Organists Affected By Making All Things New
  • Theo
    Posts: 50
    I was wondering if any forum members or their colleagues are directly affected by parish mergers in the Archdiocese of New York. To my knowledge, several excellent organists were fired or being forced out under unfair circumstances. Does the Archdiocese offer any help to organists who were forced to leave? I have also heard horror stories of pastors finding ways to avoid paying severance packages. It's very upsetting to hear.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Well, it doesn't surprise me. ArchNy is no place for trads, Dolan has made that pretty clear.
  • Theo, I'd contact the local AGO chapter and see what they have heard. Don't expect them to act or help, but do expect them to relay what they have heard.

    It is extremely rare for any Catholic church to help a musician and instead, they are known to chose a new third person to take over totally messing over the incumbents at both parishes. That makes it all "fair".

    Unless you have a contract...and having a contract is also extremely rare, and any contract is full of clauses that make it easy for the church to break it.

    Ben's wrong...organist trads in the pocket of a tlm priest are about the only ones in any diocese who have a chance of sticking in a position. The bishops have fought to keep trade in their own little ghetto and are willing to leave them alone then, hopeful that they will stop calling him.

    The sight of bowties is enough to cause any bishop to scurry away.
  • Theo
    Posts: 50
    Noel, I'm aware of a case in which the pastor is trying to force a long-time employee out by hiring an interim at the secondary location. In this scenario, it'd be best, IMHO, to hire a new third person than to let the interim take over the entire program.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,630
    [rant]
    I don't know why they keep trying this "pastoral planning" thing. It failed in Boston, it failed miserably in Springfield (MA), and it is going to fail again, miserably, in NY. In Springfield, the diocese resigned themselves to the fate of losing ~ 20% of the people in the process of mergers, they ended up losing 30-40% of the people. And in a few cases they have over the past ten years lost up to 70% of the people. Many of the new parishes created by parish mergers are now slated for closure because they only have attendance of 50 people at Sunday Masses, when they were supposed to have three-parishes-worth of people. Meanwhile the parishes not affected by merger have remained stable in numbers or, more often than not, have grown.
    There are times when parish closures have to be made, particularly if the building is unsafe, but mergers never work. Well, at least they haven't in Springfield.
    [/rant]
  • The ongoing collaborative (parish merger) process in the Archdiocese of Boston has been a disaster for musicians guided by informed principles. Those who do survive are often deeply compromised. Of course liturgical music is just one aspect of profound social changes. New England, for all its strengths and charms, is arguably now post-Christian in character. (The horrors of the sex abuse scandal sealed that deal.) One indicator is the declining annual participation in the local Catholic Appeal. The Boston Archdiocese 2015 financial report revealed a $20 million decline in revenue from the previous year as well as a $5 million annual operating loss.

    What's next?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,888
    what's next
    hahaha... we already know. Grab your rosary dude.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,550
    There are times when parish closures have to be made, particularly if the building is unsafe, but mergers never work. Well, at least they haven't in Springfield.


    These things don't work. Starry-eyed Pollyannaish folks in the clergy and chanceries deny one basic fact. Some groups do not want to be with other groups. It is basic human nature. Try to put them together and people leave.