Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville to fold

EagleFan

Fan of Eagle

Looks like Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville is likely to merge back with the Columbus Diocese, where it was carved out of in 1944.

Only two Catholic high schools left in Steubenville Diocese, so not sure it will mean much for high school sports.
 

Irwin20

Well-known member

Looks like Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville is likely to merge back with the Columbus Diocese, where it was carved out of in 1944.

Only two Catholic high schools left in Steubenville Diocese, so not sure it will mean much for high school sports.
Pittsburgh Diocese would be much closer. Maybe the US Church has a rule about keeping Diocese boundaries within the same state?
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
Youngstown Diocese would be another option.

We're going to see this more and more as the Catholic Church continues to lose people in droves without the leadership or initiative to adapt or come up with solutions.
 
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aztecjim

Active member
I have been a big proponent of re-aligning diocese across the country. Populations have seriously changed since they were set up. In my world the Church should follow the House of Representatives. Decide how many dioceses we need. Take the total Catholic population divide by that number and divvy up. And yes ignore state boundaries. Down here in SW Ohio we have the Diocese of Covington and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati next door to each other despite the fact you can practically throw a rock from one cathedral to the other. (Barely two miles apart) Places like Ohio might lose but places like Texas, California, Florida might gain. If Covington and Cincinnati merge that might lead to the creation of a Diocese of Dayton.

Also, I would not re-align every 10 years like congress. Maybe once every 100 years.

I also might take geography in to account. Alaska might be too big for just one diocese.
 
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eastisbest

Well-known member
I have been a big proponent of re-aligning diocese across the country. Populations have seriously changed since they were set up. In my world the Church should follow the House of Representatives. Decide how many dioceses we need. Take the total Catholic population divide by that number and divvy up. And yes ignore state boundaries. Down here in SW Ohio we have the Diocese of Covington and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati next door to each other despite the fact you can practically throw a rock from one cathedral to the other. (Barely two miles apart) Places like Ohio might lose but places like Texas, California, Florida might gain. If Covington and Cincinnati merge that might lead to the creation of a Diocese of Dayton.

Also, I would not re-align every 10 years like congress. Maybe once every 100 years.

I also might take geography in to account. Alaska might be too big for just one diocese.

Isn't the point of THE CHURCH to grow? Those with the least need the most. Those with the most, sacrifice. it's not a social climb.
 

EagleFan

Fan of Eagle
Pittsburgh Diocese would be much closer. Maybe the US Church has a rule about keeping Diocese boundaries within the same state?
It would stay within Ohio. Youngstown Diocese is part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Cincinnati, which covers Ohio, and they would not carve Youngstown away from that.

That said, no reason Diocese can't cross state lines, like the Covington example.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Youngstown Diocese would be another option.

We're going to see this more and more as the Catholic Church continues to lose people in droves without the leadership or initiative to adapt or come up with solutions.
Maybe a split between Youngstown and Columbus. Even with whatever Steubenville has, I don't think Youngstown has the resources to sustain a diocese that would stretch from Ashtabula to Ironton.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
I have been a big proponent of re-aligning diocese across the country. Populations have seriously changed since they were set up. In my world the Church should follow the House of Representatives. Decide how many dioceses we need. Take the total Catholic population divide by that number and divvy up. And yes ignore state boundaries. Down here in SW Ohio we have the Diocese of Covington and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati next door to each other despite the fact you can practically throw a rock from one cathedral to the other. (Barely two miles apart) Places like Ohio might lose but places like Texas, California, Florida might gain. If Covington and Cincinnati merge that might lead to the creation of a Diocese of Dayton.

Also, I would not re-align every 10 years like congress. Maybe once every 100 years.

I also might take geography in to account. Alaska might be too big for just one diocese.
This.

But like Reps in politics you lose the number of Bishops in an geographical area therefore clout, also places that have a certain ecumenical tradition might not be happy with the gerrymandered diocese.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
Also, I would not re-align every 10 years like congress. Maybe once every 100 years.
In 100 years, given the current rate of attrition, there may be just enough Catholics left for one diocese in the US.

I was involved in my local diocese attempt to consolidate parishes. It was a huge cluster. Poor leadership and guidance on the diocese level; territorialism and unrealistic expectations on a parish level; priests with no ability to lead or business sense... It was really obvious that there are no business (or common sense) classes in the seminary. As you can see, it left me quite pessimistic about the future of the church.

I remember one meeting where we were discussing one resistant church's direction and I asked "In the last 2 years your church has had 17 funerals and 1 baptism. Where do you think this is headed?" That went over like the proverbial fart in church.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
I am glad I still live in So. Mercer Co. church is crowded if not packed on Sunday morning including all age groups.
While Mass attendance (and by extension, the amount of $ in the collections) is an issue in some of the Dioceses mentioned here, the other big issue is a lack of priests. The Diocese of Youngstown has undergone a significant amount of restructuring due to a lack of priests. Furthermore, the Bishop forced several into retirement (who were old enough to be eligible for retirement years ago but decided to continue working). My hometown has 3 parishes. 2 of the 3's pastors were forced to retire (1 was in his mid-80s, and the other is pushing 80). There are no priests to replace them, so the Diocese merged all 3 parishes in town under the lone remaining pastor, and each church went from 3 weekend Masses to 1 apiece. The town abruptly went from having too much capacity at 9 Masses per weekend to not nearly enough at 3 Masses per weekend. 1 of the other major cities in the DoY merged parishes years ago. Currently, the DoY is designated as a "mission diocese" because it does not have enough resources to sustain itself with the main resource it's lacking being the priests themselves.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
While Mass attendance (and by extension, the amount of $ in the collections) is an issue in some of the Dioceses mentioned here, the other big issue is a lack of priests. The Diocese of Youngstown has undergone a significant amount of restructuring due to a lack of priests. Furthermore, the Bishop forced several into retirement (who were old enough to be eligible for retirement years ago but decided to continue working). My hometown has 3 parishes. 2 of the 3's pastors were forced to retire (1 was in his mid-80s, and the other is pushing 80). There are no priests to replace them, so the Diocese merged all 3 parishes in town under the lone remaining pastor, and each church went from 3 weekend Masses to 1 apiece. The town abruptly went from having too much capacity at 9 Masses per weekend to not nearly enough at 3 Masses per weekend. 1 of the other major cities in the DoY merged parishes years ago. Currently, the DoY is designated as a "mission diocese" because it does not have enough resources to sustain itself with the main resource it's lacking being the priests themselves.
Youngstown Diocese would be another option.

We're going to see this more and more as the Catholic Church continues to lose people in droves without the leadership or initiative to adapt or come up with solutions.
Slipper meet clark, lol.

The church will never recover in the United States unless they make wholesale changes which would include allowing priests to marry. The Catholic Church is their own worst enemy in the U.S. at this time.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Slipper meet clark, lol.

The church will never recover in the United States unless they make wholesale changes which would include allowing priests to marry. The Catholic Church is their own worst enemy in the U.S. at this time.
No disagreement here, or should I say "Amen" to that?

Additionally, it's ironic to me that the Catholic schools themselves like to get their jollies talking about how many of their students go to college and then become doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. Meanwhile, these schools do next to nothing to promote the taking up of Holy Orders as a career option.

The other issue there is the lack of big families where there was a good chance that 1 of the kids might grow up to become a priest or nun. There was a point in time when joining a religious order would've been viewed as a viable "way out" of a poor upbringing or a step up in society.

Can't think of too many occupations nowadays that would have more job security than priest. Plus, your lodging expenses are basically taken care of. Shoot, for years they'd even keep you around if you did something seriously wrong.
 
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irish_buffalo

Well-known member
No disagreement here, or should I say "Amen" to that?

Additionally, it's ironic to me that the Catholic schools themselves like to get their jollies talking about how many of their students go to college and then become doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. Meanwhile, these schools do next to nothing to promote the taking up of Holy Orders as a career option.

The other issue there is the lack of big families where there was a good chance that 1 of the kids might grow up to become a priest or nun. There was a point in time when joining a religious order would've been viewed as a viable "way out" of a poor upbringing or a step up in society.

Can't think of too many occupations that would have more job security than priest. Shoot, for years they'd even keep you around if you did something seriously wrong.
When I went to school my grade school was run by an Order of Nuns (who were all named Sister Mary Ellen or Sister Mary Helen ;) ) and my HS was run by the Oblate Priests all of whom I'm pretty sure were gay. The people running the schools today are usually lay people and in survival mode of keeping the doors open.

My family had 5 kids and that was an average household. There were families of 12 and 10 and 8 and it was amazing to see how they lived. Bunk beds, mom sewed clothes, all in scouting, they hunted out of necessity. Every last one of them is successful today.

BUT the one kid that would join the "order" was usually the gay one who figured that was the least path of resistance.

The Catholic Church, for as much as I appreciate my education and upbringing, is dogmatic and archaic and will die its slow death here in the states because of it.
 
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Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
When I went to school my grade school was run by an Order of Nuns (who were all named Sister Mary Ellen or Sister Mary Helen ;) ) and my HS was run by the Oblate Priests all of whom I'm pretty sure were gay. The people running the schools today are usually lay people and in survival mode of keeping the doors open.

In my neighborhood we had 5 kids and that was an average household. There were families of 12 and 10 and 8 and it was amazing to see how they lived. Bunk beds, mom sewed clothes, all in scouting, they hunted out of necessity. Every last one of them is successful today.

BUT the one kid that would join the "order" was usually the gay one who figured that was the least path of resistance.

The Catholic Church, for as much as I appreciate my education and upbringing, is dogmatic and archaic and will die its slow death here in the states because of it.
When growing up in a family of that size, one generally learns that life is hard, and that you either compete for everything or get nothing and like it. My HS's athletic teams were littered with those types of kids. They may not have been the best athletes, but they would compete from start to finish and give it their all. Also, their athletic contest might have been their best chance to get their parents' attention away from their 5, 7, 9 other kids.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
Similar situation here- Catholic family of 7, rubber worker dad, stay at home mom, 12 years of Catholic school for all of us. I remember taking $10 checks into the office to put towards my $100 grade school tuition. Those days are long gone.

I put my single kid through Catholic K-8, high school, college and law school. I don't think his kids will see a Catholic education.
 

CatAlum

Well-known member
You/we Catholics need to take a wider lens view. We (Americans) are becoming more and more like Europe…non-religious. Yes, the Evangelicals are more church-going than mainline Protestants and Catholics…but they’re not growing either and their attendance isn’t great by historic standards. When you read the Debate Forum comments of conservative leaning posters…many are not attending Christian churches. If they did, they wouldn’t “speak” the way they do…very much like young urban black males…they don’t go to church, either.

The Jesuits, about 10 years back, consolidated 3 regions (Detroit, Chicago, Upper Midwest) into 1.

I have a good friend who’s a priest in the Youngstown Diocese...he’s running two parishes..,getting a little long in the tooth and some health issues. But the work still inspires him…

I don’t really know what to say about the demise of the Church. Certainly, the sex abuse stuff has taken a toll. There are other issues as well, but the only thing I’m sure of is that economic prosperity and political freedom/stability and Church health don’t seem to work together. Food for thought.
 
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eaglesfan216

Active member
Similar situation here- Catholic family of 7, rubber worker dad, stay at home mom, 12 years of Catholic school for all of us. I remember taking $10 checks into the office to put towards my $100 grade school tuition. Those days are long gone.

I put my single kid through Catholic K-8, high school, college and law school. I don't think his kids will see a Catholic education.
Can your son realistically afford a Catholic education for his children? 10 years ago it was 8,000 dollars a year at St. Eds, it's about 18,000 now. Who knows what it will cost in 5 more years, but I bet it'll be more.

Yeah you can live in Cleveland and get the voucher to cover about half, but if you're a moderately successful parent you aren't going to get it or aid. A household income of 140,000 is a great number, but nearly 15% of your pretax income will go to sending your kid to high school every year. Isn't it better to save that in a college fund?

The Church itself is far more complicated of a question. I've always (positively) referred to Mexicans as the new Irish, and they are much better than us at practicing. I met a lot of young Mexican-American guys in college who took a liking to me because we had shared Catholic school experiences. They were and are better Catholics than I am. All of us moderately liberal people. As younger generations trend liberal, the Church could retain a lot of people that leave. It's not a science denying institution and I think compared to many other Christian denominations is liberal (or at least it's adherents are). If anyone knows how the Church can reinvent itself, let me know, it's badly needed to stop the bleeding.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
Can your son realistically afford a Catholic education for his children? 10 years ago it was 8,000 dollars a year at St. Eds, it's about 18,000 now. Who knows what it will cost in 5 more years, but I bet it'll be more.

Yeah you can live in Cleveland and get the voucher to cover about half, but if you're a moderately successful parent you aren't going to get it or aid. A household income of 140,000 is a great number, but nearly 15% of your pretax income will go to sending your kid to high school every year. Isn't it better to save that in a college fund?

The Church itself is far more complicated of a question. I've always (positively) referred to Mexicans as the new Irish, and they are much better than us at practicing. I met a lot of young Mexican-American guys in college who took a liking to me because we had shared Catholic school experiences. They were and are better Catholics than I am. All of us moderately liberal people. As younger generations trend liberal, the Church could retain a lot of people that leave. It's not a science denying institution and I think compared to many other Christian denominations is liberal (or at least it's adherents are). If anyone knows how the Church can reinvent itself, let me know, it's badly needed to stop the bleeding.
My son can afford it but many traditional Catholic families can't. Combine those who can't afford it with those with whom the church has lost touch and you have a real problem.

One issue in the cost, at least in the Cleveland Diocese, was its change in direction in telling the churches they should stop so substantially financially subsidizing the schools. That's when things like the multi-child discount went away in many schools and the price went up substantially.
 

Irwin20

Well-known member
Slipper meet clark, lol.

The church will never recover in the United States unless they make wholesale changes which would include allowing priests to marry. The Catholic Church is their own worst enemy in the U.S. at this time.
Our parish has 2 priests and 4 Deacons. All the deacons are married and outstanding, intelligent people. I’m not sure how many would want to become full time priests however. At least 2 that I know well have good careers, making nice money.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
Our parish has 2 priests and 4 Deacons. All the deacons are married and outstanding, intelligent people. I’m not sure how many would want to become full time priests however. At least 2 that I know well have good careers, making nice money.
The non-denominational churches are having success for two reasons. They have dropped the archaic practices and dogma associated with traditional denominations and have leaders who resonate with their members. Like anything else in life, if the pay is good enough for someone to live fairly comfortably they will do it. If you see a Catholic/Lutheran/Methodist church doing well it is usually because they have a priest or deacon who relates with their flock. The Catholic church struggles to offer that.
 

Purplemojo

Well-known member
The non-denominational churches are having success for two reasons. They have dropped the archaic practices and dogma associated with traditional denominations and have leaders who resonate with their members. Like anything else in life, if the pay is good enough for someone to live fairly comfortably they will do it. If you see a Catholic/Lutheran/Methodist church doing well it is usually because they have a priest or deacon who relates with their flock. The Catholic church struggles to offer that.
I am part of a community. It is our parish, not the priest's. Good priests will come and go and, yes, every once in a while we will get a clinker. But, I am part of a community. Worship should not be a personality cult. I do not need to like a pastor, I need only be offered the sacraments and the Word. I get out of my time in church, what I put into it. Dogma? yeah, I guess it is easier to belong to a group that has no identifiable belief system.

Sure it makes for a more pleasant experience to have a dynamic, well spoken faith leader, but, if we get one that is not that great, its ok, I will abide, and the next one will be better. In the meantime, I am a cell in the body of Christ, as established by His disciples, with an unbroken line of apostolic succession.

I am sure you will make fun of my position, but, if not for the Catholic Church, the existence of the pajama wearing, latte drinking, "rock" band playing. church you describe could not exist today.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
I am part of a community. It is our parish, not the priest's. Good priests will come and go and, yes, every once in a while we will get a clinker. But, I am part of a community. Worship should not be a personality cult. I do not need to like a pastor, I need only be offered the sacraments and the Word. I get out of my time in church, what I put into it. Dogma? yeah, I guess it is easier to belong to a group that has no identifiable belief system.

Sure it makes for a more pleasant experience to have a dynamic, well spoken faith leader, but, if we get one that is not that great, its ok, I will abide, and the next one will be better. In the meantime, I am a cell in the body of Christ, as established by His disciples, with an unbroken line of apostolic succession.

I am sure you will make fun of my position, but, if not for the Catholic Church, the existence of the pajama wearing, latte drinking, "rock" band playing. church you describe could not exist today.
I still identify as Catholic because I believe in the teachings but I no longer practice because of everything listed above. People are leaving in high volume and it has little to do with teachings or message.
 

CatAlum

Well-known member
One issue in the cost, at least in the Cleveland Diocese, was its change in direction in telling the churches they should stop so substantially financially subsidizing the schools. That's when things like the multi-child discount went away in many schools and the price went up substantially.
I think there is SOME truth to this, but it‘s more tru-ISM…

The majority of kids who attend Ignatius DO NOT pay the $18k sticker price. My area gets the Cleveland voucher and a cop/fireman’s kid (common in my area), might pay $4-5k out of pocket.

Let‘s also remember what MANY users of Ignatius/Ed’s have become…pretty wealthy.

I think the number of zeroes has changed over 50 years, but the dynamic hasn’t changed much…those who find the Catholic school experience valuable, who are middle class…slightly smaller house, slightly older car…cheaper/shorter vacation…no boat.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
I think there is SOME truth to this, but it‘s more tru-ISM…

The majority of kids who attend Ignatius DO NOT pay the $18k sticker price. My area gets the Cleveland voucher and a cop/fireman’s kid (common in my area), might pay $4-5k out of pocket.

Let‘s also remember what MANY users of Ignatius/Ed’s have become…pretty wealthy.

I think the number of zeroes has changed over 50 years, but the dynamic hasn’t changed much…those who find the Catholic school experience valuable, who are middle class…slightly smaller house, slightly older car…cheaper/shorter vacation…no boat.
My comments were more directed to the grade school situation that for decades was largely dependent upon the support of the parish and cheap labor from the nuns. Those schools are dying off quickly but the high school system seems to be sustaining which tells me parents are foregoing a Catholic grade school education but still seeing value in the high school level.
 

CatAlum

Well-known member
My comments were more directed to the grade school situation that for decades was largely dependent upon the support of the parish and cheap labor from the nuns. Those schools are dying off quickly but the high school system seems to be sustaining which tells me parents are foregoing a Catholic grade school education but still seeing value in the high school level.
In my world, the reputation of Catholic elementary schools has slipped over the past 25 years. Parish support for the endeavor has dropped, I agree. BUT, even at a place like St Mark, in Cleveland, a middle/upper middle area, almost every student brings a $4-5k voucher with him/her that pays for the whole thing. I became disenchanted with Catholic elementaries over the years. I’d have the kids in public elementary school if we had to do it over and then…probably…Catholic high school.

In places like Rocky River, Bay, Westlake, Catholics are more comfortable in high quality public schools and, if they want more Catholic “stuff”, they often pursue it in high school. Ignatius, Ed’s, SJA and Mag’s are all healthily enrolled.
 
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CatAlum

Well-known member
Isn't the point of THE CHURCH to grow? Those with the least need the most. Those with the most, sacrifice. it's not a social climb.
I agree with this significantly. But the Catholic Church is a faith group. To grow requires additional members. We’re not in a religion growth period…almost not any of them. And the Church has not been successful in attracting many African-American congregants…faith practice being one of the most segregated aspects of American life.

We’ve kicked this around a few times. In Cleveland, the city that I know, as the traditional white European Catholics moved up and out of the city, many of the church’s assets went with them. But not all and I think the RC Church in Cleveland continues to have a fairly strong presence in the city, doing the kind of things you advocate. Many other faiths (the Jews, for instance) no longer have really any physical presence in the city…and I’m not suggesting they don’t do charitable things for the poor, but as far as being in the city…not.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
I agree with this significantly. But the Catholic Church is a faith group. To grow requires additional members. We’re not in a religion growth period…almost not any of them. And the Church has not been successful in attracting many African-American congregants…faith practice being one of the most segregated aspects of American life.

Acting like "growth" is a right or a need, not a mandate? Exactly, the private schools are failing. It was not a design failure but a designed failure. What I've been saying for decades. They have not done their job. Since the 60s they have not been designed to do their job.

They have failed to bring God's teaching to anyone that doesn't look, act, talk like them unless it's someone with a pre-developed academic or athletic skill that has high probability of being leveraged as "catholic produced" and a future donor or a 3rd world country. It's easier to get a church supported in Guatamala than a poor part of any US city. And how do they do do that church building? By bringing economic advantage. Something the bigots have not been willing to do here. They moved, they separated, they acted superiour. But very few have sacrificed. Self first. Family first. God last.

The private Catholic systems has not produced ether stronger nor more numerous believers amongst the citizens in this country. They've aliented them. They have not produced a clergy. They have not sacrificed to endow their schools and bring that education to the most they feel is in need. Instead, these nice "conservative" people saught to inflate the government pork to their social clubs through vouchers and services, while not maintaing the required standards of the publics and they produced an orgy of individuals looking to use the Church to self-inflate with sports successes, business and social connections. To use the current idiom, show me you're an elitist prep school without saying you're an elitist prep school.
 
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