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Changes at church in Campbell are frustrating

DEAR EDITOR:

Reconfiguration of Campbell Catholic churches has been occurring for about 10 years.

I understand the need to close some churches because of the decrease in population and fewer priests. Ten years to complete this reconfiguration into the new parish, Christ the Good Shepherd, has been frustrating and rudderless. I had hoped for a quicker and better outcome.

Choosing the name, Christ the Good Shepherd, for the combined parish showed a unity and neutrality of all former churches. A decision was made after some time that St. Joseph the Provider would be the permanent site. The signage at the street was beautifully changed, and the new parish was on course.

That was the perfect time to close buildings, but the pinball effect of keeping some churches open, closing others and reopening them on a rotating basis just caused more indecisiveness and false hope. The changing of pastors and administrators left Christ the Good Shepherd Parish without a consistent human shepherd.

The decision has been made to keep St. John the Baptist Church building open.

Now my confusion and disappointment are revealed. Why keep St. John’s open? The building is the oldest, located in the most risky of Campbell neighborhoods, with poor parking and handicap access. The list continues.

All of the church facilities have advantages and disadvantages. Considering those advantages, my choice would be the newest, most up-to-date building that follows the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations closest to the law. St. Joseph the Provider follows the ADA with a handicapped restroom, excellent parking access and two ramps — one in the front and one inside, giving disabled people access to events in the hall.

The church has gone even further to make the confessional handicap accessible. Extra property is available for future needs or can be parceled out and sold for needed income. The buildings are interconnected for safety and weather conditions.

The well-maintained school and gymnasium can be used as a synod site, diocesan center or an incubator for evangelization. Where better to start our local contribution to the Synod than Campbell, “The City of Churches.” This could be a regional youth center or retreat site. There are endless opportunities.

JOHN “JACK” REICHERT

Campbell

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