St. Saviour

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Parishioners suffer through one more rejection

In 1 on March 15, 2010 at 1:07 pm

As previously noted, parishioners of St. Saviour Church in Park Slope, Brooklyn were relieved in December to finally have an opportunity to be invited to speak inside the church, rather than having to protest outside in the cold.  A trained Facilitator was brought in to first speak with Fr. Murphy’s councils.   This meeting took place in November of 2009.  Then the Facilitator requested a meeting with a small fraction of protesting parishioners.  This meeting took place in mid-December 2009, and did much to lift the spirits of those parishioners struggling to understand the ongoing schism in their formerly peaceful parish.  The final stage of the facilitation process was to be a meeting of church council members and parishioners.  It would have been the first opportunity for the two groups to meet face to face and discuss areas of concern.  The last time members of these two groups met was in September when 17 parishioners showed up to fill the open positions on the Pastoral Planning Council.  This meeting was meant to be the first step in a two phase process of discernment onto this important council.  Prior to the second meeting, parishioners were contacted and told that there would not be a second meeting, and that the Pastoral Planning Council would not be filling its open positions.  Parishioners wanting to participate in their church did not give up.  Instead they protested outside the rectory while Fr. Murphy’s councils met inside.  This led to the initiation of the facilitation process.

What parishioners discovered in the new year was that there was not going to be a third facilitation meeting even though both parties were prepared with designated speakers.   The facilitation could only proceed if the pastor was willing to allow it and clearly this was just another indication of the pastor’s unwillingness to let the parish heal.  Both the Pastoral Planning Council and the Parishioners were ready and eager to finally meet face to face, but have been frustrated by the cancellation of their meeting.  Everyone continues to pray that someday the parish will be be allowed to reunite.

A Tribute at Last

In 1 on March 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Parishioners, peers, parents, alumni, faculty, friends and family finally had the opportunity to gather together in joyful tribute to the former Principal of St. Saviour Elementary School.  On March 7th, 2010, the St. Saviour community gathered to honor James J. Flanagan, the steward of their parish elementary school from 1984 until 2009.   Mr. Flanagan was surrounded by admirers in his home parish of St. Patrick’s, Bay Ridge, where revellers were toasting to his good health, listening to speeches extolling his many virtues, buying raffles, and enjoying plenty of good food and drink.  Lorraine Gorrin, the first grade teacher of St. Saviour Elementary for 29 years, served as host, introducing such honored guests as  Monsignor Nagle, who was the pastor of St. Saviour from 1997 to 2004 and is the current pastor of St. Patrick’s, Jean Eschenauer who has been the 8th grade teacher of St. Saviour Elementary for 20 years,  Lucia Balzamo, the Kindergarten teacher at SSES for 20 years, Mary Papaleo who has been the kindergarten assistant teacher for 18 years, Gertrude Gilligan who attended St. Saviours Elementary School & High School and who also sent her two children there, Judy Fallon an alumni of the elementary school, high school, and member of Friends of St. Saviour, Cathy Hunt who is the current Home School Board President, and Sister Kathleen Sullivan, the principal of St. Francis Xavier.  Mrs. Eschenauer mentioned how daunting Mr. Flanagan’s early years must have been since he was the first layperson principal and (gasp!) a man!  Sister Kathleen related that “he set the standard for all of us, and when other principals had problems or concerns, they looked to Jim.  He is sorely missed.”  Everyone was teary when the two Kindergarten teachers thanked him for hiring them so long ago and giving them a great lifelong opportunity to work in Catholic Education.  After being presented with a plaque, Principal Flanagan lightened the mood by jokingly announcing his candidacy for NY governor with a campaign run by St. Saviour parents.  Mr. Flanagan told us that his doctors couldn’t be more pleased with his blood work numbers and it was easy for everyone to see that semi-retirement was agreeing with him.  He’s staying busy by running an Honor’s Program at St. Patrick’s and occasionally substituting. It was a loving and memorable night that will be remembered by all attendees.  We will all continue to keep him in our prayers, knowing that he will do the same for us.  What a blessing to our parish to have had such a dedicated shepherd for a quarter of a century.

To see the entire photo gallery click:  http://picasaweb.google.com/CHRISROBINHERDER/CelebratingJamesFlanaganWwwChrisHerderPhotographyCom9176896463?feat=email#

To purchase prints click (Password: JT):  http://www.shutterfly.com/pro/cherder/JamesFlanagan

Parishioners at St. Saviour are heard

In 1 on December 29, 2009 at 6:21 pm

On the evening of December 16th, 40 parishioners were given a forum to air their many grievances about their church governance. In November, under pressure from his own council members, the pastor, Father Daniel Murphy, allowed an outside facilitator to come in and discuss what might be done to heal the parish. The facilitator requested that Father Murphy not attend so that the council members could feel more at ease. Twenty people attended from the open call to the Finance & Welcoming Committees, Parish Staff, and the Pastoral Planning Council. They spoke to the facilitator about events leading up to the fracture in the parish community. It was at this time that the facilitator decided that he needed to hear from the protesting parishioners as well, so he set up the December 16th meeting in the Parish Hall.

The meeting was attended by 40 parishioners on a bitter cold December night. Time was limited so approximately 20 parishioners were allowed to speak before the group. Mr. Rudy Vargas, the facilitator, laid out some ground rules before the discussion began. He asked that people be brief and to the point, that no one was to interrupt, that is was ok to disagree (no one did), and that they should avoid searching for resolution at this juncture and allow God’s grace to help over time. The topics ranged from the forcing out of the parish music director, misrepresentations of events in the bulletin, people being shut out of the Pastoral Planning Council, lack of outreach and communication to disenfranchised parishioners, violations of Catholic Teaching, abrupt and harsh dismissal of elementary school principal after 25 years of service, false charges levied against principal, lack of transparency regarding church financials, parishioners attending other churches or checking the bulletin to avoid Fr. Murphy’s masses, liturgical irregularities, cronyism, and lack of participation or interest in elementary school and fundraisers until just recently. Most of the speakers were from families with long histories of being members of St. Saviour. Many were graduates of the Elementary School and/or High School with children presently enrolled in the schools. All in attendance mentioned feeling unwelcome in their own church and wondered what, if anything the Diocese could do about it.

The facilitator reflected back to the group that regardless of whether or not Father Murphy remains at St. Saviour or is re-assigned in June, he recognizes that these parishioners are members of a broken community that needs to find ways to come together and that it won’t happen overnight. Parishioners left feeling uplifted and unburdened. The third phase of the facilitation will be a meeting of protesting parishioners and church council members sometime in January. For coverage of the facilitation on the Catholic News Network, The Net, click here (start at 3:30 into program) and here at 6:32 into program

St. Saviour Too Fractured for Proper Pastoral Planning Council Inductions

In 1 on October 6, 2009 at 9:17 am
St. Saviour Church 10/20/09

St. Saviour Church 10/20/09

On a Friday evening, September the 25th, a group of around 16 parishioners arrived at the Parish Hall at St. Saviour to attend a Pastoral Planning Council meeting. It was the first of two meetings intended to select three parishioners for the PPC and was advertised in the St. Saviour Bulletin on September 13th. The Pastoral Planning Council is defined in the bulletin as “Formed in 2006 through the discernment process, St. Saviour’s PPC conducted one-to-one interviews with many parishioners, held two parish assemblies and drafted the parish’s pastoral plan which was submitted to the diocese and subsequently approved by the Bishop. Working with other parishioners, progress on the various objectives and goals is being made and reported to the diocese on a yearly basis. The next step in the diocesan vision is pastoral plans for the clusters of parishes. St. Saviour is in a cluster with Holy Name, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Francis Xavier and St. Augustine.”

Parents and Parishioners are concerned with what will become of St. Saviour Elementary School when the transition from a parish school to an academy take place. They are also deeply concerned with the unquestionable fracture of their parish, as acknowledged by both Father Murphy and the remaining members of the Pastoral Planning Council. Considering the untimely firing of St. Saviour Elementary’s Principal, the unwarranted firing of the church music director, and the fact that the new principal was on the PPC and continues to be on the council, Parents and Parishioners felt called to dedicate their time and talents to be part of this important and influential council to their parish and school. The Parents and Parishioners also recognize the key role the PPC could play in healing the troubled parish.

The Diocese sent Ellen Rhatigan to lead the September 25th meeting. By the time Miss Rhatigan arrived, any tensions that initially existed between the parishioners and Father Murphy’s staff had abated and the meeting went smoothly. The next meeting was scheduled for October 2nd, and was intended to be for those still interested in being on the PPC. This meeting would entail a discernment process to select the three parishioners most suited to be on the council as decided by Father Murphy and other members of the PPC. These Parishioners who were willing to commit their time, feeling that they had been chosen by the Holy Spirit to step forward, were surprised to receive an email from Father Murphy on October 1st saying;

Dear Parish Council Nominee,
As you’ll read, Robert Choiniere, Director of Pastoral Planning of the Diocese of Brooklyn, has decided to cancel Friday’s Night of Discernment due to the tension, divisive agendas and polarization Ellen Rhatigan experienced last Friday night.
Fr. Murphy

Attached to the email from Father Murphy was a note from Robert Choiniere, the director of Pastoral Planning Councils for the Diocese. In his letter he suggested that the procedures followed by Father Murphy were not the recommended ones and may have hampered the procedures. Robert Choiniere mentioned that perhaps people who showed up for discernment were lacking in leadership gifts, which stung people who showed up to devote themselves to this group. He suggested that the discernment could take place after a reconciliation of parishioners. Mr. Choiniere mentioned that he has never had to cancel a discernment meeting and felt that our situation was very serious.

As of yet, Parents and Parishioners are left to wonder if they will have a voice in their church. They are left to wonder if their pastor is hoping they will move to another school and parish and they are left to wonder if the Diocese will be able to resolve these painful issues. It seems pretty clear to parishioners that there should be room for everyone’s voice to be heard. As one recent protester’s sign read, “We need to be loved, not ignored.”

Can’t Get Much Weirder at Brooklyn’s St. Saviour Elementary School

In 1 on September 17, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Click here to see article with comments

Our Story So Far:
It was only last May that parents clamored to get their children into Park Slope’s desirable St. Saviour elementary school, led for 26 years by beloved Principal James Flanagan.

Cue to the dark cloud swooping over the smiling faces . . . in the form of Pastor Daniel S. Murphy, a relative newcomer. On May 11, Fr. Murphy sent a memo to the teachers at St. Saviour informing them that Principal Flanagan was being let go as of June.

Chaos ensued. Teachers cried in the halls, parents (who had just dropped off their deposits) attempted to have a meeting with Fr. Murphy, but were refused. Letters and calls went unanswered. Parents held protest marches, prayer vigils, sent letters to the press, started St. Saviour Preservation Society and a web site, and sent letters to the Bishop and superintendent.

Fr. Murphy told the Brooklyn Eagle that the firing was in accordance with the Bishop’s long-term vision of the future. The Bishop, however, distanced himself, saying that the Pastor was totally and singly in charge of his parish, hiring and firing.

Fr. Murphy quickly appointed a new principal, parish insider Maura Lorenzen. Lorenzen, recently a well-regarded co-director at Congregation Beth Elohim’s Early Childhood Center, has said nothing since starting her new job, as protests continue to swirl around her.

According to the Eagle, accusations that Lorenzen is plotting with Fr. Murphy to hike tuition or even dump the school and rent the property to the City for use as a public charter school have been aired. (Fr. Murphy denies the latter.)

Mr. Flanagan appealed to the Diocese. He won his appeal, but apparently that carries no weight.

Our Story Today:
Now the Brooklyn Eagle reports that Fr. Murphy has turned down a mediator’s recommendation that Principal Flanagan return to St. Saviour for one more year, this time as a co-principal.

Father Murphy told the Brooklyn Eagle on Friday “that he has indeed declined to have Flanagan return as a co-principal,” but “did not elaborate on his reasons.”

Meanwhile, some parishioners are leaving St. Saviour to attend Mass at another church. Others are diverting money from the collection basket. More parent protests are planned.

Can it get any weirder? Can Fr. Murphy possibly screw the situation up any more than he has?

And about the Diocese of Brooklyn — They have the power to close a school, to combine schools into academies, to hire and fire pastors. Can they really claim they have absolutely no influence over Fr. Murphy?

As they fiddle, Rome burns.

St. Saviour Church 9/16/09

St. Saviour Church 9/16/09

Mediator’s Solution Rejected By Catholic School Pastor

In 1 on September 17, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Park Slope’s St. Saviour Torn Apart by Controversy 8/31/2009

By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

PARK SLOPE — A Park Slope pastor was offered a compromise solution to a situation that has torn a Catholic elementary school apart for months – but he has rejected the offer, the Brooklyn Eagle has learned.

Pastor Daniel S. Murphy turned down a mediator’s recommendation that popular St. Saviour Elementary School principal James Flanagan return to St. Saviour for one more year, this time as a co-principal. Flanagan led St. Saviour for 26 years.

Father Murphy confirmed on Friday via email that he has indeed declined to have Flanagan return as a co-principal, but did not elaborate on his reasons.

Father Murphy fired Flanagan in May and has since appointed a new principal, pastoral parish council member Maura Lorenzen. (See earlier Brooklyn Eagle stories: Parents Still Protest as Slope Catholic School Chooses New Principal and Catholic Parents Protest Firing of Beloved Principal

Since then, devastated parents have picketed repeatedly in front of the church, have sent appeals to Bishop DiMarzio and other church officials, and collected 681 signatures on a petition. Families and friends have also formed the St. Saviour Preservation Society, with its own web site (https://stsaviours.wordpress.com/).

Denying Rumors

Fr. Murphy told the Brooklyn Eagle earlier this summer that he has “the highest regard for Ms. Lorenzen,” and is confident “she’ll do an excellent job leading the school as the new principal. She’s highly regarded in the community, she’s lived in Park Slope her whole life and is well known and well respected.”

Parents say they don’t want to trash Ms. Lorenzen, who as been praised by many for her work as co-director at Congregation Beth Elohim’s Early Childhood Center (ECC).

But parent Cindy Brolsma, who has three children attending St. Saviour, is one of many parents who feel Flanagan is being forced out because he – unlike Ms. Lorenzen – “disagreed with Fr. Murphy about raising tuition.” Brolsma says parents also worry that plans are afoot to rent the school building to the city for conversion to a non-Catholic charter school.

The St. Saviour Preservation Society is requesting that Fr. Murphy turn over minutes of meetings of the parish council reflecting Maura Lorenzen’s statements on that topic.

In June, Fr. Murphy, in a letter to parents, denied that he intended to close the school and sell the building, calling the idea “a lie.”

Diocese Has No Say

The Diocese of Brooklyn claims it has no say in the Flanagan matter. Principal Flanagan recently won his appeal to the Superintendent’s office – but was informed that the Diocese still couldn’t force the pastor to re-hire him.

Father Kieran Harrington, spokesperson for the Brooklyn Diocese, told the Eagle in June that each parish is an autonomous corporation. “We try to facilitate the process, but every decision is made at the local level. The person who makes the decisions is Father Murphy . . . He hires, he fires. He signs all the contracts for the parish. We don’t even set salaries.”

Confusion Reigns

Parents say that they are entering the new school year with fear and confusion. The issue has been largely ignored in school correspondence, said parent Cathy Inniss. “I received the standard letter for the opening of the school year this week, and from what I can tell, all that changed in the content was the name of the sender.”

Click here to read the rest of the article

Parents worry successful Brooklyn school will lose its Catholic identity

In 1 on August 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm
St. Saviour Church 7/28

St. Saviour Church 7/28

Article is from Catholic News Agency (CNA)

.- Fr. Daniel Murphy’s decision to replace a Brooklyn school’s long-time principal has infuriated parishioners who not only believe he was unjustly let go, but are also concerned that under new leadership, the school will be converted into a charter school.

Furious parishioners at the Church of St. Saviour in Brooklyn, New York told CNA that they began to think something was amiss last April when the parish’s pastor, Father Daniel Murphy, decided not to renew James Flanagan’s contract and replaced him with pastoral parish council member, Maura Lorenzen.

Flanagan, who has over 40 years of education experience, was just about to finish his 25th year as principal of the school.

Parents and students were shocked. One parent, Becky McClintock explained to CNA that she discovered that Flanagan would not be returning as principal “on Mother’s Day from someone from another parish. I didn’t know what they were talking about.”
“I went in the next day and found teachers crying and I found Mr. Flanagan and he confirmed it for me.”

The decision seems to be the result of a deteriorating relationship between the pastor and principal, which is documented over six pages of complaints in Flanagan’s personnel file.

One incident shared with CNA referred to a disputed quote from an auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

The bishop’s words came from a meeting in which he spoke about the diocesan plan to convert all Catholic schools into academies by 2013, meaning that the schools will be under the guidance of a board, instead of solely the pastor. During the January 2009 meeting, Bishop Caggiano said, St. Saviour isn’t “ready for that change now.”

Fr. Murphy wrote in the personnel file that when he heard this, “I had to think, ‘Mr. Flanagan is why we’re not ready’ and then consider how we could get ready, certainly not by continuing on the same path.”

“With all the momentum now gathered toward reviving Catholic schools, this is the right time for SSES to make this change, especially since the Park Slope demographics call for something new and vibrant as much as the efforts by the diocese do,” Fr. Murphy wrote.

However, Flanagan and other parishioners such as Jim Gange explained that the pastor took the bishop’s words out of context.

“The bishop’s explanation was that St. Saviour’s was successful and that parents wouldn’t understand the need to change to a new model,” Flanagan told CNA.

The bishop confirmed this to Flanagan in a May 2009 meeting.

Feeling he was unjustly replaced, Flanagan appealed to the superintendent’s office where he won the appeal. However, they informed him that they couldn’t force the pastor to re-hire him.

When Flanagan turned to the diocese, he heard the same story. Fr. Kieran Harrington, spokesman for the Diocese of Brooklyn explained, “We do not in Brooklyn have a Catholic school system. He did not work for the diocese, he worked for St. Saviour. He was a contract employee and Fr. Murphy did not renew his contract.”

“We don’t make the decision. At the end of the day we have to stand by the pastor.”

However, some of the parents at St. Saviour are not content to leave the decision where it stands.

McClintock, who is also president of the home school board, explained that “no one deserved the kind of mistreatment that Mr. Flanagan has received.” As principal, “he has done a phenomenal job,” which is something “I say as a friend and as a parent.” Not only does Mr. Flanagan know the name of every child in the school,” he also lives out his Catholic beliefs. Read the rest of this entry »

New Petition is Delivered to Father Murphy

In 1 on July 28, 2009 at 11:04 am

St. Saviour Church 7/19

Below is the text of the most recent petition hand delivered to Father Murphy regarding his erratic decision to fire Principal James Flanagan from St. Saviour Elementary School. The Petition was signed by over 100 Parents and Parishioners.

July 11, 2009

To: Father Murphy,

The undersigned parishioners are reaching out to you with concern over the fractioning of our parish and the future of our school.
Our goal is to facilitate healing and strengthening of our parish and our school by adhering to the published goals of transparency and parental involvement stated in Bishop DiMarzio’s “Preserving the Vision” mission.

As a starting point, we want to set forth items that we believe:
• St. Saviour’s Elementary (“SSES”) has been, and is currently, the most successful Catholic school in Brooklyn West 10, with 405 students enrolled;
• SSES just had its best year in standardized testing;
• The school’s financial viability has occurred as a result of parental and school organized fundraising, and without financial support from the parish;
• The success of the school is based in large part on the efforts of its principal, James Flanagan;
• The proposed non-renewal of Jim Flanagan’s contract is likely to result in a financial settlement or litigation, which in and of itself can be costly;
• You have refused to meet 103 parents who attended a meeting to discuss our future in late May 2009, and in general have failed to respond to many inquiries about this decision;
• Including the Friends of St. Saviour funds, SSES had an unrestricted cash balance of approximately $200,000 at the time when you removed James Flanagan from the principal position;
• The lack of parental involvement and transparency in the decision to remove Mr. Flanagan is contrary to the Bishop’s “Preserving the Vision” message;
In the event that you disagree with or have documentation contrary to the above, we ask that you share it with us. It is our opinion that the failure to share information and the refusal to address parents created much of the current conflict and, as stated above, it is our desire to have peace and harmony in our parish and a successful school.

Given the above, it is our request that you provide us with the following items in order to comply with the stated goals of the “Preserving the Vision” mission:
• An accounting of all school finances of July 1, 2009;
• A listing of all applicants who applied for the SSES principal opening;
• A listing of all publications advertising the position of SSES principal, and a statement regarding how long each advertisement ran;
• A statement as to the amount of money reserved for Mr. Flanagan’s settlement, including which organization, either the Diocese, parish or school is expected to pay it.
• Whether the parish or school has any insurance for employment related litigation;
• All minutes and recordings of meetings of the parish council reflecting the parish council’s and Maura Lorenzen’s opinions of SSES, the job performance of James Flanagan, the possibilility of turning the school into a charter school or in any other way renting the school building, and raising tuition for the 24 months prior to Mr. Flanagan’s dismissal
• A detailed explanation of the measures taken, if any, to avoid a conflict of interest on the part of Ms. Lorenzen in interviewing for a principal position while commenting on the performance and functions the school and its existing principal as part of the parish council;
• An explanation as to why no SSES teachers were interviewed for the position of principal;
• Any and all information regarding what independent body, if any, is going to be charged with looking after the school’s interest in the future;

We ask that you either respond in writing or schedule a meeting with the parents.
We hope that you will be willing to work with us to achieve the healing that can only occur when open, honest communication facilitates a trusting relationship.
Sincerely,

The Parents and Parishioners of St. Saviour

Net NY Channel 97 Reports on St. Saviour Principal Firing

In 1 on July 15, 2009 at 8:22 am

Reporter Nathalia Ortiz

Parents and parishioners at St. Saviour’s Catholic Church are protesting what they’re calling the unjust firing of the school’s principal. The pastor said he’d simply decided not to renew the principal’s contract. That explanation wasn’t enough for some parents, who have taken matters into their own hands. Reporter Nathalia Ortiz headed to the church to find out more.

Click Here to View Broadcast.

Mr. Flanagan

Father Murphy

Reverend Harrington

About the Station:

NET is a new faith-centered cable TV network based in Brooklyn, New York. The heart of their broadcast includes news, entertainment, children’s, and music, as well as religious programs. Today, while most television accentuates materialism, violence, sex, and sensationalism, NET brings viewers back to what really matters, family, fun, and faith in God. It’s on the streets of New York visiting neighborhoods and talking to the diverse members of our community of faith. NET serves the young and old, the churched and unchurched, and men and women from different social, ethnic and religious backgrounds, showing how they work together to make our world a better place.

Net NY

Showing Strength in Numbers

In 1 on July 12, 2009 at 10:44 pm

St. Saviour 7/7/09 Photo by Ted Levin

Photo by Ted Levin

For over two months the parents and parishioners at St. Saviour have been protesting the firing of their beloved elementary school principal, James Flanagan, by Fr. Daniel Murphy. Mr. Flanagan was close to retirement when he had one of his most successful years ever in 2008 -2009, with phenomenal state test scores and fundraising that is funding the construction of a state of the art library this summer. He was fired in April by Fr. Murphy. The Diocese of Brooklyn has already issued a finding that Fr. Murphy had failed to follow proper procedures in the firing.

This week parents and parishioners showed unity and strength in their continued fight against Fr. Murphy’s decision by delivering a petition signed by 681 people protesting the firing of Mr. Flanagan to the diocese.

The petition stated:
Despite having served as Principal of Saint Saviour’s Elementary School for the last twenty-five (25) years, Father Murphy has recently decided not to renew the contract of Principal James Flanagan. Mr. Flanagan’s continued dedication and commitment to the children of Saint Saviour’s cannot be questioned. Similarly, the success of Saint Saviour’s Elementary School, at a time when numerous other parochial schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn are closed or closing, is a testament of Mr. Flanagan’s leadership and ability. We, the undersigned, believe that Father Murphy’s unfortunate decision is clearly not in the best interest of either the children of Saint saviour’s Elementary School or Saint Saviour’s Parish. Accordingly we request that either Father Murphy reconsider his decision and offer Mr. Flanagan a new contract for next year, or that the Diocese of Brooklyn look into this matter and, upon confirming the significant and positive role Mr. Flanagan has had and continures to have at Saint Saviour’s Elementary School, that the Diocese make every effort to persuade Fr. Murphy to reverse his unfortunate decision.
This petition represents the enormous support Mr. Flanagan has, as well as the frustration parents and parishioners feel with Fr. Murphy for firing a principal with proven excellence.

In addition to this massive petition, parents have continued to picket on a weekly basis, carrying signs with slogans like “Transparency Equals Fairness”, and “Our Parish is Hurting and Divided Because Of You”, highlighting the division of the parish caused by Fr. Murphy’s unfair treatment of Mr. Flanagan.

Fr. Murphy recently appointed a friend to the principal position who had been praised in the parish bulletin for redecorating the rectory, prompting one parishioner to march with a sign that read “Renovate our Souls, Not the Rectory”. It is unclear if Father Murphy interviewed any other candidates and while parents want to be fair to the appointee, their frustration with Fr. Murphy’s decision making process has caused them to have a complete loss of faith in their pastor.

The huge number of signatures clearly shows the majority of parishioners are offended and upset by Fr. Murphy’s decision.

Parents and Parishioners are praying that the Diocese of Brooklyn will step in and make changes in the leadership that can heal their parish. Read the rest of this entry »