Wednesday, September 2, 2015


This is hot off the press from The Dodge County News!

Eastman Catholic church is shut down

A press release from Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., of The Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah published on August 22 announced the immediate closing of the Saint Mark Parish in Eastman and the Holy Redeemer Parish in McRae.

Saint Mark and Holy Redeemer, parishes within the Macon Deanery, serve 36 and 33 households, respectively, according to Father Allan J. McDonald of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Macon.

As stated by Diocese of Savannah Director of Communications Barbara D. King, there are no current plans to reopen either parish.

According to Hartmayer’s release, the reason for the closings is the resignation of Father Daniel Oghenerukevwe, MSP. Hartmayer attributes Oghenerukevwe’s resignation “in part, because of internal conflicts and discord that has existed in the communities in recent years.”

Hartmayer continued, “This is a serious and unfortunate situation that has not been able to be resolved.”

McDonald said, “Hopefully and with the grace of God things can be reconciled in the two communities. Closing two rural parishes is very rare in the Catholic Church so this should send a message to these communities to pray and reconcile with the Church and her pastors.”

While succession (determining who will be the next priest for the two churches) may be the preferred option, especially for the parishioners who must now travel to other parishes for worship, because of “a priest shortage there is no priest available for pastoral care at the two parishes,” according to Hartmayer.

The closest parishes to the area include those in Dublin, Kathleen, Vidalia, Hazlehurst, Douglas, Fitzgerald and Cordele.

In addition to his announcement of the closings, Hartmayer wrote, “I strongly recommend the entire communities at St. Mark and Holy Redeemer bring this matter to prayer and reflection so that a suitable solution may be found to remedy this difficult issue.”

King echoed, “The bishop is waiting on people to pray about the situation and hoping for it to be resolved soon.”


rcg said...

Old School: my grandfather attended a one room school house in Appalachia. They had gone through several teachers, all female, due to rumors and intimidation from a couple of local families. At one point the school had been without a teacher for several weeks when a young teacher showed up to reopen it. He was a large, red-headed young and quite fit fellah who went to each home and explained that school was required and would start on Monday. The school was packed mainly, it seems, to see what would happen. Some of the older boys tried to give the teacher the business but we're called down. They were upset and challenged him. There was no fighting in school, they were told. They went outside and called him out. He followed and called them back to their seats for the mandatory lesson. A couple of them "jumped" him and were promptly "whupped". One or two escaped and retrieved their fathers and uncles who came to the school house for revenge. They were also whupped and sent away as they were too old for school and visitors were not allowed. This went on for a couple of days until the school was at least operating like a real school. I think the young male teacher stayed that year, then was replaced by a standard issue female teacher who had the assurance that if a substitute teacher was needed, she could get one.

In days past Jesuits might have filled this bill for these parishes. I wonder what would happen if Bishop Hartmeyer turned them over to FSSP?

Anonymous said...

Thinking the same thing as rcg, ask the F.S.S.P. or Institute of the Christ the King, they would gladly send priests for these poor folks.

Anonymous said...

How does one "Whup"?

I thought the vowel was "i" (whip).

Is this ebonics? As in "Ah's gonna whup you!"?

CCI said...

This statement from the bishop that there are no priests available is not correct and misleading ... the truth is that he does not want to send a priest until these communities show some respect. Seems like the shepherd is abandoning the sheep because there are a few wolves around. Would be interesting to know how many visits the good bishop has personally made to these communities in recent months. I hate to see the good sheep being thrown out with the "wolves". Too many good people - both priest and laity - have spent decades establishing these missions to see them set aside due to lack of leadership. Do not know all the facts but closing down these is a very drastic step. Let's all continue to pray for a resolution.

Anonymous said...

RE:, it is Southern speak. One whups by grabbing some smarty pants buy the collar and punching him directly in the mouth. If that does not work, you punch him again in the nose, then toss him out the door, preferably into mud or parking lot grease.

Ebonics would be conjugated like this:

I be whup

He be whupped

We have be whupped

Anonymous said...

Some protestant group will buy the chapels, gut them, and turn them into some "Sword of Joshua Gospel Temple of the Holy Overcoming Jesus."

Unknown said...

As a member of this church and a member of one of the founding families of this church I remind everyone not to be quick to judge this parish especially if you do not have all the facts. There is more to this than people who are not members of St. Mark realize. As my wise father always said it is hard to know the beauty of a stained glass window by looking at it from the outside.
Tony Papel