Relegation of a Church (Saint Joseph, Gaines) to Profane but not Sordid Uses

Gaines has had a recognizable Catholic Community since 1856. In 1869, land was purchased for a frame church which was completed in 1871and after a century of use became too small for the size of the community. Over one-hundred and twenty-five years later, land was purchased for a new church which was eventually completed and dedicated May 9, 2009. The parishioners of Saint Joseph Parish have a beautiful church to provide for their spiritual needs. The maintenance of two church buildings has become an onerous burden to the parish.

To the end of having Saint Joseph Church at 123 Lord Street, Gaines relegated to profane but not sordid use, the parishioners have made known their needs and desires. The Pastor, the Diocesan Finance officer, the Diocesan Legal Counselor and the Diocesan Chancellor met to discuss all viable options, but the alienation of the original church was considered necessary to avoid serious, irremediable and enduring damage to the patrimonial condition of the parish thus threatening its very viability. Canon 1222, §2 hereby is invoked. Having received the unanimous endorsement of the Saint Joseph, Gaines, Pastoral Council on July 17, 2013 and the Saint Joseph, Gaines, Finance Council on July 17,2013, having consulted the Diocesan Presbyteral Council on September 12,2013 and receiving their consent.

Through this decree, I direct that Saint Joseph Church at 123 Lord Street in Gaines be relegated to profane but not sordid use and that it might be sold with the stipulations that it may not at any time be used for sordid purposes. I further direct that this decree be given to the pastoral leadership of Saint Joseph Parish and that its contents, along with the "Process to Initiate Recourse against an Administrative Decree," be communicated to parishioners on the weekend of Saturday, July 12, 2014 and Sunday, July 13, 2014. I further direct that this decree be published on the wesite of the Diocese of Lansing ( which is determined to convey the official notification of this action.

Anything to the contrary not withstanding.

Given at the Curia of the Diocese of Lansing on this 7th day of July in the year of the Lord 2014.