We are writing to ensure the community is aware that it is not too late to appeal the demolition of Saint Joseph Church, although time is running out. Attached you will find the “Manner of Initiating Recourse Against an Administrative Decree” that was posted in the rear of Saint Joseph Church on May 4-5.
A personally signed original letter needs to be sent or delivered to: Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, D.D., by the close of business on the 10th working day after legal notice of the decree. Your letter should be mailed in time to be delivered in advance of the Friday, May 17, deadline. Again, this appeal is regarding the demolition of the church building, not the sale or campus consolidation.
Our family supports the parish consolidation, the new campus and the sale of Saint Joseph Church. At this time, we cannot support the demolition of the building. We are asking for positive community support in the form of writing appeal letters to Bishop Libasci. We also desire increased transparency and that proper effort be made to sell the property to a buyer that meets the church’s use restrictions by using a commercial Realtor.
For us, this is not about the Irish church vs. the French church. We have deep family history in both churches. If Sacred Heart Church were scheduled to be demolished, we would ask that every effort be made to save that church as well. These beautiful church buildings not only represent the history of the community but enhance the aesthetics and economic viability of our New England city.
Demolition is permanent. Our city’s architectural heritage and appearance is worth every effort to preserve even at the 11th hour.
The Normandin Family
Linda Normandin, Judy Normandin, Frank Normandin, Susie Normandin & Jean Normandin Masterson
"The Manner of Initiating Recourse Against An Administrative Decree"
Book VII, Part V, Section 1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law provides for recourse against administrative decrees. The first desire expressed by the Code itself is that there be no contention between one who feels injured and the author of the decree [cf. canon 1733]. Nonetheless, should it seem necessary to propose recourse against a decree issued by the bishop or by authorities subject to him, the following guidelines may be of assistance.
1. The pastor alone represents the parish in all juridic affairs [cf. canon 532]. Only the pastor may propose recourse in the name of the parish. Individuals may not claim to represent the parish, nor can groups of individuals claim to represent the parish in proposing recourse. An individual may propose recourse in his or her own name. Similarly, a group of individuals may propose recourse collectively, but representing themselves and no others. They may not claim to represent a larger group, or the entire parish.
2. According to canon 1734, before proposing Hierarchical Recourse (petition for examination of a decree by the proper Dicastery of the Holy See), one must seek revocation or emendation of the decree. This must be done in writing, to the author of the decree, within a peremptory period of ten useful days from legal notice of the decree. Accordingly, prior to the close of business on the tenth working day after legal notice of the decree, a written request for Bishop Libasci to revoke or amend the decree must be sent or delivered to:
Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, D.D.
Diocese of Manchester
153 Ash Street
Manchester, NH 03104
a. The request must state exactly who is petitioning, what is being petitioned, and the just reasons why. All parties presenting the petition must sign the petition. Only the original document is acceptable. No copies, facsimiles or electronic communication means are valid.
b. Requests that are not specific as to what is being sought or why, will not be considered or accepted.
c. Requests for an extension of time will not be honored.
3. If a valid request for revocation or amendment of the decree is received within the ten-day time limit, Bishop Libasci has thirty days from receipt of the petition to decide his response. If no response is given in thirty days, a negative response is to be assumed [cf. canon 1735].
4. If, after legitimate petition, Bishop Libasci does not amend or revoke the initial decree, Hierarchical Recourse may be proposed to the Holy See. This must be done within a peremptory time limit of fifteen useful days. This recourse cannot validly be proposed unless one has first written to Bishop Libasci to ask him to revoke or amend the decree, as in Number 2 above. This recourse is to be made in writing, along with the reasons for seeking recourse, either directly to the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome, or to Bishop Libasci for his transferal of the recourse to the Congregation for the Clergy.