Letter to the Editor: St. Agnes is being shut down by the church

To the editor,

The reason for this shutdown is not very clear, but we, the parishioners could see it coming. The bottom line is finances. According to the head priest, and the businessperson, the church is a business.

This all came about when a new priest was installed and was given the job of shutting us down; along with the woman in charge of the San Juan Catholic Community finances and bookkeeping. They turned off the heat and the water in the church and parish hall at the end of December and would not let anyone – even the individuals in charge of Mass preparation and caretaking of the whole area – have a key to inspect the parish hall to see if things were all right in there. The water in the hall froze. So, as it warmed up in the next few months the hall was flooded. No one could stop the flooding without a key to get inside and fix it. It flooded for three days until it was stopped (by whom we do not know). The priest and the office manager would not allow any of the parishioners to go inspect the damage or initiate repairs. They called the insurance adjuster instead.

In the meantime, COVID-19 hit and the church would not allow anyone of the age 65 or older to go to church. Most of the parishioners are over that age, so we didn’t go to church. Now the church allows all of us but only 20 people are allowed per Mass, which is 40 minutes a week Sundays at 8 a.m.

The business keeper came to the church and put tape all over the windows and doors of the hall. The parish members had a meeting and formed a committee to go to the priest and office manager to find out what was going on.

There were several meetings, and the Diocese continued to press the committee to get the weekly offerings to $1,600 per month which is impossible with COVID-19 affecting all things now.
At the last meeting with the priest he said SJCC has informed him that St. Agnes is a burden. And, also that the parishioners are untrustworthy.

The concerned parishioners of St. Agnes