Here is an item from a newspaper in Sioux City, Iowa.
SIOUX CITY — Sioux City Catholic tradition is in peril.
One of the oldest area churches, 117-year-old St. Joseph’s, recently experienced a fire. It damaged the roof and attic, but the sanctuary was left relatively unscathed. The Diocese Web site says the building is being tested for strength, but "the major support systems are holding up well."
But on Tuesday, the Journal reported that diocesan officials began "talks on the fate of St. Joseph’s."
We’ve heard that line before.
St. Casimir’s Catholic Church was gorgeous, built in 1915 by Lithuanian immigrants in Morningside. Despite strong membership and financial solvency, the Diocese closed it in 1998 and demolished it in 2007. And it all began with "talks."
We can’t afford "talks" this time. We can’t allow the Diocese to destroy another vital link to our Catholic traditions. We must draw the line.
You see, St. Joseph’s maintains tradition other area Catholic churches have discarded.
St. Joseph’s has a stunning marble high altar. The Cathedral’s was torn out in the ’70s. Even its current state of beauty can’t compare to its formerly glorious interior.
St. Joseph’s white marble side altars are a beautiful testament to God. Immaculate Conception’s were ripped out a few years ago as part of a misguided "renovation" that disrespected the original design, rendering the church modernistic and ugly.
If a church absolutely must be closed, let it be one with less history and beauty. St. Joseph’s is a tangible link to Sioux City’s Catholic history and must not be destroyed. — Matthew Hittle
I have such sympathy for this fellow.
It is such a pity that parishes have to close.
But… the question must be asked: Where is the money going to come from so that it can stay open?
Having a parish is not a "free" deal. Someone has to pay the bills.
If the bills aren’t being paid, how can one expect the parish to stay open?