Over there to the right is my other blog. You know the one that I focus on other things besides just Catholic type issues. I wrote a post earlier this week called “How about us?” where I talked about a Facebook post about the homeless problem in my town. In a nutshell, several people thought that somehow the Catholic Church in general, and my parish, in particular. should do something.
Without rehashing my whole post, (it’s linked above) one point I made was how people love to criticize when they have no idea of what they are talking about. It was brought up that my parish should convert some of the extra real estate they have for more homeless shelters. They should also use some of their excess cash (the Catholic Church is filthy rich as we know) to provide food for the homeless as well. I had to ask myself where are all this excess money and vacant real estate is.
A while ago I wrote a post about the financial state of my parish. I mentioned how every week there is a shortfall in the budget. That hasn’t changed. The only empty building (s) I know of belongs to one of the three parishes that were merged a few years ago. There were four separate parishes merged into one, there were four churches plus other assorted buildings. One of those properties including the church building, the old school and I believe the rectory and convent were sold at a price far below market value to a developer. Another of the four original churches is on the market and this may or may not include a rectory although I think this was already sold. Both of the other two church buildings are still used. One of the rectories is attached to the larger church and is used to house various church-sponsored groups and ministries. The other rectory is used by the current parish priests and is situated between the smaller church, the ministry center, and the school. There are no other properties.
But even that long-winded paragraph isn’t the main point. Why is it that when someone needs something they expect the Catholic Church (as well as other churches) to do it? Why didn’t anyone point to the town, the state, or the federal government, who all have the power to raise taxes and ask why don’t they help? Isn’t it funny how people only want anything to do with religion is when something is needed? We can’t put a Nativity scene on the Town Common or let a local Hispanic religious group hold their services in the old High School, but we need the church(s) to take care of the homeless population.
I know the local churches do what they can, but think of all the more they could do if all those people saying “They need to do something” or why don’t they do something” turn their pointed fingers around and say “Why don’t I do something?” Or even better join the church of their choice and help that way.
Just a thought.