What is St Patrick's Quarter
Jun 22, 2020 —
To those who are asking what St Pat Quarter Project, that was mentioned in Fr Bob's letter is all about, here is a link from.the Diocese of Parramatta.
Why the parishioners were against it in 2016.
I was new in the parish but became active with one of the formation. I was asked to support the parishioners and Fr Bob by attending the Diocesan meeting called St Pat's Quarter.
Apparently, when Archbishop Fisher was the Bishop of Parramatta, he aptly divided the ownership between the Diocese ( headed by the Bishop) which own the land and the Cathedral (headed by a Dean) which owns the building.
The Diocese wanted to demolish one side of the Catherdral ie Office, presbytary, cloister hall area, and turn it into the entrance of the underground parking. A new hall will be built but not a presbytary.
The first question, from a woman parishioner was, if you demolish the buildings, what will we end up owning?
Someone mentioned also that after the fire that gutted the Cathedral, the insurance was not enough to rebuild the Church and the laity were the ones who worked to raise money and funded the tens of millions of dollars needed.
Other questions, if you demolish the said area to turn it to an underground parking, wouldn't it cause disruption to prayers during and after construction, as it is too close to the chapel?
The Diocese also kept shifting blame for the disapproval of past designs and delays to the council ie both past and current then, not knowing they were present at the meeting as they were parishioners.
Many engineers and Parramatta council members calculated that there will not be enough parking for the residential, commercial plus school, and church. So where will the laity park? Parking allocation will not be enough for everyone and will cause a problem.
The Diocese representative of Bishop Long just kept saying if you do not approve this, it won't push through. Because the council... obviously not hearing the people.
I listened. In the end, I asked two questions to find out the Spiritual intentions of the Diocese.
1. If you demolish the hall, where will we pray and hold our formation, credo youth, catechism classes, meetings? The answer was, it will only be two years. I said, so we dont pray and meet for two years? They remained quiet. There was no planning for this.
My second question. Where will the priests live?
They said, in this modern times, priests live outside of their churches.
I said but our mass starts 6 am and our formation often ends 10 pm. They are on call for sacraments. The priests need to be close by. And priests need to be close to God and His flock.
Not 1 parishioner approved of St Patrick's Quarter that night. The mood was intense.
I saw dollar signs on several faces.
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