Friday, March 9, 2012

More from St. John Neumann

One of the saint's biographers, Father W. Frean, C.SS.R., noted that the “results which attended Neumann’s efforts were not attained without stiff opposition from some quarters. For example, the pastor of St. Michael’s refused to build a school, saying that the undertaking was an impossible one in the circumstances in which he found himself. The bishop who was always very mild, but equally firm when God’s honor and the salvation of souls demanded it, quietly informed the parish priest that if he did not do this work, then he would find somebody else to do it for him.” Blessed John Neumann: The Helper of the Afflicted, pp. 154-155 (Majellan Press 1963).

Things are different now. If a pastor says that it is possible to keep a school open, his opinion is disregarded in favor of the conclusions of the lay bureaucrats. A priest’s career would be furthered by closing a school, not by opening one. And the “salvation of souls” is a subject that is not addressed by employees of the archdiocese.

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