Sunday, March 24, 2013


On Friday, I posted a story about the former St. Joseph's Church employee who was dismissed from her 16-year job a year after suffering a tragic assault and beating in the parish rectory.

The 63-year-old woman, whose name we have kept anonymous, was told if she could not return to work, she would lose her job. Sources indicate she will receive medical care for her injuries and 70% of salary, at least for the moment, but by no means for any long-term needs.

This news has drawn mixed reactions, from those who say the church is doing all it must by law to those who find it appalling that a church that preaches caring for others and kindness would take such a hard-lined business approach to one of its own family.

Although I am Unitarian, I was raised Catholic and have a long history of Catholic education. My departure from the church had more to do with the worldwide organization than any local church. Even prior to the Catholic sex scandal of the past decade, I opposed the church's approach to women, gays and even contraception.

The sex scandal only added to my opposition to how the larger church does business.

In this case, it seems ironic that a church whose higher level has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to payoff legal penalties for molesting priests does not seek to do more than is required by law to help a woman who has served the local parish for more than a decade.

Despite my opposition to the Catholic Church, I have always found St. Joseph's Church to be a wonderful community. Under the former pastor, Father Michael Saporito, it was a place where people were welcomed and where political or fire-and-brimstone lectures were absent.

My daughter was baptized there 12 years ago and both of my children attended CCD -- I even taught a class one week when my wife could not.

But it seems that in the past year or so, since Father Michael left, the church has changed. Many members have told me that they find a disconnect from the current pastor, Rev. Eustace Edomobi, and this treatment of this poor employee is another factor.

I do not advocate as some have on MOL that they boycott the church. But those in the parish need to use their collective power to make sure the heirarchey treats the parishioners well.


Anonymous said...

Joe, you're a little off base. The employee you cited was contacted REPEATEDLY by the parish and asked for an estimated return date. She ignored all communications and did not respond. What were they to do? She is now suing the parish she served for millions of dollars. Fr. Eustace has been removed by the Archdiocese and must be out by the end of January. While he certainly had his shortcoming as an administrator, I can only wonder if there would have been such hatred of him if he had a different skin color.

Anonymous said...

This is such a scary story. I wish we would get more news on it. I understood from this week's bulletin that the pastor leaving had nothing to do with this, but had to do with something that happened during his vacation. Sad to see the pastor leave.

Anonymous said...

I wish the same....what happened on vacation in Nairobi? Or did it happen in the parish while he was gone? He addressed it in a homily, but was vague and didn't spell it out. A lot of people were shaking their heads in the church during his he was wronged. When i asked one knew anything---or didn't want to say.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice the timing of the resignation of the former music minister happened just before the minister's dismissal? She brought high quality performance to worship as well as trying to start a concert series. She even began to bring professional musicians like herself into the mix of activities, but maybe that was too far for the minister's view of his administrative job.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I did notice the sudden departure of the music minister. She was so sweet and professional, and played so well. I wonder where she is playing now.