Despite recent media reports to the contrary, Rochester’s St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish is still determining how to exercise its ministry in the community amid financial difficulties and declining attendance.
In a Dec. 22 statement, the Diocese of Rochester said the parish’s assessment process is ongoing, with no formal decisions having been made. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini comprises three worship sites in the City of Rochester: Our Lady of the Americas Church, Church of the Annunciation and St. Michael Church.
According to the diocesan statement, the parish as a whole has been experiencing declining attendance and serious financial difficulties for years, in addition to some of its buildings needing “major structural and required safety repairs … most significantly at Saint Michael’s Church.”
Subsequently, a parish strategic planning committee was formed earlier this year to assess the parish’s spiritual, pastoral, sacramental and physical needs, the diocesan release noted. The committee consists of Father William McGrath, pastor; Father Robert Werth, parochial vicar; parish staff; parish leaders; and parishioners from each worship site.
Upon completing its assessment, the committee will forward a recommendation to Bishop Salvatore R. Matano. In compliance with the process set forth in the church’s Code of Canon Law, Bishop Matano will consult with the Presbyteral Council before making any final decisions, the diocesan statement noted.
“In sum, this matter is still in process” the statement said.