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Update: Resurrection May Be In Danger of Closing

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[Download Report – PDF]

Again, let me state this very clearly: Resurrection Church is not closing – but lets be real it’s “on the table”.

Every parish in the diocese is currently engaged in a strategic planning process with the bishop. The “Christ Jesus, Our Hope – Diocesan Strategic Planning for Parishes” plan is to evaluate the current status of local parishes for the long term stability of the church.  Meaning… closings of churches are “on the table” – across the board – across the diocese.

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All churches have very low attendance, and there seems to be a lot of different reasons for the low attendance, but according to the report some factors include “demographic shifts, small and large from the migration of many Catholics away from the Northeast to changes in ethnic groups within certain neighborhoods.”

The Bishop does not want what happened to schools in their decision of closing to happen to churches.  To that end, he is making everyone alert to what is going on.

Some churches cannot support themselves because they are either in poor areas and are not being supported by parishioners, so the diocese has been subsidizing them.  Some are receiving up to 40%. Selling church property is not an option, Real estate will probably go back up.  Some churches are very close in proximity and some have very high maintenance costs and falling apart.

The bishop has appointed a committee to go to the churches and evaluate buildings, structure, cost efficiency, maintenance. They are also looking at the “sacramental life” of the church e.g. baptisms, weddings, communions, confirmations etc.

As far as Resurrection goes, the buildings are in very good condition, and they do have the leasing of the school building as a steady source of income.
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Here is the Reports FAQ’s:

1. Why does the Church need to restructure?
Restructuring at this time is due to a series of factors that have been affecting the ability of the church to live out her mission most effectively. These factors include demographic shifts, small and large from the migration of many Catholics away from the Northeast to changes in ethnic groups within certain neighborhoods. As neighborhoods change, the church must adapt. The deterioration and delayed maintenance of many of our churches is also a factor that must be taken into consideration. The decline in the number of priests available to serve the parishes must also be considered. Finally, the financial distress in parishes compounded by the recent economic recession is also a factor.

2. Is this Just a plan to close parishes?
Not at all. Christ Jesus, Our Hope is a major diocesan initiative that continues to serve as the framework for an evolving “pastoral plan” for the Diocese of Brooklyn. It is grounded in the hope that we will do all that is possible to sustain and enhance the vibrant parish life to which Jesus calls us. Three key realities: changing demographics, diminishing finances, and a decrease in the number of priests have affected the reality of the Catholic Church. The process will result in some parish closings, but ultimately will result in a stronger more vibrant Church.

3. How Many Parishes are being closed?
There is no list and no exact number, however, it is understood that some parishes will have to close. The migration patterns of Catholics throughout the two counties of the Diocese have left some area under-served by the Church, while other areas which were previously, densely, populated by Catholics have changed. The purpose of Christ Jesus, Our Hope is to reflect prayerfully and evaluate the vitality of the Church in each area and to plan ways to sustain and strengthen the presence and pastoral care of the Church throughout the Diocese.

Where are parishes located that will close?
The exact locations of any closing is unknown, but each area of the Diocese will be affected by the consolidation of resources. At the same time, it is important that the Church be present in each area of the Diocese and that no area go without a Catholic presence.

4.  Is the potential closing of parishes the result of the Diocese being in financial straits?
The finances of the Diocese have been greatly affected by the economic downturn and many of our parishes are also affected. All parishes have been asked to proceed with a sense of urgency to carefully evaluate their financial statuses and futures to avoid any crises. At the same time, other critical factors such as mass attendance, demographic changes, decreasing numbers of priests and the status of buildings are also considerations.

5. Isn’t the Diocese wealthy?
Over the past few years the Diocese has actually been running a deficit of over $8 million annually. Over the past two years the Diocese has taken extraordinary steps to address these budget shortfalls including staff reductions and agency budget cuts. While the Annual Catholic Appeal raises over $10 million each year, this money is channeled to the many ministries which the Diocese operates such as Catholic Charities. The Diocese has also provided financial assistance to parishes in need. While many parishes do have real estate and savings these assets belong to the people of the individual parish and are to be used for the good of the parishioners.

6. Can property be sold to raise money?

The Diocese itself owns only a few properties. Parish property exists for the good of the people of the parish and their posterity. Property can be leased to raise money, but there is great hesitation in selling property because once it is sold it is gone forever and will no longer be available for future generations.

7. Why can’t we ask the Vatican for money?
Each Diocese is an individual entity. The church is not organized as a franchise system, but as a theological communion. The Vatican provides financial support to some missions throughout the world, but does not subsidize individual Dioceses. It is important to recognize that the US church accounts for only 7% of the Catholic world. Many nations such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, exist in drastic poverty and require missionary funding. The majority of the monies the Vatican takes in each year are used in these missionary endeavors, often leaving Vatican City at a break even point or even in a slight deficit

8. Have the costs of the clergy abuse scandal affected diocesan   finances and precipitated potential closings?
The Diocese of Brooklyn has addressed challenges. Diocesan funds have been spent for compensation, treatment background checks and legal fees. The total amount that the Diocese has paid is approximately $12 million to date. Half of the total amount was covered by insurance. The remainder was paid for by the Diocesan central fund. These expenses have affected the finances of the Diocese but are not significant
enough in themselves to affect the closing of parishes. In addition, it is important to note that even if parishes are closed, all of the assets of that parish are legally bound to follow the parishioners. Assets of a parish are used to support the mission of the parish and cannot be assumed by the Diocese for another purpose.

9. How does the clergy shortage fit into the process?
The number of available priests to serve the churches of the Diocese is declining, however, it should be noted that except for very few examples, vocations to ministry in all religious denominations have been on the decline. The Diocese of Brooklyn is blessed with many fine priests called to serve the People of God. The distribution of these priests among parishes is an important consideration but not the sole factor used to keep parishes open or closed. The assignments of priests and deacons will be considered so that there is sufficient clergy in all areas to serve the needs of parishioners.

10. Our parish is poor Are we abandoning the Gospel mission to serve the poor by targeting parishes who can’t pay their bills?
The Church’s mission is to the poor and the poor must never be abandoned. The Diocese has a responsibility to ensure that church is present most especially in poorer neighborhoods of our city. At the same time, the Diocese must also ensure that the structures which she maintains are financial solvent and stable so that the parishioners can be assured that the church will remain a force within the community for decades to come. This process will create changes in the current structures of the church, but will also ensure that structures remain or are created in all areas of our Diocese.

11. When will we know what will happen to our Church?
The Bishop will be making decisions regarding parishes mergers and closures in September 2010 after the parishes have submitted their feedback and the Diocesan commission has provided their recommendations.

12. What does this process have to do with me? What can I do?
All parishioners are asked first to pray for the Bishop and all those involved in the process It is only through prayer that we will find direction and consolation. Additionally: parishioners are invited to learn about their parish and the state of the Diocese. Information will be provided to all parishioners and an opportunity for feedback will also be provided. When decisions are made, parishioners are encouraged to learn about the decisions and again, pray for all those affected. If your parish is affected, resources will be provided to help all involved understand and adapt to any changes.

91 comments to Update: Resurrection May Be In Danger of Closing

  • Anonymous

    A little off topic, but what ever happened to the 1.1 million dollars form the sale of the property next to the school? Which was too low to begin with as real estate was at a high point at the time of the sale. That alone should have been able to fund the school for some amount of time instead of closing it. If the church was smart, they should have hired a developer themselves to build townhouses/condos on the site, and then they could have recouped a much larger margin of profit from the approximately 15 million dollar sale price of the units that were sold. The church, school, and the community would have benefitted greatly from such a move. A missed opportunity for sure.

    • Anonymous

      If memory serves me right, at the time the person in charge preferred the idea of having money in hand and I believe most of it was used to make sidewalk improvements. Second right from the on set that person said the money from the sale was not for the school, it was not the school's money it was the parish's money. Right or wrong, in his world the school was a totally different business then the Parish and Church.

      • chris

        It was not his decision to make the school a separate entity all schools need to be able to pay its own bills.

  • Athiesm

    Yay! Our numbers are growing! Soon religion will fade away!

    • chris

      no athiesm is not on the rise just disappointment of the church not The Almighty. Who by the way gave you the right to not believe in Him

  • mike2

    I think people have just lost faith in the church over the years and many others are just disgusted with the scandals and have left. It is a shame either way but obviously one that is not just a local problem as it appears to be taking place everywhere.

  • former attendee

    I still say if the persons who run everything, and the church and religious ed were more warm, friendly and welcoming, more people would return. Resurrection is a beautiful church, but it is being ruined by the Holier than Thou crew. The beauty only exists on the outside, like a facade, not on the inside. Instead of being condescending and rude, let's have a newer, younger, and more tolerant group take over, and watch the changes happen! If it were more enjoyable, more kids would want to be there, therefore more families would be there. When I was younger, my parish had a childrens/family mass that was a folk mass with guitars. It was always packed because the children were asked to be a part of it, singing, playing the instruments, doing the readings, etc. (and not just the "chosen few", it was for ALL CHILDREN AND ALL THEIR FAMILIES!)You want this parish saved, prove it and lets make some changes. Have a later in the afternoon Sunday mass, so the children who play sports have another opportunity to come to church. Lots of people have lots of ideas, try listening and give it a chance. It can't get any worse than it is now. Lets have a new fresh start.

    • Anonymous

      I agree! It has help Good Shepard! There doing just fine there church is alway full it seems. What can we learn from them maybe it would help Resurrection.

    • chris

      Just a suggestion, maybe you should come to church and speek with the priests give them some ideas about what you feel could be done to change. That is what the meeting was about a few weeks ago.

    • carol

      I really don't get it. Since when is the church suppose to arrange the Mass around sports? I raised 6 children,all played sports. God is suppose to be first in thier life that is what CCD is there to teach. And of course no one should be rude,I don't like rude people,who does? But when we are at Mass we should be participating not worrying about who is or isn't friendly,we wouldn't even notice if we were paying attention. Now I know I am going to be called a holier then thou. lol

      • Anonymous

        I agree to a point… If Resurrection only had a 2am mass no one would go (including holier than thou you!) Just kidding. But really if you want people to go to mass, you have to make it easy for them to attend. If soccer is every week at 9am, then who ever wants those families more has to budge.

        • carol mcdonald (the

          I really do see your point. But I don,t think it really should be the church alone to solve this. We all know of the shortage of priest, btw I loved 7:30 Sat. Mass.,and many time I have to go to a late Sunday mass St. Thomas, but Resurrection in my registed parish. Getting back to sports, I wish I had an answer, I feel for you,Maybe parents could meet with fr.Farrel or Fr. Edwin along with the those from soccor. I do understand what your saying ,just concerned that the kids don't get the wrong message about priorities. I hope and pray, and I believe there is a solution, if everyone works together. We have a great neighborhood,if other places can work together we can.

        • chris

          I think it is about time all the community groups got together and worked out a schedule. Maybe that would solve the problems but some how I don't think so.

  • anonymous

    When I moved to the area several years ago, I found Resurrection to be among the least welcoming of any parish I've ever lived in. Rude is a word that comes to mind regarding the clergy. Unfriendly to a fault is another. Unless you're part of a very select clique, you are not acknowledged. I much prefer Good Shepherd (although I preferred it more with Msgr. Brady at the helm). It will take a dynamic, forward thinking, people loving priest to save Resurrection. The elderly, who can barely get to Resurrection, will have a very difficult time going the extra distance to G.S. There is a dearth of activity in Resurrection and what does exist is underreported in the Bulletin. It could and should be a vibrant part of the community and should have been working hard to engage the youth and young families who make up the community. Many opportunities have been lost but someone with a vision could save this lovely Church.

    Why not use a "best practices" approach as many businesses do. Have the pastor and council visit with a parish that is flourishing, get ideas and try to bring them back to Resurrection to stimulate interest and attendance.

  • Anonymous2

    I recently moved out of Resurrection parish to the suburbs but before that made all my sacraments there – baptism through Marriage. I too remember the days of the family masses and the folk group and it was great. It seems in my last years at Resurrection that they lost that sense of community and I am sure the closing of the school has only made that worse. I admit I did not go to church every week but after the pope died, I felt compelled to go. That mass, Msgr Fahey made no mention of the pope but did say and I do not make this up that we should be giving more to the church and that sometimes he thinks that we should place people in pews according to their weekly donations. Then he said but that would not be a Christian like attitude. After that I never returned to the church and actually did write a letter to the Msgr. I was very disappointed and I am sure that there are others like me.

    • Really?

      My jaw dropped when I read what you wrote about Msgr Fahey and his thought to place people in pews according to their donations. Wow. Disgraceful.

      • keeper

        that is what they do in the temples. Each seat costs a certain amount of money. The closer to the Rabbi the more money it is.

  • Anon

    Wow what a shame! But I must agree with these comments about this parish being rude and unwelcoming. my children also attended this school until they closed. but I remember when my children were young, we were made to sit in the crying room so that we would not disturb. I remember Msr Fahey stopping the mass to yell at a parent to get into the quiet room. This was all very disappointing, I have since become a member of St. Edmund, and I must say that it has been a wonderful change. The pastor, Fr. Brophy is a jolly guy, and a pleasure to listen to at church. Fr. Brophy even told me that I would see for myself that things were very different and St. Edmund, and he was right. I'm so glad I came to St. Edmund.

  • Sick of the nonsense

    I would love to know if the infamous Mrs. Parente made any disrespectful comments at communion this year. I know her comments to families last year (I was a guest) were disgusting. If someone wants to come to the alter with their child, all they have to do is not accept the host, but still be part of the moment, and no one is any the wiser. Her comments about who is and is not in a state of grace were disgusting and embarrassing to the parish. By the way she spoke, she was not in any “state of grace”. That is why my children will make their communion at Good Shepard. She is a very big part of what is driving alot of people away from Resurrection Parish.

    • Anonymous

      Was she not and still a product of the previous Pastor ?
      I am in total agreement with you, my children use to attend CCD at Resurrection after 3 years of her we changed where our children attend CCD and made their sacraments.
      I think she alone could have caused more people to leave then anyone else and yes that includes any previous priests
      If the Parish ran as a private business she would be the poster and video warning of how not to threat and deal with people, the nightmare of any Human Resourses Department
      I think if anyone did a survey in Resurrection of why young parents, young adults, and teens were no longer involved in the parish she would be the answer as to what or who chased them away. Someone needs to remind her, she wears a dress not an alb, she is a woman not a man thus she is not and can never be the Bishop.

      • Anonymous

        In all fairness to Resurrection’s newest Pastor, who seems to be a gentleman, maybe just maybe, he has no idea what a cancer she and some others have spread thru the community

        • Sick of the nonsense

          He does know, and complaints have been made to him. They have all fallen on deaf ears. She thinks she is his boss also

        • Anonymous

          OMG what a horrible statement to make! Why haven’t you applied for the job? you parents need to grow up I guess the little darlings can never be scolded, yelled at or for that matter corrected. Why do you send them to religion? Why bother?

          • former attendee

            Scolded and reprimended are one thing, I will be the first to say my kids are not the most angelic, and I have no problem with any adult demanding respect from them. But to be publicly ridiculed and belittled is another total ballgame.

          • WOW

            Perfectly said former attendee. If that teacher had taken the time to explore my son's feelings instead of belittling and publicly humiliating, we would still be at Resurrection. I too am not saying my son is an angel. He certainly is no angel … but he is a child, who can't always see the big picture like anonymous can. Reprimand my child all you want, but DO NOT belittle him for respectfully expressing his feelings.

          • chris

            I think you should apply for the job of CCD Director and do all that she does. Remember Judge not lest ye be judged!! Take a walk in her shoes for a while.

          • Wow

            Speak not when you know not!

          • chris

            I'm not the one ripping her appart.

      • Agreed

        We have left Resurrection CCD too. My 9 year old child was scolded very publicly for saying sports were more important than church. What child wouldn’t say that? Instead of taking that opportunity to enlighten the child, he was beated and made to feel like a criminal. When this was brought to the attention of the “powers that be,” we were told the teacher was right. Whatever! My children are very happy at Good Shepherd now.

    • Anonymous

      You can’t be for real. Does Mrs. Parente make up what church doctrine states or does she just make people aware of it ? This woman has donated a good portion of her life to religous ed for OUR children. Now were going to judge how she does it? We have sunk to a new low. If every one ran to Good Shepperd for Communion than I don’t think you gave her much of a chance. Folks write on here like it’s Lowe’s wooing customers from Home Depot.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know Ms. Parente, or how she treats people, but I do know this-how religeon is taught and presented to children makes a lasting impression and will determine how they practice or don’t practice it for the rest of their life. When I was in released time in Resurrection as a kid, coming from 277, in the 1970’s it always struck me as being too short, too rushed. I wanted to learn more. True, my parents fell short on religeous education,they had their own reasons, but it’s a shame that the church didn’t pick up the ball, they could have kept me Catholic. When I was in 4th grade my teacher for released time was a Mrs. Wagner. One day, I was tapping my foot. I was 10. She had me come to the front of the room where she first ordered me to tap dance for the class. I was mortified and would have went back to my seat and not tapped again. Having felt she had not humiliated me enough, she made me stand in the garbage pail for the rest of the session. The next week, I came in and went to my seat, planning to be a good little girl and not bring any attention to myself. Mrs. Wagner said, “what are you doing?’ I said, “just sitting” She said, “that’s not your seat, your place is in the garbage pail”. She made me stand in that garbage pail every week for the rest of the year. Thankfully, it was spring and it was only 4 or 5 weeks. But it made a very lasting impression. Just because people are involved with church activities doesn’t make them “good” or good Christians. I have never forgotten what was done to me there, I wasn’t a bad kid, I didn’t deserve it and what started out as humiliation turned into hatred and mistrust as I grew. Lay people who are in charge of the education of children have a great responsibility to foster a love, respect and knowledge for their church. Not browbeat children, not be abusive, not be judgemental. Needless to say, as an adult, I wouldn’t subject my kids to that. We joined St James.

        • LQuinlan

          What a very sad experience for a little girl! I’m sorry that that happened to you. All of my kids went to CCD, one at Resurrection, and thankfully, we never had a similar experience.

          You’re right, I teach CCD and I agree that by the time the kids use the bathroom, have a drink and settle in, the class is almost over. My own kids have learned very little about their religion with only one or two truly dedicated teachers each. I have to say that many of the parents are only there for the show themselves. Some kids disappear after they wear their pretty Communion dresses and most never set foot in a church after Confirmation.

          I wish I knew the answer to bringing families back to the Church.

          • Anonymous

            Louise, you are one of my favorite bloggers, I don’t always agree with you, but I always appreciate what you say and how you say it. I’m glad that your children have you to teach them and it makes me happy that you are teaching others. To me, after my own experience, the idea was to give my kids a basic education and respect for the church. A sense of tradition, of the difference between good and evil. St. James provided that, along with a good look at the politics that are part of any church or other organization, for that matter. I could be accused of “only being there for the show”, but the truth is that after getting them through confirmation, if they are not feeling it, it becomes hard to make them go. I think the church dropped the ball several generations ago not fostering a true understanding of the Church and the purpose of the mass and all the sacraments to the children that would either keep going and support it or not. They dropped the ball not realizing that that if they weren’t a welcoming and a comfortable place to be that people wouldn’t go.

          • LQuinlan

            Thank you so much for your kind words. Unfortunately, these days the Church has become entirely too businesslike for my taste. My pastor’s main interest is keeping the parish in the black and he’d have had an easier time of that if he hadn’t already alienated many long time parishioners. We’ve also lost many to Good Shepherd & St. Columba and sometimes I wonder if that was intentional. With the changing demographics in Marine Park, large parcels of Church property are very valuable.

        • carol

          How awful, I am so sorry that happened to you.I taught ccd for a few years myself and loved it. Sounds like Mrs. Wagner was a sick person who never should have been teaching. I agree with the time problem. God bless.

      • Yardstick

        If you ask her she’ll TELL you has she writes and is the doctrine of Resurrection.

        I know this, we are in the 21st century and if she were a licensed educator in an elementary school with her attitude she would have been long gone, but then again being the educator / teacher would be below her almighty self image

      • Anonymous

        Donated ????

      • Sick of the nonsense

        I guess you are one of her “Chosen few” who she treats nicely.

      • Anonymous

        I am shocked at the awful comments about Mrs. Perente. She has worked harder for Resurrectuon the anyone I know,she loves the children,I know that first hand,I taught ccd for a while ,I 've always believed her to do her best for all the children. I clearly see there are many who see her different then me.I also realize if your child was hurt by anyone,you are NOT going to like that person,being a mother myself,believe me I hear you.I am hearing this for the first time and it saddens me. However I wish everyone above who no longer goes to Resurrection whould consider returning. It Is YOUR parish. Fr. Edwin is very warm & friendly,Fr. Farrell is a good priest as well,he seems to love children,& my own personal interaction with him about a personal problem he was wonderful,one on one. I also think if Angela ever read these comments she would be shocked and very hurt. One last thing Jesus is the same Jesus ,He is the only one we should be concerned with while in church. Please pray on it and consider coming back. Your neighbor,Carol

        • sick of the nonsense

          Correct, Jesus is the same Jesus, and I don't think he cares whether we honor Him at Resurrection or Good Shepard. Until things change, I will not come back, and I know alot of people agree with me.

          • carol mcdonald (the

            I agree , but I think he cares if any parish doors are closed.

          • keeper

            Why What has Resurrection the church done to you that makes you feel so strongly against it? If you are going to complain about MSGR. Fahey, don't he has been gone for 3 years and if it is about Mrs. Parente, she has nothing to do with the church itself. I am afraid that if the church does close, someday you will need it and it won't be hear.

    • Anonymous

      She has been like that for many years! It seems alot of times the people at the top of the church are the least christian like.

    • mjzwosta

      I remember exactly what Mrs. Parente said last year. She said that “if you are not a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church or if you don’t feel that you are in the proper state to receive Holy Communion, then please do not receive the Eucharist.” This is what the Cathecism of the Catholic Church states about the reception of Holy Communion. She didn’t say that you couldn’t walk up with the child and just tell the priest that you do not feel worthy to receive Communion. She didn’t mean anything by it, except she was required to address this issue before Mass as all parishes should.

      • carol

        Thank you.I knew she would never do what she was accused of. A bad misunderstanding.

        • sick of the nonsense

          It was done prior to communion. Alot of people felt it was a very tacky and distasteful thing to do. People know in their own hearts and conscience whether they can recieve or not.

          • LQuinlan

            I can see both sides of this disagreement. I was at a Communion ceremony on Saturday. A full 95% of the attendees had no clue when to sit, stand or kneel and yet most went up to receive Communion. Just as bad were the couple two rows in front of me who stood through the entire ceremony, filming with their phones. They actually went up to Communion STILL FILMING! It's no wonder a DRE has to get tough with them.

            You may think it would have been more polite to make the announcement prior to the ceremony but then the 15-20 people who arrived late and disrupted the ceremony would have missed it. Every year the behavior I see by adults at these Communion and Confirmation ceremonies is thoroughly disgraceful and a terrible example to set for the children.

            I've had my issues with my pastor and feeling that he excludes families from participating but the more I see of these disrespectful people, the more I understand why.

          • Anonymous

            People are disrespectful. I can sort of understand the lack of knowledge of when to sit-stand-kneel. It's one of the complaints I have about CCD. In all the years of 'released time', we were never brought into the church and had that explained. The 'nuts and bolts', if you know what I mean. The kids that went to Resueection school all seemed to know. It made me feel stupid, like a club that I paid my dues to, but wasn't really a member of. It can also be at a communion ceremony like that that there are people from different religeons. But the cell phones and the rude picture taking, that interrupts the ceremony is ridiculous. It's the same at graduations or recitals for that matter. I could never believe people who got up and left after their kids dance was done, why not stay and applaud for the kids that come after? I always felt bad for the last kids to show off, there was no one left in the audience! We always stayed and taught our kids to applaud and appreciate their classmates. Coming in late, talking, not paying attention to protocals or instructions, all very rude, disrespectful behavior. People are so worried about teaching their kids to 'stick up for themselves', that they forget to teach them humility and respect and consideration for others.

          • LQuinlan

            What a great post. If everyone gave this some thought there would never be such rude, disrespectful behavior. I'm glad I'm not the only one to wait until the end to applaud all of the kids at a concert or dance performance. I can't believe that everyone doesn't do this and yet the auditorium is always near empty by the end.

            As far as knowing what to do at Mass, it's just learned by osmosis by going every week. I could probably do it in my sleep (my husband often does!) My point is, if I haven't been to Mass in a while, I don't go up to receive Communion. I think some of these people hadn't been since their last child's Communion and yet didn't think twice.

            I've been asking the DRE for permission to bring the kids into the church to show them around and teach them proper behavior, etc. but something always comes up. I went to Catholic school but my kids didn't and I can see the difference and identify with your feeling like an outsider. A couple of hours a week is just not enough for the full experience and I feel like my kids have been cheated out of something that I cherish to this day.

    • unbelievable

      Mrs. Parente has NEVER been disrespectful..she "tells it like it is"…especially snce some of the parents of religious education never follow the directions given and love to complain when things don't go their way. She takes her job seriously and rightly so. It isn't easy being short staffed and doing all that it takes to run things accordingly. I'd love to see YOU do her job…

      PS> This years Communion was beautiful..I was there

      • former attendee

        If she is so short handed, why doesn't she accept the offers of help from myself or others that she has rejected on more than one occassion

        • Anonymous

          Because she's been burned way too much to mention….people promise they'll show up and NEVER do. She uses (as someone said "her chosen few") because it's those people she can trust and depend on year after year. You have no idea what goes on behind the scenes so give her a break.

      • really

        I must say I was asked to do the readings this year and when I went out and said good morning I needed to say it 3 times then I got a sarcastic good morning. I asked that everyone turn off their cell phones and to remember we are in the house of the Lord. No sooner did I walk away then everyone started talking like they were at a parade. I also saw few people right in front texting right in the middle of the mass. I don't know about any other church but I don't think that would be allowed their either.

    • carol

      It sounds like Mrs.Parente was trying to be diplomatic,it is her responsibility to see that children know you must be in a state of grace in order to receive. I don't believe she intended to insult,It sounds like she was doing her best to make a such a special day just that. Lets be honest people receive all the time at first holy communions,who haven't been in a church in years,children see ,they take everything in,Mrs. Parente's first obligation is to God then the children,sounds like she was doing her best. She has a very hard,thankless job,& I have a feeling she thanks

  • George Broadhead

    In light of the many negative comments, I was entertaining writing something positive about a man associated with Resurrection, who moved through each day with hardly a ripple. He seemed to be ever present at Resurrection, opening or closing up the church, or on the altar, assisting in the ceremony of the Mass. More recently, he was in his Knights of Columbus regalia at the opening day ceremony of the Gerritsen Beach Little League.

    He was often seen walking his dog along the park side of Gerritsen Avenue and back to Whitney Avenue. Last night (Dec. 1) he took his last walk with his dog. A call came in about 11 p.m., that Bob Rossi died on Whitney Avenue.

    • Nick Lakiotes

      I’m so sorry to hear this. He was an incredibly nice man with a warm smile and even warmer handshake. Always had a smile. Real nice guy. My prayers and condolences to his family and friends.

      • Nick Lakiotes

        Wrote this before the story was posted. Great work on the name calling though. I write about what a nice guy Bob was, and you respond on how you'd like to punch a woman in the face.

        • Steve Galucci

          Ignorance and stupidity has a name, yet it hides behind the pseudonym "Big Red".

          • thewayitusedtob

            Bottom line is that we can't lose our church just because "you don't like someone". This is the Catholic Church for Gerritsen Beach and will always be to me. I'm sticking with my Church and I hope more people get back to where they belong or we won't have a Church. Go to the Rectory Monday thru Friday and register! There's strength in numbers!

      • shocked

        I can't believe what I am reading!!!! Have we all forgotten we are a CHRISTIAN Community? We are all trying to do our best for our children. It is no wonder our children speak the way they do. Are we tteaching them to love and care for each other or are we teaching them to hate each other, talk bad about each other and call each other names?

        • Anonymous

          Exactly !!!! If you read the postings that's why people have stopped being involved and are now going elsewhere. Have you heard how some people talk to children they are suppose to be teaching or setting examples for. Where is the Christian love when children are lectured or screammed at or disrepected

    • chris

      MAY HE REST IN PEACE!!!

  • Susan DeWitt-Reilly

    I must say that I am very taken back by all the negative comments. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but there is no good reason to rip apart a woman who has given so much of herself to our Church and Religious Education. I happen to love Mrs. Parente- she is a very special woman. If anyone finds her tough or rough around the edges, put yourself in her shoes. It is not easy to keep the CCD program successful when you depend on finance, teachers to volunteer their time , and the few parents that send their children to CCD because that is what is expected of them. Without Mrs. Angela Parente we probably would not have a CCD program- it is highly unlikely anyone would step up to the plate and deal with the stress. The idea of a Childrens Mass or a Childrens Choir are awesome- let’s bring them up to Father Farrell & Father Edwin?! My daughter participated in the Christmas Pageant this past year…there were alot of volunteers, alot of hard work ex: practice, costumes, script, choreography, time spent. but it was a great experience. The kids stole Christmas Eve Mass and that was possible because of the people in our community. I love that my children are growing up in Resurrection Parish. Father Farrell is hysterical and so interactive with the children and Father Edwin is warm and inviting. Keep in mind, Gerritsen Beach really is a community of its own- we usually take care of our own. Where would we be or how would we feel if we become a community without our church?

    • Sick of the nonsense

      Thats because you are one of her chosen few. I know of many parents who wanted to volunteer, that she did not let do anything. I know of many children who filled out the form to be in the christmas show more than once, never to be asked. I know many children who wanted to read something or do something, only to be dissapointed that she keeps picking the same children, those of her chosen few. She needs to be shipped out fast, before nobody ever comes back. She is there because that is her only power in life. Without people to bully, she would be nothing. I am glad that she likes you, and that you or your children have never been subjected to her cruelty.

      • chris

        That is not true I was involved in the Christmas pagaent. Notices were sent home asking who wanted to be a part of the play and in the same notice the day and time of the practices. If your child wanted to be in the play all you would have had to do was ask Mr. Lee after church it was in the notes that he was doing it. Angela was only asked to give out the paper work. She had nothing to do with the Christmas play.

    • carol

      Susan yours is the last comment I am reading for the night,I loved it. I agree about Angelia,I love her too,and Fr. Farrell & Fr. Edwin are great we are blest to have them. You made me feel more hopeful,so I am leaving it there for the night.

  • George Broadhead

    The positive remarks of a young parent, herself a quiet volunteer devoting time and energy to the community of Gerritsen Beach, is the breath of fresh air this topic needed. She addressed the negative remarks about one person (Mrs. Parente) with the obvious knowledge of one who understands the good that person has done.

    As for the priests of this parish, they have just lost a wonderful man, Bob Rossi, who was surely invaluable to them in meeting the day to day needs of the Church. They are going to need our help, not our criticism of things past!

    Sursum corda….

    • carol mcdonald (the

      I totally agree. And the word PAST ,it seems like alot of neg. comments are just that.

  • Anonymous

    You folks who complain about Angela have some pretty thin skin. You would have never survived Catholic school in the 60’s. And to the guy who said if Angela was a man he would have given her a fat lip. I think she can still take ya !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      She'd be out of a job if we were still back in the 60s. Infact she'd be home cleaning and watching Soap Operas

      • Anonymous

        Oh really are you a product of the 60"s if not you would have never survived the NUNS! she would have never been out of a job in the 60's. You must be the one coddled all your life!

  • Michael Reilly

    To all the negative comments reagarding the church and Mrs Parente. Sick of the nonsense seems to have no sense. You are quick to judge how someone acts and responds to this community, but you don’t have the guts to even say your name. I grew up in Good Shepherd parrish and loved every minute of it. I chose to come to this parrish for my family is from here, my wife’s family is from here and I wanted my kids to be from here. There are always a lot of chiefs and no indians, you have so much to say why don’t you put it to good use instead of negativity. @ the time of her upsetting you, you do not know what she was going through. Just turn the other cheek give her another chance. Or maybe, it was you. It seems you have a stink attitude. Maybe it’s people like yourself that cause her to be short. I met Mrs. Parente when I was 17 years old she has been nothing but a blessing to my life since and continues to be. She also is there for my wife as well as my kids. You complain that she is old school, but the church didn’t seem to have a problem back then. The new times with both parents having to work and not having time for the church is why it is so hard to keep the church packed and volunteers available. You say she has a chosen few and that my wife is one of them. You fail to realize that my wife has been volunteering her time since she was 17 years old. Maybe she is one of the chosen few it is because Mrs. Parente can depend on her. Why don’t you make yourself available then maybe you could quit pointing your finger at everyone else, because 3 fingers are always pointing back at you.

    • sick of the nonsense

      First of all let me say you and your wife are awesome people. I wish you wife would take over that position. It would be a windfall and a blessing to the Resurrection community. No, I will not leave my name for I know that it will be taken out on my children. I have volunteered many times, and just in general asked if there was anything I could do, even making copies for her at my job. All I ever got from her was a very phony no. I have tried to make suggestions for trying new things, and got very loudly and rudly dismissed in front of other parents. I had made every effort to be part of my childrens religious education, just to be rudely dismissed by this woman. I am glad you and your wife like her, you are lucky you are one of her chosen few. It seems that more people agree with myself and the others who dislike her, and have been treated badly by her. At least I can say I tried, which is more than I can say for her. She has never tried to be nice to me. So lets agree to disagree. You can love her and deal with her, its your right. But its also my right to not like her for the way she has treated myself, my children, and others. It seems like most people agree with me. Its very sad, and I am sorry for her. Maybe she should practice what she preaches.

    • me

      but the church didn’t seem to have a problem back then.

      the church did have problems, they just were not discussed.

  • former attendee

    I have also tried to make myself available, but to be pushed aside for her special little group. Mrs. Parente has alienated alot of parents, both past, present and future. No one else could volunteer for the job, because her power hungry self would never let anyone else in. She thinks she is the POPE of GB. She even got rid of a secretary everyone adored, to bring in the mean woman she has working with her now. And from what I was told, it wasn’t done in a very nice way either. Not too suprising is it? Its sad, but true.

    • chris

      Maybe you should stop and think, maybe she did ask people to help her and maybe she got burned too many times. She has an awesome responsibility and maybe just maybe she would rather do it her self than get burned again. I don't know just maybe.

  • Susan DeWitt-Reilly

    Wow!!!! Thank you for the nice compliment, obviously you are someone we know. If that is the case you should also know I am not a confrontational person who would gladly try to help you with any concerns you have. Which is why it insults me more to be called part of the chosen few. I also want to point out the Christmas Pageant was not run by Mrs. Parente nor her assistant Teresa(another woman I respect), they had no involvement actually. Director Lee from the choir and a few other talented parishoners started, directed and produced it within the church not CCD. Any child could have shown up at Thurs. night practice and participated, as a matter of fact children not yet old enough for CCD were in it. As for the suggestion that I could or should take Mrs. Parente's position, I could not fill her shoes.

    • sick of the nonsense

      You absolutely could, and should. I agree that you are non confrontational, and that is why you are so well respected. You know how to say things in a nice way to people, and have always treated people with respect and dignity as far as I have ever seen. Sometimes, its not what you say, but how you say it. You should really consider it, it would be a wonderful asset to Resurrection Parish. I bet it would bring alot of people back. Maybe you should think about it.

    • yardstick

      isn't there a mandatory retirement age in the church???

  • sick of the nonsense

    Bottom line is we have all been burned in life, but doesn't God teach us to turn the other cheek? Well, obviously that one does not apply to Mrs. Parente. She is turning away some great people who are very reliable. Also, aren't we taught to "do unto others"? I guess she is teaching us and our children that it is ok to be mean, rude, sarcastic and belittleing to people, both in public and private. I don't care how many years she has been here. It's time for some fresh air. Let someone younger and more patient, and more with the current times do things now, before there is nobody left comming to Resurrection.

    • really

      Why don't you apply for the job? I read all this negativity and complaining. You want change then step up to the plate apply for her job.

  • carol mcdonald (the

    Sounds a bit age discriminate to me, notice my name lol. All kidding aside there's alot to be said for experience.

  • Anonymous

    Angela and Susan are very special people when it comes to children with special needs. I've seen how they help people. I've also noticed a man at First Communion one year go through the entire ceremony with a hat on – this should tell you that Angela is in a touchy position to address people who don't have a clue. How about those who walk down the center isle after the ceremony has begun and others standing up waving them to come sit hear – out loud no less. Obviously these are people who got invited to a ceremony in a place they know nothing about.

  • anon

    I am not part of the "inner-circle". My children both attended Resurrection School; I have been a member of the parish for some time now. Any time I have met Angela (in the street, church or anywhere) she has been nothing but polite and sincere. If you have a problem she would always listen and try her best to help. Angela, you have a difficult job; don't let these people get to you!!!

  • Anonymous

    The truth of the matter is, nothing written on here will ever change anything.

    We all know the church (like all religions) does not like change

    But I will sayit is pretty sad that a lot of effort was put in by many on here and if half that effort was actually put into the church attendance wouldn't be down and they would have known about the meeting to complete the survey

  • cdonnery

    My favorite song when I attended Resurrection.

    And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they'll know we are Christians by our love.

    And I pray that our UNITY will someday be restored, and they'll know we are Christians by our love by our love yes they'll know we are Christians by our love.

    We will walk with each other, we will walk hand and hand.

    More unity is what we need in this Community. Unfortunately, reading all of these comments, I'm at a loss as to how we do this.

  • ANNONYMOUS

    Yes, Resurrection should change some of their leaders simply because people do become too complacent when they hold the same position for too long – that is why there are term limits in political office otherwise we end up with Hitler of Fidel Castro. There are too many chiefs in Resurrection and not as many indians. They are there so long they think they ARE the "chosen" ones. Angela is nice but I can see how she might make someone uncomfortable. Maybe she is too comfortable in her job which is never a good thing. Most people who do go to Good Shepard insists that the parish is friendlier and that the priests really care about them. Our priests do not seem to care like that and nowadays people need so much more than they used to – so Resurrection should begin stepping up to the plate and realize we are all a struggling people who want to feel important. Making people feel wanted and important are key. It starts with everyone doing their part. At Good Shepard when they see someone new they say "welcome" At Resurrection they say, who is that?

  • Anonymous

    This topic seems to have died after being hot for awhile. So today was Confirmation, how was it ?