We had a small crew on Friday since many of our number wanted to attend the last Friday noon Mass at St. Joachim. After that they were going to demonstrate on Frankford Avenue to make sure that all the people know that St. Joachim and Mater Dolorosa are being closed by the Archdiocese.
A photographer came to take some pictures for a story to run in the Daily News on Saturday. It hit philly.com this morning. You can find it at this link and is in the print edition of the Daily News available today and tomorrow.
I was standing near the driveway to the Archiocesan building yesterday when I met a distinguished looking gentleman walking down 17th Street and as he was about to go into the parking lot, he came over and asked about what the sign that I was holding. I had the one that says Archbishop Chaput please don’t abandon us.
So I told him the Archdiocese was closing all the churches in Frankford and of course he asked where is Frankford.
So I explained and he got a pained expression and asked is your church all filled. So I explained our demographics etc and he pointed to the upper floors of the building and said he can’t fill the seats for you, meaning the Archbishop couldn’t help with that.
Then he said “where are the young people”. Why aren’t they coming? You can’t keep churches open that are failing.
I said they were closing all the churches, not merging the two into one, to make a single stronger parish.
He wasn’t satisfied with that and said if you can’t fill the seats then what do you expect.
I said that closing the churches doesn’t fill the seats either.
After he left, I wondered if maybe he is right about what the Church is aiming to do. The logic of his argument is to close all the churches except a few and fill the seats. Run the Church like the Kimmel Center and consider yourself successful if you have a full house.
Is that what it’s come to? Is that the work of the church? Is there no greater mission for the Catholic Church in Philadelphia except to pack a full house?
Here is a slide show recap of some of our demonstrators during the last few weeks. This is a fraction of our movement because most are working people and others unable to travel.