The following comes from a May 31 story in the Sacramento Bee.
In 1894, German friars arrived in Sacramento from St. Louis. Ever since then, Franciscans have steered the St. Francis of Assisi parish in midtown.
Now, a transition is underway in which Franciscan priests will no longer be pastors at what has long been one of the most diverse and well-attended Roman Catholic churches in the Sacramento diocese. Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto appointed a priest from the diocese over the weekend who is not a Franciscan.
The reason for the Franciscan religious leaving St. Francis? The order simply does not have enough priests to go around….
Over the weekend, parishioners were told that the new pastor for St. Francis as of July 1 will be the Rev. Desmond O’Reilly. O’Reilly has been the pastor at Lady of Lourdes parish in Sacramento.
The outgoing pastor of St. Francis of Assisi, the Rev. Ken Laverone, will depart Friday. He will be spending the summer and early fall as a missionary on the Camino Frances, an ancient pilgrimage route.
The Rev. Sebastian Sandoval, associate pastor, will join a Los Angeles parish where he will be near his mother who will be having surgery. Friars, who are not ordained priests, will continue to live at St. Francis, and Franciscan sisters will continue ministries….
“The Franciscans have had a strong influence in Sacramento over the years,” said Laverone. “St. Francis Parish has been for the past 35 or 40 years where people know they are welcome, where maybe they might not be welcome in other parishes, for whatever reason, especially regarding the LGBT community.”
before the franciscans left the cathedral of santa fe,nm, they managed to ‘update’ the 1th century romanesque style interior by applying a flat beige matte over an endearing stone interior right out of 111th century europe. i remember hearing that the stone was said to have gotten ‘dirty’ the way old stone can look. i don;t remember it being dirty on the many occasions when i got to visit. rather, it had an elegant patina. it was ‘prayer-weathered’ and contemplative. an old friar told me that the archdiocese felt that the cathedral had an envious cash-flow from tourism and they resented that going to the franciscans. hope something similar…
Drewelow, what have your comments to do with the article?
bob, i over-wrote the space limit. my last lines tied it together , but you’re right, it was mostly off-topic it was a lament of lost gifts bequeathed from our catholic ‘architecture as setting for prayer’ tradition.
As a long-time previous resident of Sacramento, I am sorry to see this development: but not surprised at all. The St Barbara’s Province OFM’S, according to conversations with many young and old Franciscans over the years, decided right after V2 to make the sacerdotal orientation of their order secondary to being “a Little Brother” of Francis—despite the need in the Church. One I got to know while workong with him at the church was going to be ordained the following spring, when I asked him about it: “Oh, I decided I could do all the work that I wanted as a brother, so I told my provincial I was no longer seeking priesthood,” he told me. I was astonished, since he would have been a very good. I understand that has been the norm…
St. Francis of Assisi parish is a special place. While serving a defined territory in town, parishioners travel, every weekend, from nearly 100 zip codes. It is a most welcoming place and people. The Mass is devout. The choir really does lead the congregation in singing the praises of the Lord. Scripture is proclaimed by well trained people. Service to the community is extensive. The school is full. It is hard to put into words, but this is a special place. After 125 years of Franciscan leadership the diocese will feel the loss. The new Pastor will be welcomed with open arms and will find this a great place in which to minister.
If St. Francis is “devout,” why do they have homosexualist books in their library? Why do they participate in activities promoting sodomy and look the other way when “couples” who are obviously not celibate presume to receive Communion? They need to stop calling themselves “Catholic.”
Bob one has missed the point of the story: “The order simply does not have enough priests…” This was a deliberate choice by province leadership over many years; and so how is that a success story?
Even more stark is the fact that the St Barbara’s Province Franciscans, according to elder Franciscans themselves, numbered about 500 or more in 1965, had thriving seminaries and a novitiate of 20-30 candidates ever year, and were growing. According to the St Barbara’s site itself, they now number about 200 total, perhaps 60 or so priests, most of the priests are 70 or older, and their novices number usually about 5-7 a year. Most of them leave in a few years. Why stay to be part of a nearly secular social-service fraternity of St. Francis? The Third Order was created for that.
Bob One missing the point? Shocking!