Will the last parishioner to leave St. Mary of Hyde Park please turn out the lights?
My territorial parish has been hemorrhaging members* for years, largely due to the lazy culture of dissent that has dominated the place since at least the 1980s.
After a shakeup of the staff a few years ago, there was some hope for a turnaround. But as the speakers lineup for this year’s Lenten mission reveals, any sort of orthodox renewal is a long ways off.
Included in its “Mercy in Motion” Lenten series are Fr. Gene Contadino, SM, a notorious pelvic dissenter and abuser of the liturgy who maintains a personality cult among baby-boomers at East Walnut Hills’ St. Francis De Sales parish; Fr. Bill Verbryke, S.J., a Jesuit who in his homilies promotes the heresy of Modalism and refers to a “Mother” god; and Deacon Royce Winters, the race-obsessed director of the archdiocesan Office of African American Ministries who castigated a local priest in 2008 for failing to praise the then-recently elected Barack Obama in a homily to a predominantly black parish.
Save the exclusion of Fr. Ken Overberg, SJ, you couldn’t pick a worse local lineup if you tried.
Meanwhile nearby Oakley’s St. Cecilia is bursting at the seams thanks to pastor Fr. Jamie Weber’s reverent liturgies, passionate preaching, and rock-solid catechesis. You can bet more Catholics will be making the short drive from Hyde Park in the coming weeks.
*It should go without saying that this post is in no way meant to criticize SMHP parishioners, many of whom I count as friends who have nothing to do with decisions taken by the staff and numerous parish commissions.