Letter: Share, don’t move
Bishop Leonard Blair, Archdiocese of Hartford:
Soon the Dominicans will be evicted from their 135-year-old home at Saint Mary’s in New Haven to satisfy an Archdiocesan planning goal. Parishioners are expected to be shocked by the end result of the plan, but more particularly by the process. Recently, the closures of many parishes caused by both failing finances and attendance, while sad, are understandable. The Dominican move reflects neither finances nor attendance, but rather a decision by Bishop Blair to take St Mary’s as the outpost in New Haven for the Archdiocese. There were many empty Catholic churches in New Haven to house the bishop’s offices without moving. One of the many churches sold in recent years could have been used. On another front, the expulsion conjures up images of a medieval struggle for control of relics and the prestige of the saints, as in the case of Blessed Father McGivney. There is an expectation of involvement and advice from the laity after Vatican II, no dictatorship; no parish council was requested. Finally, after receiving a plea for the Archbishop’s annual appeal inviting us to share our blessings with those less fortunate, the idea of sharing St Mary’s came to my mind. Why move? Why bother the parishioners? Why not share St Mary’s?