Martha Tatarnic is the priest that the Diocese of Niagara has installed in St. Hilda’s building. She is the spearhead for the occupation forces that wish to seize the building for financial gain, so she is compelled to inhabit St. Hilda’s Church building on Sunday mornings to maintain the fiction that the diocese really, really needs this building to conduct services. Even though there is another half empty diocesan church within walking distance.
Until very recently, she was the curate at St. Jude’s Church, Oakville, a parish 10 minutes drive away from St. Hilda’s. Her masters in the diocese convinced her to take on the ‘priest in charge’ position at St. Hilda’s, presumably with the enticement of better things to come. In truth, of course, almost anything would be better.
In order to present a convincing front for the future court cases where the final ownership of St. Hilda’s building will be decided, Martha has brought with her a ready-made congregation consisting of parishioners from St. Jude’s. The diocese is desperate to create the illusion that they are doing something useful in the building and that the very last thing on their minds is how valuable the property is and how much profit they can make when they sell it for condominium development. That thought never enters the gloriole enshrouded sainted heads of the leaders at the Diocese of Niagara. Really.
Martha has written an account of her experience at St. Hilda’s for St. Jude’s parish Newsletter. Much of it is a regurgitation of this. There are some new revelations, though:
“The building itself, particularly the sanctuary, is far from being in tip-top condition,”
Martha, you don’t like the orange carpet? So sorry about the shabbiness. Tell you what, why don’t you bring all of St. Jude’s parishioners with you on Sunday morning? We’ll even put a coat of paint on the place for you. Then we could use your building.
“and the Network had made their exit taking with them any musical instruments, sound system equipment, and hymn books.”
We did consider using spoons and biscuit tins for instruments at the school where we now worship and leave the stuff we paid for behind for you to use. In this case, though, sanity prevailed and we took our instruments with us. After your predecessor, Brian Ruttan, the Parish Terminator, took over with his congregation of zero, he did insist on our returning the communion vessels and altar linen. If they are not there now, I can only assume he took a fancy to them and decided to keep them for himself.
And we did leave you a sound system; it’s the thing with knobs on at the back.
“Various parishioners have donated everything from a piano, to a de-humidifier, to make worship space more useable. St Jude’s itself has absorbed various ministry costs, along with weekly printing costs of the bulletin”.
I am simply devastated to learn that St. Jude’s has actually had to donate something to make your occupation more tolerable; and fancy having to absorb the cost of printing your bulletin: outrageous! Of course, we are paying your heating, water, hydro, cleaning, maintenance and every other conceivable building related cost. We paid for Brian’s advertisement in the Oakville Beaver, we pay to rent the school that we are forced to worship in and we gave you our Communion vessels. I suppose it’s only natural that you thought we would pay to print your bulletins too.
“A few people who used to attend St Hilda’s have decided to return, and a few new people have been attending regularly as well”.
It’s true that 1 family who sporadically attended St. Hilda’s now sporadically attends the diocesan service at St. Hilda’s building; that is a shame. Perhaps you could ask them to pay for printing your bulletins?