Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Catholic Church in Vermont, a Microcosmic View

St. Luke's Catholic Church in Fairfax, Vermont in 1953

The new St. Luke's dedicated in 1983. The pastor convinced the parishoners that the prior Church had "severe structural damage".

Currently, the original church is in use a grocery store. There have been no exterior architectural changes except for the addition of an ATM machine. The steeple is intact. Scandal- naturally. Think of the millions squandered- dollars as well as souls.

The Catholic Church in Vermont is facing a severe priest shortage and the pending closure of Churches. The hard numbers tell the story:

83 priests total
92 priests just a year ago
274 priests 30 years ago (i.e. before the Springtime of Vatican II)
25% of priests are 70 years of age
7 priests are 80 years of age

The Bishop's letter softening up Catholics for the impending closures can be seen here. (scroll down to the Pastoral letter).

Naturally requests for the Traditional Latin Mass have been denied. Requests to bring in priests from the Fraternity of St. Peter or the Institute of Christ the King have also been denied. I would like to see the FSSPX buy one of the churches scheduled for closure. I would recommend St.Anthony's Church in East Fairfield. It is a beautiful stone church that was built entirely by the parishoners. They borrowed $8000 for its construction and by the time it was complete, a mere 5 months later the money had been raised to pay off the loan. Unfortunately I was unable to find any pictures of it but trust me it is beautiful.

The Burlington Free Press discusses the closure of St Anthony's here.

One shudders to think what St. Anthony's Church can be converted into? A new age bookstore? Minimart? Perhaps a Livebait Shop would benefit the community?


Tradcatholic said...

I am surprised? I didn't think that the 'Catholic' Church still SUBSISTED in VT. I heard it died years ago. The politicos have gone to pot, the priests are gone to jail, the bishop is asleep at the helm, etc. There is good maple syrup, though.

Madeline said...

To get the full flavor of the St. Luke's in Fairfax, you should also know that the altar is located kitty-corner on the second floor, with the chairs (not pews) in a semi-circle. It has a very skewed feel to it.