November 06, 2005

Mendham church's goal: Stave off bankruptcy

Daily Record


MENDHAM -- The pastor of St. Joseph's parish, located in one of the state's wealthiest areas, told parishioners in a recent letter that drastic changes are necessary to avoid bankruptcy.

Officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson say the parish's financial problems have been building for years and those close to the situation say it involves paying off a school construction loan along with an economy-driven slowdown in contributions. Officials also say St. Joseph's parishioners are getting younger, with more financial burdens and less disposable income.

Some parishioners say St. Joseph's problems are an indirect fallout of the Catholic Church scandal involving some church leaders covering up sex abuse by priests. They say some people have left the parish during the past nine months following a change of pastors -- partly because of a perception that a former pastor and nationally-known victim's advocate, Monsignor Kenneth Lasch, was snubbed earlier this year when he wasn't invited to a confirmation and a school graduation at the parish.

Posted by kshaw at November 6, 2005 08:02 AM