To the editor:
I am writing in response to a letter appearing in The Brazil Times on Aug. 22, 2011, signed by Charles A. Tartaglia from Terre Haute.
First, allow me to say how sorry I am that your church was among the selected parishes for closure. Secondly, allow me to say that when this process was implemented by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Terre Haute Deanery, it should have been obvious to all concerned which parish communities would be selected for closure based on its overall size, location, availability of clergy, and financial health. I would agree with you, Mr. Tartaglia, that there is a lot of blame to go around for all closures. This includes you and me. After all, there is not exactly a long line of men waiting to be priests to avail their services to the Archdiocese. Evangelization and encouragement of men to the priesthood is everyone's responsibility.
I realize that you wrote your letter to the editor when you were angry and it provided you with the venue to vent your anger. I hope you feel better now; it's not healthy to keep things bottled inside of you, which brings me to my response. You see, Father Rick is my pastor. I don't know how well you know the man but I've known him since his arrival six years ago. Please don't misunderstand me. I have been angry at changes that have taken place in my own parish for which he really was responsible and continues to be responsible for their implementation. I just ask that you consider placing blame where blame is due. Father Rick was the messenger not the message or the originator of the message. I believe I may be so bold as to speak for him when I say his intent was not to anger or alienate anyone. Perhaps what you saw was his own frustration for the need of his presence at your parish ... no one likes to see the downsizing of our Catholic communities.
As much as I have fussed with Father in the past, I offer daily prayers for him and encourage you to do the same. Father will not return to Terre Haute until November but consider offering him your services during these difficult times of transition. It is just a suggestion and I extend it to anyone who has felt "alienated" by "his" actions. Please call your parish secretary to learn ways you may help. Oh, by the way, I was not a member of the committee that selected parishes for closure.