Category Archives: News

Statement Regarding the Beatification of the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

The Diocese of Rochester appreciates the many accomplishments that Archbishop Sheen achieved in his lifetime in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide through media, thereby bringing the message of Jesus to a vast audience. His legacy in the area of communications made him a prophet in the future use of mass media to advance the teachings of Jesus, a phenomenon recognized by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

At the same time, a person’s cause for beatification must entail a review of the person’s entire life. In this regard, the Diocese of Rochester has considered the tenure of Archbishop Sheen as the Bishop of Rochester. The Diocese of Rochester, prior to any announcements of the beatification, provided the Diocese of Peoria and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints through the Office of the Apostolic Nuncio with documentation that expressed concern about advancing the cause for the beatification of Archbishop Sheen at this time without a further review of his role in priests’ assignments. Other prelates shared these concerns and expressed them. There are no complaints against Archbishop Sheen engaging in any personal inappropriate conduct, nor were any insinuations made in this regard.

The Diocese of Rochester did its due diligence in this matter and believed that, while not casting suspicion, it was prudent that Archbishop Sheen’s cause receive further study and deliberation, while also acknowledging the competency of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to render its decision. The Holy See ultimately decided to postpone the beatification.

A beatification process reminds us that we are all called to be saints to live with the Lord eternally in heaven, praying that the Lord judges us worthy to behold Him face to face in that beatific vision that brings everlasting joy. From his place with the Lord, Archbishop Sheen enjoys eternal peace and joy in the everlasting presence of God, Our Father, whom he did serve with dedication and zeal for the salvation of souls.

The Diocese will be making no further comments.

St. Joseph School in Auburn to close in June 2020

After years of declining enrollment and accompanying financial difficulties, St. Joseph School in Auburn will close its doors at the end of the school year in June 2020.

The request to close the school was jointly made “with sadness and regret” by the pastors and parochial vicars of the Auburn parishes in a letter to The Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano, Bishop of Rochester. Bishop Matano accepted the recommendation after consultation in early November with the Presbyteral Council, a council of priests from throughout the Diocese who advise the Bishop. Also consulting was the College of Consultors and the diocesan School Board.

In the current academic year, enrollment at the school is at a historical low of 93 students in grades preK-8th grade, with projected further enrollment declines. In making their recommendation, the pastors and parochial vicars cited “severe financial difficulty” in continuing to use the Auburn parishes’ resources to subsidize operation of the school. Enrollment has declined by about 25 students each year for the past several years.

“I remain firm in my commitment to Catholic schools,” Bishop Matano said, “with the hope that parents will choose a Catholic school education for their children so that increased enrollments will strengthen our Catholic schools.  I truly empathize with the St.  Joseph School community who desired a Catholic school education, but the low enrollment, the financial burden on the parishes and the depleted resources do not make this possible.  I pray for their understanding and cooperation at this difficult time.”

“We know that news of the closure effective at the end of the school year in June 2020 will cause considerable sorrow and pain, not only for those families who are currently enrolled at St. Joseph’s School, but also for the countless others who have benefited from Catholic education in its long and remarkable history in Auburn. We, too, share in your sadness. Let us come together as a community of faith to not only mourn the loss of this beloved institution, but also to find ways to celebrate all the precious memories,” said the priests of the Auburn parishes, Father Frank Lioi, Father John Gathenya, Father Michael Brown and Father Justin Miller, in a public letter to the Auburn Catholic Community.

James Tauzel, interim diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools, said, “I am very grateful for the commitment to our children shown by Principal Mary Jo Keba and the teachers, staff and school families. All those involved at St. Joseph School through these many years have been tremendously dedicated to our students. The school may close, but wonderful memories will endure for those who passed through its doors and left well-prepared spiritually and academically to make a difference in their community.”

Statement on tragic Notre Dame Cathedral fire

Notre Dame Cathedral is a beloved, iconic church that for centuries has been a place and source of inspiration for the faithful. We are deeply saddened by the tragic fire and offer our prayers for the people of Paris, for the safety of firefighters and emergency workers battling the blaze and for all throughout the world who hold this beautiful Cathedral dear. We take heart in the statement today by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “We are a people of hope and of the resurrection, and as devastating as this fire is, I know that the faith and love embodied by this magnificent Cathedral will grow stronger in the hearts of all Christians.” May Our Blessed Mother, Notre Dame, intercede for us in this time of trial as we contemplate her strength at the foot of the cross this Holy Week.

DOR Catholic Schools Golf and Games 2019

Enjoy the beauty (and the challenge!) of 18 holes on The Links at Greystone’s rolling greens. Play fun lawn games including Kan Jam, ladder golf, life-size Jenga, island green, corn
hole, bocce ball, and more!

The Diocese of Rochester Catholic School’s Golf & Games: Benefitting Education Hardship is held to raise funds for students at any of our 18 schools in need of financial assistance during times of exceptional hardship. We hope that you and a group of friends or associates will join us by participating in golfing or games, becoming a sponsor or contributor, or attending our annual Awards Dinner.

To register, please visit www.dorschools.org/golf.

 

Statement concerning settlement process

With the passage of the Child Victims Act, the Diocese will conclude our settlement process involving Justice Robert J. Lunn, who has been serving as an independent neutral to resolve claims against the Diocese involving allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese now wants to assess where we are as we prepare to respond to and cooperate with the process set forth in this recent legislation. The program with Justice Lunn will not end immediately. Instead, all claimants who have now completed the investigation phase of the program will have their claims administered by Justice Lunn. When the process concludes, more than 30 claimants will have been heard. The Diocese has a long-established process of working directly with victims and will continue to do so.

HELP FOR VICTIMS
Victims of abuse should always report to the civil authorities. To report a case of possible sexual abuse and to receive help and guidance from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, victims are encouraged to contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator:
Deborah A. Housel
Phone (585) 328-3228, ext. 1555
Toll-free 1-800-388-7177, ext. 1555
E-mail: victimsassistance@dor.org

Statement regarding Jesuit priest

Statement Regarding Reverend Carsten Martensen

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester has received notice from the USA Northeast Province of the Jesuits that they have received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Reverend Carsten Martensen, S.J. The allegation dates to the 1970s. Father Martensen has been serving in campus ministry at Ithaca College and Cornell University in Ithaca since 2007.

The Province further states that Father Martensen has stepped down from all current assignments and public ministry pending completion of an investigation by the Province and recommendations by its independent Review Board.

The Diocese of Rochester has never received an allegation against Father Martensen during his ministry in the Diocese.

Community letter from USA Northeast Province of the Jesuits

Diocese of Rochester Priest Placed on Administrative Leave

The Reverend Robert Gaudio, pastor of St. Christopher Church in North Chili, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a recently received complaint of sexual misconduct with a minor, which is alleged to have occurred in the 1970s.

Fr. Gaudio vehemently denies the allegation, indicating “I never did this.” No other previous allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have ever been received against Father Gaudio.

During the administrative leave, Father Gaudio cannot engage in any public ministry.

Father Gaudio was ordained in 1974. Before serving at St. Christopher’s, he previously served at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brockport, St. Alphonsus Church in Auburn, St. Andrew Church in Rochester, Holy Name of Jesus Church in Greece, St. Monica Church in Rochester, and St. Ann Church in Palmyra concurrent with ministry at St. Gregory Church in Marion.

Father Edward Palumbos has been appointed temporary administrator of St. Christopher’s.

HELP FOR VICTIMS
Victims of abuse should always report to the civil authorities. To report a case of possible sexual abuse and to receive help and guidance from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, victims are encouraged to contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator, Deborah A. Housel, at (585) 328-3228, ext. 1555 (toll-free 1-800-388-7177, ext. 1555) or by e-mail to victimsassistance@dor.org.

Diocese of Rochester Safe Environment Initiatives

Day of Penance and Mercy March 13

All Catholics in the 12-county Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester are encouraged to participate in a special Lenten Day of Penance and Mercy on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, to experience the healing power of Confession, formally called the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Priests will be available at every parish. Details can be found at http://oec.dor.org/sacraments/penance-and-reconciliation/day-of-penance/

The Catholic Church believes the Sacrament of Reconciliation, is a graced opportunity for us to celebrate God’s forgiveness. The Sacrament calls us to a true sorrow for the sins we have committed, along with an intention to repair our lives and our relationships with God and our community. All Catholics are invited to attend, regardless of how long it has been since their last participation in the Sacrament.

The Diocese of Rochester has created a special website at http://forgiven.dor.org/ to explain the Sacrament and offer “how to’s.”