Former church can be used for nonworship purposes - Catholic Courier
This 2009 file photo shows the exterior of St. Salome Church in Irondequoit. This 2009 file photo shows the exterior of St. Salome Church in Irondequoit.

Former church can be used for nonworship purposes

A recent decree from Bishop Salvatore R. Matano makes an Irondequoit church building available for certain uses other than worship, according to a Jan. 17 statement from the Diocese of Rochester.

Following a meeting of the diocesan Presbyteral Council earlier this month, Bishop Matano decreed that the St. Salome Church building of St. Kateri Parish has been relegated to "profane but not sordid use." Profane uses are defined as "good and wholesome activities that are not worship, ministry and Christian instruction," while sordid use entails "any use of the former church building that offends the dignity of a former sacred site," according to the statement.

The decree, which was announced at Masses at St. Kateri’s three worship sites — St. Cecilia, St. Margaret Mary and Christ the King — on Jan. 16 and 17, also gives the parish permission to rent or sell the St. Salome property, said Basilian Father Paul English, pastor. A copy of the decree also will be included in the Jan. 23-24 parish bulletin.

Father English said he has heard that groups have expressed interest to diocesan officials in purchasing the building, but that such discussions could not move forward until the relegation of St. Salome was approved, he said. The relegation includes a 10-day waiting period before the parish can consider any offers on the building. That waiting period began Jan. 19.

"We are following through with a plan made a long time ago," Father English said, noting that relegation of the church was part of the parish’s decade-long pastoral planning process.

According to the diocesan statement, the decree of relegation does not affect the ministry of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha-Latin Mass Community at the former St. Thomas the Apostle Church building, which also belongs to St. Kateri Parish. The Latin Mass Community began renting the St. Thomas the Apostle building and former parish center for sacred use at the start of Advent in 2014, Father English said. The Latin Mass community, which had formerly celebrated Masses at St. Stanislaus Church, offers a 9 a.m. English Mass and an 11 a.m. Latin Mass, he added.

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