Friday, August 28, 2009

"The melancholy, long, withdrawing roar" claims another fine old church

Catholic Culture noted the closing of 170-year-old St. John the Baptist church in Schenectady, NY, by the Diocese of Albany, which is boldly spreading the Faith by closing 33 parishes in the next three years. Bishop Howard Hubbard has presided over the collapse of Catholicism in his diocese since 1977, closing 36 parishes previously.

With considerable irony, the date of SJB's closing was June 24, the feast of -- as the lone commenter (a priest) pointed out on the Albany Business Review's story -- you guessed it, St. John the Baptist.

The parish still has a forlorn little website up. You can see the stained glass windows here. The altar had long ago undergone the mandatory wreckovation, though most of the basic architecture was still to be seen. Behind the altar is a huge wooden carving depicting St. John (I guess) being engulfed by a tidal wave on the Jordan or possibly consumed by a large carnivorous plant. The last worship schedule listed a single Sunday Mass, a "folk Mass" at 10:00 AM.

"Folk Mass"?? When did "aggiornamento" get defined as "keeping the Church tied to the pop culture of 1964"?

At least it won't be torn down. It's going to become the new performing home of Schenectady Light Opera. Maybe they'll treat St. John better than the diocese did.