Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reply from 20 year parishioner of OLL MP

I am a parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes in Massapequa, I have been a parishioner for over 20 years. In fact, my husband and I were married at OLL in October of 1987. We considered ourselves very fortunate to have Fr. Mason as our Pastor during this time. The placement of Monsignor Lisante as our new Pastor has been a grave disappointment to the parish faithful. We are now in a struggle between “conservataive values” and “Lisante values”. How absurd for faithful Catholics to be at odds with the very person our faith and parish have been entrusted to. It is as though the entire world is upside down; why should parishioners have to dictate Catholic Doctrine to our Pastor; a Monsignor no less? Should it not be the other way around? Should Monsignor Lisante not be the man preaching the word of God according the Catholic Catechism? Instead, we have a gay friendly Pastor who assists a suspended priest in his endeavor to elude his Bishop, permits this priest to say mass (while in full knowlege of his suspended faculties), is rarely present on the parish grounds, is not available to parishioners, is in the process of launching a television program for PBS, has removed crucifixes, cut the mass schedule and has now even reduced our confession schedule. What is going on at the Diocese of Rockville Center that would not only allow this priest to become a Monsignor, but to hand the last great orthodox church on Long Island to him? I feel as though I’m in a bad dream that will not end.The first shock was in Monsignor Lisante’s introduction of Fr. Matthew Blockley. Fr. Blockley was first known to us only as “Fr. Matthew from England”. Matthew Blockley did not come to us from England, he has actually been “missing” from his home diocese in Manila for the past 8 years and his faculties are suspended; Monsignor failed to mention this in his introduction. Furthermore, Monsignor Lisante permitted him to run roughshod through our parish. Fr. Blockley made it very clear that “when I come to a parish I make the changes I want and those changes are permanent”. At one point, it would not have been unreasonable to assume Fr. Blockley was the new Pastor; particularly since the Monsignor has rarely been seen on the parish grounds and this Fr. Blockely immediately asserted his “authority” to all. Monsignor Lisante has yet to explain his affiliation with Fr. Blockely or why he knowingly assisted him in eluding not only Bishop Camacho (Blockley’s Bishop) but Bishop Murphy as well. For all we know, he may still be enabling Fr. Blocklely as he has yet to return to his Bishop or his home Diocese. As if the Fr. Blockley debacle were not enough to prove a significant incompetence to lead this parish, he brought us Peter Rapanaro. Mr. Rapanaro is to “co-direct” our Music Ministry. The problem? Mr. Rapanaro has several ties to the homosexual community. On Mr. Rapanaro’s website (which he has since taken off the internet), you could find supporting evidence, the most obvious being his direction of a play titled: “My Big Gay Italian Wedding”. The premise of this play is to obtain a “church wedding” for two homosexual men, a wedding that is to be performed by a Catholic priest (in cassock). The details are too crude to go into, however, the play clearly blasphemes the Church on several levels and makes a complete mockery of the priesthood. How can employment of these men comply with the Diocese’s Child Safety and Protection Act? Furthermore, Monsignor Lisante refers to parishioners that oppose decisions such as these as “over zealous folks”, rather than addressing us or our legitimate concerns. I have written to the Monsignor and telephoned the Rectory several times, all to no avail. I think you would agree, there is surely nothing “over-zealous” about adhering to Catholic Doctrine. We have Altar Boys and a school on site, hiding a suspended priest (parishioners have no idea WHY he was suspended) and employing a man who openly promotes the gay lifestyle is certainly a poor example of “protecting” our parish children. The Diocese of Bridgeport ( Connecticut) and the USCCB websites both have Fr. Blockley’s MIA status listed, his Bishop is still waiting for him to return. Monsignor Lisante’s reply to all of this has been both insulting and condescending; his attitude is like that of a dictator. He is so out of touch with the pulse of this parish that I, personally, cannot understand why he would “choose” to stay on except for the fact (as I mentioned previously) that he is rarely even there. Monsignor Lisante is the polar opposite of what the parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes humbly requested in March of 2008 when well over 400 of us met with the Auxiliary Bishop and Bishop Murphy’s representatives to implore them to find an appropriate replacement for Fr. Mason. Is asking for a doctrinally sound Pastor out of line? Monsignor Lisante does not follow Catholic Doctrine, does not respect the traditions of his own parishioners and further insults us by refusing to respond to our concerns. I have personally written to the Monsignor twice, and have yet to receive any reply or acknowledgement. When one calls the rectory or stops in, they are met with staff members and excuses as to why the Monsignor is not available. While he may be a very good businessman/public figure, his has proven his inefficacy to lead this parish, in just these few months since assuming the role of Pastor. This Monsignor is a proponent of contraception, homosexuality, married clergy and any number of misguided causes; and he does so while championing the Pro-Life movement. He is a paradigm of contradiction.The selection of Monsignor Lisante as Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes is an affront to the faithful parishioners of this church. We are not “over-zealous folks” we are rational Catholics who know our Catechism. Is it not the responsibility of the Pastor to LEAD his flock? This Monsignor loses the respect of his flock with every passing week. This is the man who is supposed to lead us in our faith, instead he chastises us as being zealots. I can assure you he is only leading the faithful away from this church, away from our home and away from God’s home.

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