragged into arguments that have been settled, never mind when they’re not the topic at hand. I just don’t have that kind of time. Especially when my side “won.”

  164. Volpius says:

    No it wouldn’t be another subject; you stated the chaplaincy would be protected by canon law. I used the case of the Mass to support my claim that canon law isn’t worth the paper it is written on if it is not enforced, which it all too often isn’t. Relying on canon law for protection is extremely naive given the recent history of the Church, that is my point and it is relevant to what you said concerning the situation of the chaplaincy.

    And nothing is won yet, everything could change when the next Pope is elected, everything we have up to this point is thanks to the good will of Pope Benedict there is a long way still to go yet. The Motu Propiro hasn’t changed a thing where I live if it has for you then I’m happy for you but don’t claim victory prematurely.

    And don’t be so rude.

  165. Volpius says:

    So you only read half a sentence now do you?

    No it is not another subject. You said the chaplaincy would be protected by canon law, I said canon law is not worth the paper it is written on if it is not enforced and cited the case of the Mass as an example of where canon law is simply ignored. It is relevant because it shows that Canon Law offers no protection and that it would therefore be naive to trust the fate of the chaplaincy to its protection. I never intened for you to start telling me how you felt about the case ofthe suppression of the Mass as you say it is settled for now.

    Your “side” (aren’t we all on God’s side?) has won nothing, everything is dependent on the continuing good will of the Pope and when a new Pope is elected everything could be undone just as easily.

    No one’s dragging you in to an argument, I didn’t realise we even were arguing but you are free to not reply if you are too busy I’m not forcing you to type you know.

  166. Katherine says:

    The funds collected from either of the TLMs (and any others that are set up across the diocese) will go into the same pot. So it doesn’t matter if a family goes to Portland or Lewiston- there will be seperate envelopes for the chaplaincy. If other priests such as a proposed venture in Bangor go forward then those collections would go in the chaplaincy account too, but I think rent and a stipend to the priest are expected.
    Father Parent is currently the pastor of two parishes in/near Lewiston but he will be giving those up to another priest in July.
    The rental of church buildings for Mass is currently stated at $100 a Mass. The priest in Lewiston has already ordered vestments for the chaplaincy as a gift I think.
    We will have to wait for a month or so and see how the finances are coming along before we should do anything else.
    The diocese of Portland, Maine is very large geographically and staffed by very few priests. While I would have preferred a FSSP priest to serve the faithful in this manner, I have to put my trust in what we have been offered.

  167. boredoftheworld says:

    I hesitate to clog up Fr. Z’s blog with math but I think this illustrates part of the problem. You did mention a fifth because the math you did in the first post where you brought up the 15k income for a family of four is backwards. The 5 you’re seeing is not a percent, it’s a fraction.

    1250/240=5.2 which means 240 goes into 1250 five times. It’s a fifth, not 5%

    240/1250=.192 or 19.2% which is approximately a fifth or 20%.

    That sub-poverty level family of four would be giving 1 out of every 5 dollars, not 50 cents of every $10.

    In your follow up where you go through the math again you do something I just don’t understand. You didn’t multiply the four people by the weeks of the month, your amount of $57.68 covers the four people in the family for one week, you need to multiply that by 52 (weeks of the year) and then divide it by 12 (months of the year). That gets us back to the $250 per month of an income of $1250.

    $250 is five percent of a FIVE THOUSAND dollar monthly income, it is approximately one fifth of a $1250 monthly income. Which was my point in the first place.

    $72,000 is a stupefying amount for a community of 100 people. Surely the chancery knows the math, on average Catholics give about 1% of their income directly to the parish (protestants give 2% and yes, it’s twice what we typically do but don’t anyone go doing cartwheels in the aisles, 10% is a myth on the averages) so if this were a normal community of 100 run of the mill Catholics every single one of them would need an annual income of $72k to meet the proposed budget, even the babies and the kids running paper routes (DO kids still do paper routes?). Using the standard “one family on the register equals three people in the parish” practice I’d like to know how many priests could fund a $72k budget on 30 families pulled directly out of the middle of their envelope registers.

    Are the people who are running these numbers expecting the people supporting this chaplaincy to do so at a rate of between 5 and 10 times the contribution rates of the \”average\” Catholic?

    Maine is 32nd in US median household income (2005/2006) at $45,503. IF one uses the 3/1 person/family number you get 33 families… using the median income in Maine, 5% comes out amazingly at $75,075. Five percent is the amount my diocese asks people to donate directly to the parish, 3% going to the Bishop\’s Appeal and the remaining 2% is discretionary charitable giving. The budget then, appears to be based on perfect compliance.

    The parish I entered the Church at has four hundred FAMILIES and has a budget that matches its annual income of approximately $300k. That’s about 10 times as many people giving only 4 times as much money as this chaplaincy is supposed to cost but at the same time receiving all the benefits of a permanent parish with religious education and all the other bells and whistles (and an attached school, but that’s another budget). It’s been almost a decade since I ran the numbers but that particular parish had the highest per capita income in the entire diocese, based on perfect compliance the annual budget for that parish would be eight hundred thousand dollars.

    The big parish downtown has a budget of twice as much but it has easily five times as many families. Therefore while the numbers may seem reasonable they do not (no matter how you juggle them) appear realistic.

  168. boredoftheworld says:

    It’s been almost a decade since I ran the numbers but that particular parish had the highest per capita income in the entire diocese

    I flubbed that statement in a HUGE way, the people of the parish don’t have the highest per capita income, the parish itself received the highest per capita contributions/donations. It’s one of the poorer parishes in the diocese and at the time at least it was out-giving mega-parishes by 3 and 4 to 1, per capita.

  169. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    David,

    You made a mistake somewhere in your math. In one post you say a family of 4 would pay $240 dollars a month (post at 10:53 am). A family making $15000 a year would make $1250 a month. $240 is 19.2% of $1250 not the 5% you claim. In your post at 2.37 pm you give the MONTLY contribution as $62.50, which in reality represents the weekly contribution you listed at 10:53. This would be about 5%.

    So I am left confused because I do not know if you think a family of four making $15000 should give the 5% percent in the second post or the 19.2% in the first post. But for your math to work (ie the per person contribution) you would have to use the 19.2% in the first post).

  170. Patrick says:

    Maybe the answer is that these folks need to grow their numbers. My parish was started with 54 families and about $2,600…but, then again, that was in 1912. $18,000 to start and $72,000 for a year in 2008 doesn’t seem that unreasonable. Most parishes are closed and consolidated when their collections are only $1,400 a week and they only serve a few dozen families. The bishop is showing some good sense here.

  171. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Mr. Nadeau,

    Could you please tell us how many families are attending the TLM in Portland?

    Thank you.

  172. Pauli says:

    $72,000.00 is a small price to pay. They are crying with a loaf of bread, IMO.

  173. Derik Castillo says:

    This situation happens in the Diocese ok Lexington (KY).

    We have to pay for the rental of the Church ($800 per month), and we are only entitled to use the altar, pews, organ and Choir loft. We must contribute with our own altar vestments, candles, incense, etc. We also support the priest (salary). The weekly collection is about $800-1000.

  174. Volpius: “No it wouldn’t be another subject; you stated the chaplaincy would be protected by canon law.”

    No, I stated that the purpose of the funds would be protected by canon law. The question of whether the Traditional Mass had been abrogated is another subject. It has also been settled. Settled, you hear me? Settled!

    (Sorry, Father, I had to get that off my chest. I read your rules of engagement. Surely you agree we must move on here.)

    Mr Sarsfield: As to my math, I’ll run the figures again. But I double checked everything. Perhaps using a different reference for measurement caused confusion. I believe any thorough examination, however, will prove that $72k per year can be afforded by a congregation of a reasonable size, assuming they want it badly enough; further, that “money talks.”

    You wrote that “$72,000 is a stupefying amount for a community of 100 people.”

    I’ll start simply. $72,000 per year for 100 people is $720 per person per year. All I did was move the decimal point two places. Not a lot can go wrong there.

    $720 per year, divided by 52, is just under $13.85 a week. I spend more than that on pizza on Saturday night. (Hey, I gotta tip the delivery guy, okay?)

    Now, let’s forget how many people there are in the group for a moment. $72,000 per year would require a weekly collection (not accounting for holydays) of just under $1385. (Yep, I moved the zeros back.) I’ll leave the size of the congregation out of it.

  175. TNCath says:

    Fr. Z: “They had the impression from decades before that if they didn’t have all their envelopes turned in, they couldn’t be buried from the parish!”

    How about the early to mid-1980′s? Father, I speak from personal experience and observation about the envelope issue. I knew a pastor, God rest his soul, who refused to bury parishioners if there was no record of their having contributed to the parish. He was in his mid 50′s too. His favorite line was, “The Church is not a filling station to be used whenever you are running on empty.” His opinion about why Masses were more crowded at Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, and Christmas was that the parish was giving something away (ashes, palms, and calendars). He was obsessed with the parish census and would send out monthly letters to people who had not used their envelopes lately to ask them essentially, “Where have you been?” After several months of hounding them, he sent out a final letter with a return stamped envelope back to the parish. The letter gave them two choices. All the had to do was check one and return it. The choices were as follows:

    ____Yes! I am a parishioner of St. _______. I assist at Mass regularly and receive the sacraments. I contribute to the support of the parish and am regularly involved in parish activities. I pay for my support of the diocesan newspaper and support the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. I am conscious of my obligation to stewardship, and, to the best of my ability, contribute my time, talent, and treasure to the support of the parish. I wish to remain on the census and will continue to attend St. _______.

    ____No! I am not a parishioner of St. _______. Please remove my name from your census and take my name off the diocesan newspaper subscription list. By doing so, St. _____ is not responsible for my welfare if I become ill or am hospitalized. Please do not contact me again.

    Parish I am currently attending:________________________________________________

    This is no joke, Father. I copied this directly from the letter this man sent. Needless to say, more than a few folks were offended and either checked “NO” or ignored the letter completely. So, yes, I can certainly see why some folks might be afraid that they wouldn’t get buried from their parish if they didn’t put something in an envelope every week. I saw the fear firsthand. You can also see why I didn’t think Fr. Parent’s letter wasn’t all that bad!

  176. TNCath: “‘The Church is not a filling station to be used whenever you are running on empty.’ His opinion about why Masses were more crowded at Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, and Christmas was that the parish was giving something away (ashes, palms, and calendars).”

    You know, I’m old enough to remember when filling stations gave away calendars for free. (I have no idea what made me think of writing that.)

  177. Joseph says:

    David, glad you are not a math teacher!

    Boredoftheworld,

    Stupefying is really an overstatement.

    There are people that can right a check for the whole thing, given one hundred people. How many folks make at least a thousand a week? Probably forty percent of adult workers. A tithe on that would be, obviously, $100. A half tithe, 5%, $50, so if you had fifty adults working out of 100 congregants, and 40% of those are making the $1000 a week salary, (20 people) and they HALF tithe (5%) that is $1000 per week right there just from those twenty out of the one hundred. One doctor half tithing (300,000/yr.@ 5% of weekly salary/wk. = $300. wk) makes up the difference. So there is $1300 dollars /wk. from 21 congregants at a basic support, not heroic, level.

    My late father, God rest his soul, used to say, (let’s say it was in the ’80s at the time I’m quoting him) that people are giving the same $1 and $5 dollar donation that they gave in the depression.

    Let’s get back to something at least approaching the tithe.

    This Thread, of all that I have read here on this great site, has been the most discouraging. gives credence to the charge that traddies are “out of touch.”

  178. Joseph:

    Most students hate math. I used to enjoy it, whether it shows or not.

    I’ve had some experience organizing for the TLM, being responsible for over two dozen altar servers, including their training. It has been my unfortunate discovery that great numbers of its adherents expect to do very little towards supporting it, and that it should just be given to them. The original post on Angelqueen does not surprise me.

    Granted, there are exceptions, and this post will probably provoke the anecdotal evidence. This is simply mine.

  179. Rob Nadeau says:

    How many families attend the Trid in Portland?

    Currently, there are typically I think about 150 people at the noon Mass in the Cathedral Chapel. As we all expect, many are young, with big families. I am not sure of this but I would say we have between 50 and 70 households.

    If anyone from Maine wants to correct these numbers, please do.

    We can all be very frustrated, but without the Motu Proprio and the graciousness of Bishop Malone, we would not be having this conversation.

  180. Patrick says:

    Jospeh…good post.

    I think the bigger point here is that 12-18 families (100 or so people) does not a make a parish. If these folks want to continue, they need to enlist some more people interested in the extraordinary form. If they can’t get another 20 or 30 families, they will have to give a lot more per family. If they can’t generate the needed funds, then perhaps these 12-18 families just don’t exist stably enough to have a parish.

  181. Patrick says:

    50-70 households should be able to support this. The average household income in Portland in 2004 was $38,344. So, in 2008 let’s call it $40,000…although I would bet that it is significantly higher as those attracted to the extraordinary form are generally better educated.

    50-70 households means $1,440 to $1,028 annually from each family. That means each family needs to contribute 3.6% to 2.6% of their income. Is that too much to ask???

  182. What I really want to know is:

    Are other groups in the Diocese of Portland are being treated in the same manner, that is, with an annual budget to fulfill, rental of space, etc?

    Is there a demonstrable double-standard being applied here?

    Are there no other similiar groups to compare the TLM group to?

    Let’s move away from the financial breakdown thing now. I think that has been beaten to death at this point.

  183. Kradcliffe says:

    You know? Maybe there IS a problem with the diocese. Maybe they ARE suspicious of Traditionalists. Maybe they ARE being treated differently!

    But, this is a wonderful opportunity for them. They should raise DOUBLE the amount, and give the extra funds to the diocese as a gift offering of gratitude. It should be seen as a challenge… “How much can we make above $72k so that we can be a benefit to our Church?”

    If people reacted in a positive, enthusiastic, grateful manner, it would stun and amaze everyone. People would say, “Wow! That Latin Mass must really be something special!”

    It is an HONOR and a PRIVELEGE to attend the Mass! It is an HONOR and a PRIVELEGE to tithe!

    I say, make like a MegaChurch and let the Holy Spirit accomplish something, here!

  184. why is the diocese no longer responsible for this priest’s salary, etc., after july 1st JUST BECAUSE he
    will be saying a latin mass or finding someone else to say it in other locations besides lewiston
    and portland? no one is saying the 72,000 dollars is not worth every penny, but why does it fall solely
    to the tlmers after july 1st? i guess this is a question that will have to be asked of fr. parent on
    april 20.

  185. MaineC: Because priests are generally paid by the institution where they are assigned.

    First, if a priest is assigned at a school, the school pays for him, if a parish, the parish.

  186. Suzanne says:

    The Maine TLM community is atypical of other TLM communities in a number of ways. The members of TLM community in Maine are *not* wealthier than the average Maine household — by no means. The vast majority are blue collar and more than a few struggle to make ends meet. And, most families are single income. Intelligent, working class folks with large families, alongside very young families just starting out, alongside retirees on fixed incomes.

    I don’t know why folks want to assume lack of generosity and acrimony on the part of the Portland TLM crowd. They haven’t been the one’s fussing here — nor was the article Fr. Z posted from anyone *within the community!* It upsets me to see people comment about how it “sounds like they’re crying with bread in their hands” referring to this TLM community in Maine — when all we’ve heard from those within that community here is humility and respect for the bishop’s plan. Please don’t malign folks you don’t know based on unsubstantiated conjecture.

  187. Rob Nadeau says:

    It is my understanding there is no double standard. Other groups such as the Spanish language apostolate are treated the same way.

  188. Suzanne says:

    This may not apply to the Spanish language apostolate you’re speaking of — however, I did note that in the Diocese’s 2007 Financial Report that more than 45K was alloted to “Hispanic Ministry.” I don’t know if the group you’re speaking of benefits from that in any way, though. I did think it interesting though.

  189. Some points for consideration:

    1. The priest assigned to the chaplaincy as of July 1, 2008, Fr. Parent, is currently the pastor of two parishes. Those parishes are paying his salary, not the diocese.

    2. When the chaplaincy is canonically erected as of July 1, 2008, the chaplaincy will not own a church building. Parishes own their church buildings. The parishioners are entitled to the use of their church buildings. The members of the chaplaincy are not so entitled.

    3. The chaplaincy will in justice be obliged to pay rent to the parish(es) whose buildings it uses. This is no different from any other chaplaincy that is starting out that my develop into a parish. Almost all ethnic chaplaincies began this way. They rented from the territorial parish until they could build or buy their own church. Or they rented a store front, a club hall, or a school auditorium. They had to provide room and board for their chaplain. And they were required to be self-sufficient. They had to pay for their own requirements for Mass (vestments, etc.). They had to pay for all their own operating expences. If the collection didn’t cover it, find other ways to raise the money.

    3. The people of a chaplaincy are no longer part of a parish and are not obliged to contribute to the support of a parish. They are obliged to contribute to the support of the chaplaincy from whence they receive their parochial services.

    4. The bishop does not establish the amounts to be paid in rent or the priest’s room and board. The parish (or place) whose facilities they use set the rent, fees, and room and board.

    Volpius, when you write: “It won’t stay with the chaplaincy because the chaplaincy has to pay rent to the parish for the privilege of using their own church” you are mistaken. Members of the chaplaincy do not belong to a parish. They do not have their own church. They do not have their own rectory. So they cannot pay for the “privilege of using their own church” since they don’t have one.

    Also, the chaplaincy won’t just be handing money over to the parishes whose facilities it uses unless it is run by incompetant people. Preasts don’t just move into rectories and give the pastor a monthly check. A rental contract, lease, and use agreement will have to drawn up and will be binding under civil law. So the chaplaincy is at it’s own mercy to make things work in their best interests.

    Believe me I understand your frustration and anger with and lack of trust in bishops. I share it. They haven’t exactly shown that they are trustworthy and upright. Bishops are still hiding abusers. They are still not disclosing diocesan finances. They are still preserving the “old-boy” network. They are going against the wishes of the Holy Father regarding the TLM and in many other areas as well. They feel they are accountable to no one. But they are not all like that. Some are genuinely good and holy men who understand that they are priests and bishops first for the salvation of their own souls and then the souls of others.

    But being angry won’t help the situation. Anger just creates more anger. I’ve learned that the hard way. Put the energy into constructive ways to work against what is wrong. Make a real difference. Fight for the TLM, not about the TLM.

  190. MaineCatholic says:

    Fr. Scott Bailey wrote: The people of a chaplaincy are no longer part of a parish …

    actually, Father, we have been told to remain registered with our local parish, so we are
    indeed part of *a* parish, just not a traditional one.

    it has also been established that Fr. Parent will be living in his family home (taking care of his mother)
    and not residing in any rectory.

    it will be interesting to see how this all plays out and I am sure many questions will be answered after
    april 20.

  191. On the blog Against All Heresies there is an ironically amusing, though admitedly scathing, image.


    Whew…. tough, and unfair, I thnk.  But it does serve to underline how many involved in this controversy are feeling.

    I still stand my what I wrote at the top, though I also add:

    1) Yes, I can see how some people think this appears to be simony, though I am pretty sure it isn’t.  It would be good to remove the appearance. 

    2) I hope there are not other groups in that area that are getting different treatment.  That would be a double-standard.

    3) It is time to calm down.

  192. Paul Kendrick says:

    Bishop Richard Malone has plenty of extra room at his place. He lives all by
    himself in a 16 room, 3-story brick mansion that includes 6 bedrooms and 4 full
    baths. The mansion is assessed at $1.2 million by the City of
    Portland.

    Rev. Parent’s salary and housing expense could instead be used to install 9 clean
    water wells in Haiti each year. Children could be saved from life threatening
    diseases.

    The $1.2 million proceeds from the sale of Malone’s mansion could be used as seed
    money for projects and services that benefit the poor and needy.

    All this self serving talk about funding a Latin Mass is a bit much to take.

  193. Thanks for the correction MaineCatholic. That puts things in a different light. It is unreasonable, unfair, and unjust to expect people to support a parish and the chaplaincy. If other groups are being treated the same way, the Hispanic Chaplaincy for example, it doesn’t change the fact is is wrong to ask people to support a parish and a chaplaincy. This places an undue financial burden on people. Remember, the $72,000.00 is in addition to what support people are to give to their parish, not instead of.

    The arguement could be made that people are getting services from a parish as well, such as a priest in an emergency. But this should never be a consideration. The people who look to the chaplaincy for regular pastoral care should not have to support both a parish and the chaplaincy. And they should never have to worry about not having a priest in an emergency situation. Any priest who will not go to help someone or bury someone because they are not a “paying member” is a scandal. No one should ever be denied the acts of mercy for monetary reasons.

    MaineCatholic further wrote: “it has also been established that Fr. Parent will be living in his family home (taking care of his mother) and not residing in any rectory.” I had read but forgotten that. However, that home still will need upkeep and as he will be residing there justice demands that he contribute to paying the expenses.

  194. M.Z. Forrest says:

    Fr. Bailey,

    The parish registration may be a temporary thing. From his letter he states, “Also the faithful will be able to register with the Chaplaincy and will have their own envelopes come the New Year.”

  195. Thank you M.Z. Forrest. That is indeed correct. In thinking about this we just don’t have all the information and speculating isn’t going to be of benefit to anyone. Neither is figuring out how much per person per week 72k comes down to. There’s a lot of baggage involved in any discussion of the TLM and rightly so given the way bishops have been responding to Summorum Pontificum. It’s good to see people involved and passionate about the Mass. That passion can be used for good. I would encourage everyone to put that energy to good use in constructive ways. Summorum Pontificum wasn’t the end of the struggle. It’s the endorsement of the struggle.

  196. e says:

    Some data points from the San Francisco Bay Area:

    My own situation: single guy, no dependents
    $1980.00 gross cash per month plus benefits
    net $1550 cash per month
    minus 920 housing (apartment, rent includes water and garbage)
    minus 120 utilities (gas, electric, phone, internet, no cabletv)
    minus 200 food/misc/entertainment
    minus 160 donations (parish collections weekly/monthly/special, other charities)
    minus 150 car (insurance, maintenance, gasoline)

    http://stpatrickrodeo.org/v1/images/stories/bulletins/2007_0304a%20bulletin.pdf
    $2,288.86 gross cash per month plus benefits
    plus housing (rent)
    plus utilities (gas, electric, phone, cabletv, internet, water, garbage)
    plus food (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, guests)
    plus donations (stipends and gifts for masses, other sacraments, etc)
    plus retirement pension
    plus minions (housekeeper, cook, gardener, secretary)

    And then you can start adding on the parish plant expenses.

    This Portland Maine TLM budget seems supportable by 50 (or more) households (72,000 total = 1384/week = 27/week). You pay your landlord everything at the beginning of the month. Why respect the church any less? It may take a few months to a few years to work up to this ideal but it can be done.

    Some of our rural brothers and sisters in the USA also struggle with access to the Sacraments. Help them too.
    http://www.catholicextension.org

  197. MaineCatholic says:

    i just want to caution anyone on thinking the the rest of maine’s average income is anything
    near portland’s. we don’t call portland NORTHERN BOSTON for nothing.