Letter: Why I Left St. Anthony’s
To the Editor:
The global problems with the Catholic Church are painfully visible right here in White River Junction.
In less than a year, the new leadership at St. Anthony’s Church has fired all of our catechism teachers, run out our amazing choir of 20-plus years because they don’t approve of guitars in church, and changed the format of our Christmas bazaar in such a way that no one will want to participate.
But the new leadership found the time to renovate the rectory to better suit them, so I suppose we can’t say they’ve been only destructive.
After I witnessed all of this, I said goodbye to St. Anthony’s in February at the Mass marking the five-year anniversary of my father’s death. I’ve crossed the river and found a church that glows with the community, care and camaraderie I recall feeling at St. Anthony’s when I was young. The truth is, the quality of our leadership has declined for over a decade and has culminated in the current state of blatant disregard for and outright disrespect of parishioners’ needs. St. Anthony’s church is no longer for the people.
Although my grandfather and father went to St. Anthony’s each Sunday and although my sister was married beneath the St. Anthony’s crucifix and her children were baptized in its water, I know there are local families whose roots and needs run much deeper than mine. I ache for their enormous loss.
How do you take back a church? I’ve thought about sit-ins and protests and petitions. Other parishioners have been praying and reaching out to the “powers that be” — all to no avail. Does anyone have any experience with this or know of a solution? I honestly seek advice.
Until then, I’ll remain Episcopalian.
White River Junction