Our small parish merged with another parish last year. That priest took over our combined parish. When the merger first started, he came and assured us that any and all programs could continue as they had before the merger.
I, and many other members of the parish, were a bit uneasy because this priest also presided over a merger when he took over the other parish. And what we heard wasn't good, all the programs disappeared, many people were forced out of roles in the church, etc. But when he took over here, all that seemed to be false. He seemed to be very willing to work with the people at our parish and allow our programs to continue.
I am in charge of several programs for the poor which are very popular with the members of our parish, and when we merged those continued and the folks from the other parish were very enthusiastic about them and I've heard great comments about how well they are run, etc. I received an award from the KofC in March for running these programs. Everything seemed to be fine.
Then starting in April the pastor cancelled 3 of my programs, 2 of which were previously approved when the merger happened. I have been told there isn't room for these programs, and that we need to find more "progressive" programs that help the poor. I haven't been told so yet, but I'm pretty sure the last 2 programs I run will be cancelled soon. These are programs that our (pre-merger) parish has been running for over 30 years, and the community has come to rely on and depend on these programs.
Many of the people from the old parish have left and gone elsewhere. I have been feeling pulled to another parish in the area. The priest that was at our parish when I came back to the church, and helped me come back into the church, is taking over this other church in the area. He was a great priest, and had great homilies, and everyone loved him and I felt spiritually nourished in his masses. I don't feel that in this new merged parish. The pastor has 5 min homilies, which mostly consist of him doing a stand up routine for 2 of the 5 minutes.
I personally want to leave the parish and go to the other church in the area. I'm only staying to fight for these programs, but I feel that they will be cancelled anyway, and there's not a whole lot I can do to stop their cancellation if I wanted to. So I'm kind of stuck in limbo. I know what I'd like to do, I'm not happy with the priest at the merged parish, but if I leave the church these programs will definitely die. So I feel responsible for their existence. Yet I find it hard staying at this church with what has gone on.
What I'd like to do is find a way to separate these programs from the church, but I don't know where to begin with that.
What can you do when the priest, the pastor of the church, does things or acts in a way that you just can't understand? These are good programs, that cost very little, that people like to participate in, and do nothing but good for people. Yet he's dumping them one by one and has given no reasons or alternatives. Frankly, I'm quite angry about it, but it seems like I am powerless to do anything to stop it.
Should I stick around or just cut my losses?