In response to information provided by local and state government and health officials concerning the coronavirus, the Diocese of Rochester has suspended public Masses until further notice. Priests will continue to say private Mass and some diocesan parishes plan to continue live streaming. Here is the list of parishes planning to live stream private Masses (we will keep updating this list as more information becomes available)
Bishop Salvatore R. Matano, in consultation with the Diocesan School Board, has appointed Mr. James Tauzel as Superintendent of Catholic Schools, effective immediately. Mr. Tauzel had been serving since September 2019 as interim Superintendent.
Mr. Tauzel, who previously served as Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction for the Diocese of Rochester, holds a Master of Education in Educational Administration from the University of Texas-Pan American and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. He also previously served as Principal of All Saints Academy in Corning and Saint Joseph School in Auburn.
In his Letter of Appointment to Mr. Tauzel, Bishop Matano wrote, “I am grateful for your willingness to serve in this capacity and to provide continued leadership…May your work help our young people, as well as the faculty and staff, to live as God’s daughters and sons.”
For more information about our schools, visit https://www.dorschools.org/
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.
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.”
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.