In fact, so far, instead of any announcement of a building campaign, we have a constant trickle of small projects, some of which were outlined last year at Mr Murphy's blog:
Newman Academy is a co-ed Catholic parochial day school planned to serve Orange County. We will start with a K-3 and 60 students and add grades as we grow. The academics are based on the seven liberal arts and the spirituality is firmly within the Catholic faith. Faculty and staff will annually promise fidelity to the Magisterium, daily Morning Prayer and Mass according the Ordinariate’s liturgy will be offered, the academic standards will be high, and character formation will be higher. And yet Newman will not form isolated students but well-prepared and well-rounded students who will make a change in society due to the formation they themselves have received.Not. This project has apparently been canceled for lack of interest.
Kings Cross is a Catholic, monthly Bible study central to the campuses of Orange County. We exist to introduce college students to Jesus Christ and His Church and call them to walk with Him for a lifetime. KX meets every third Monday from September through May in the Queen of Life Chapel in Irvine.This is apparently not happening as of this year.
Theology on Tap Orange County meets at Valiant Brewing in Orange and is an outreach of Blessed John Henry Newman parish in Irvine.I don't know whether the Tappa Keg house is still meeting there, but it's apparently no longer promoted as an outreach of BJHN. How much of an outreach was just to the beer mug is an issue in any case.
Again, what we see is grandstanding over short-lived projects, as opposed to any sort of substantial effort to build a parish in a stable, more appropriate location. But I don't mean this as a specific criticism of the BJHN group -- it's a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The problem is that there's a small number, maybe half a dozen parishes, that can sustain a priest and a family. Whatever the actual financial picture at BJHN -- of 200 families, how many pledge? -- Fr Bartus has a day job teaching school. That's not going to change in Irvine. Nor is it going to change at any of the other groups-in-formation, and we know that if only because when their current priests move or retire, the groups simply shut down or, with extraordinary effort, go dormant for a period of years. This says in turn that these groups exist as entry-level career opportunities for their priests, and not to minister to the faithful in any stable way.
The priests at the groups-in-formation are in a holding pattern, waiting for openings at the half dozen or so parishes that are worth serving. Thus you have grandstanding efforts like those most prominently at BJHN, but the ephemeral nature of these efforts should be self-explanatory -- and that we see no effort at more stable future planning should also indicate Fr Bartus's own estimate of the group's actual resources and potential.
Bp Lopes is an intelligent man. I assume he recognizes this. Beyond that, I would guess that Mr Busch recognizes this as well. As my regular correspondent points out, although Bp Lopes spoke at the Napa Institute in 2016, he apparently wasn't invited back this year.