From the Archdiocese PR Department


Know what we haven't had in a while? That's right! A visit from our very good friends at the Catholic Standard & Times.

Take this little self-serving number about one of our favorite causes, Logan's Our Lady of Hope:

Our Lady of Hope celebrates 100 years

Oh boy, where do I start?

First, the title itself is inaccurate. It's not really fair to assert that since the parishes you absorbed would have been 100 years old, the consolidated parish is, too. Holy Child would have been 100 years old. Our Lady of the Holy Souls would have been 100 years old. OLH is not. Come on, stay away from the fuzzy math.

Amid all of the back-patting is a fairly decent history of Holy Child and OLHS, but they give short shrift to the third member of the consolidated parish, the former St. Stephen. It warrants only two brief mentions:

First there was St. Stephen Parish founded in 1843, then there was Holy Child and Our Lady of the Holy Souls parishes, both founded in 1909. Because most Catholics moved away, the three closed in 1993 when Our Lady of Hope was founded with the former Holy Child as the church site and what was Holy Souls as an additional worship site; St. Stephen’s quietly passed out of existence.

Really? That's all you can muster for the oldest parish in the area? St. Stephen would have turned 166 years old. 166! And you can't have the decency to include them? Shame.

Oh, and St. Stephen didn't really pass quietly out of existence, as much as you'd like to think so. You closed the parish and sold the building, but St. Stephen is still there. Despite a terrible Pimp My Church interior renovation by the new owners, the regal brownstones and delicate ice-cream cone spires still stand proudly at Broad & Butler. So too do the large and ornate Gothic window frames, although the quality stained glass has long been stripped away.

It's easier to erase a church when it's been demolished. Not when it's still standing, whether it has new owners or it lies empty. People still drive by it, still admire the expert craftsmanship, and in those brief moments St. Stephen still lives, even if said people are ignorant of its history. But I don't suppose you spend much time around those parts, do you?

One final note, courtesy Father Efren Esmilla:

Our Lady of Hope is well-named, according to its pastor. “It is giving hope to the people, and the people love the parish,” he said.

It might give more hope if the AD actually did something about the $7 million + price tag for renovation. You won't, though, will you? It's easier, after all, to pay lip service to the struggling parish than actually doing anything substantive.

Look on the bright side, though. At least it'll save you from having to venture back up there for the 200th anniversary.