His Grace Archbishop Carlson has published an open letter making an offer of reconciliation to the members of the former parish of St. Stanislaus. The terms are generous and direct, so I will spare giving a summary here, though I may post commentary on the situation in general in the coming few days. The St. Louis Review has the goods:
Archbishop Carlson makes an offer to the parishioners of St. Stanislaus
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Peace, and my greetings to each of you. You are, I am aware, in a time of discernment and are faced with a decision regarding the return of St. Stanislaus to again be a Roman Catholic parish.
Over the past year, since arriving in St. Louis, I have met with the members of the board of directors of St. Stanislaus to find a way in which the parish could be re-established while, at the same time, addressing the fears expressed by many of you over the last seven years that the parish would be closed and its property sold with the proceeds being used for other purposes within the archdiocese.
One of the concerns expressed again and again was that, even if an archbishop made a commitment to keep the parish operating so long as Roman Catholics of Polish heritage wanted to have a parish and were willing to support it, he could not bind his successors.
Working with the members of the St. Stanislaus Board, we have developed the concept of the present corporation continuing to own the parish property and the cash and securities that it holds and leasing, without charge, the parish church and rectory to a new parish corporation, founded on the model of other parish corporations in the archdiocese, of which the pastor would be the president. The Polish Heritage Center would not be leased to the parish corporation, but it would be available, without charge, for all parish functions. The pastor and the board of directors of the St. Stanislaus Corporation would collaborate on fundraising and in other matters relating to the parish and the parish property.
It is my intention that this arrangement continue in perpetuity and that St. Stanislaus always be there as a personal parish for Roman Catholics of Polish ethnicity or language. To the best of my ability, I will assure that there is always a priest available and will work to get a priest, either a diocesan priest or a priest from a religious order, who speaks both Polish and English. If the parish were ever closed in the future by an archbishop, the parish property would continue to be owned by the St. Stanislaus Corporation and used for Polish Roman Catholic religious and charitable purposes.
In order to help get the parish re-established, I have committed that the archdiocese would provide the pastor for the first year of the re-established parish without cost to the parish and would contribute up to $10,000 to pay the cost of the consultant for a fund drive to secure the finances of the parish corporation and the St. Stanislaus Corporation for the future.
This proposal has my full support and I will do everything in my power to make St. Stanislaus succeed as a personal parish for Catholics of Polish heritage.
I ask that you please join me in praying that reconciliation can be brought about and, with the help of God, healing will take place.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson
Archbishop of St. Louis
It's nice to see the Archdiocese out in front of the public relations situation on this. Like I said above, it is a very generous offer to those in the former parish as well as those on the Board. Let us all pray that this offer meets with acceptance.
St. Louis, pray for us.
St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, pray for us.
St. Stanislaus Kostka, pray for us.
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