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JackDofAMHS71

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I was at Sunnyside Yard on Saturday 10/10/2009 on railroad business, so I decided to walk over to St Patrick's Church in Long Island City for the 5 PM Saturday evening vigil Mass.  St Patrick's was the parish of my grandfather, uncle and aunt after they moved to LIC from the Bronx circa 1961; my parish was MPB.

I was quite surprised to see no more than 40 people attending the Mass.  Far less than 10% of the available seats were occupied by worshippers.  The celebrant, a priest of Filipino ancestry, preached a good homily and worked without the help of an alter server.  A piano player and a singer provided enjoyable liturgical music.

I could not help notice how the paint was visibily peeling from the walls and ceiling in certain locations.  The second collection was to help pay their heating bills for the upcoming winter.

After the Mass, I took the opportunity to chat with the Priest.  He said this small turnout was rather typical attendance for the 5 PM Saturday vigil Mass, but there was a better turnout for the Spanish and Fillipino Masses on Sunday.  When I acquired about his parishoners of European ancestry, he said most have passed away or moved away.  I also inquired about the 16 story residential tower about 2 blocks away and the "boutique" Hotel Verve caddy-corner from the church, which seem very out of place from the LIC I remember in the 1960s and early 1970s; he said he thought they were the product of changes in zoning ordinances and some new investment in Long Island City. 
TerrencePTuffyLSA69

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Many factors have contributed to the decline of the Catholic faith in the past 50 years. From Vatican II's misinterpretations - not maintaining canonical and liturgical disciplines, to materialism, relativism, feminism, breakdown of the family, sexual license - the church sex scandal,  liberalization of it's medical and educational systems, (Obama at ND - what a disgrace)(

Nun Volunteering as Abortion Clinic Escort in Illinois)

, spineless bishops, want me to go on? 

But, I do have hope. God bless Pope Benedict XVI!!!

"We were terrified beyond all else by the disastrous state of human society today. For who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is—apostasy from God, than which in truth nothing is more allied with ruin ..."

Pope St. Pius X, E SUPREMI

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KevinJFaughey66

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One thing to consider when wondering about the decline in Mass attendance- neighborhoods change, people move, parishioners die, and often those who replace them are not Catholic...We cannot just assume that the things listed by Terrence Tuffy are the only things that have contributed to poor church attendance, although most reasons on the list are indeed justifiable reasons why there are too many empty seats in church...I do feel that in areas where non Catholic people have replaced those who have moved or died, the church needs to reach out and try to attract those people to learn about Catholicism.. All too often, there is little or no outreach  being done to increase membership.... Young people who need God in their lives are usually ignored....I do agree that it is sad to see so many churches nearly empty and very often their once vibrant schools  now closed...KJF'66.

TommyK

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Greetings,

St. Patrick's was my parish. 

I was a member of the parish and went to school there and then did 8 more years of Catholic education (St. John's Undergrad and Fordham Graduate School) after graduating from its grammar school. 

When I moved to Queens and began attending St. Patrick's (1962) its founding Irish congregation members, and their heirs, had begun to move off or die away. When I attended the grammar school in the mid-60's it had more of an Italian flavor. I remained a parish member until the late 80's-early 90's

Although, I stayed in the area, I eventually stopped attending because the parish pastor was replaced by a parish administrator, who closed the school and alienated those of European background by indulging in 'liberation theology' and catering to those of our brethren who were not native speakers. 

True, the parish was in dire straits and the mix of the neighborhood changed, but what drove the change is still open to debate.  God Bless those left, but I have felt that the parish did not generally care if those like me left. Maybe as the 'yuppies' discover the area, the parish may come back to life. 

Oh, by the way, all the hotels are just a scam to get around zoning laws.  As I understand it, in short, if a building is built as a hotel, it is excluded from height and other construction and zoning restrictions.  Then if the 'hotel' can prove it can not function as a 'hotel' then it can be sold as condos or made into a co-op.

In my opinion, another case of the middle class being driven out.

Tom Militello

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