Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mater Dolorosa: Good Friday's "Unneeded Land" Photos

Mod: Here are a few pictures showing how that inappropriately labeled "unneeded land" was used during yesterday's Good Friday services at the Mater Dolorosa Monastery. The question today being will those hoping to observe future Good Fridays at the monastery be prevented from doing so once that unfortunate tract housing called for by the Passionist Fathers eventually squeezes them out?


http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

73 comments:

  1. Once the houses are up where are the cars going to park. We should have passed out literature informing everyone not to come back as the good fathers are selling all that land and parking will be limited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to imagine that all those people who slowly walked up Sunnyside and the bumper to bumper cars also slowly inching their way up the hill, noticed all the Stop the Monastery Housing Project signs on each side of Sunnyside. If they didn't know before, they know now. They powers that be over there don't know what they have unleashed.

      Delete
    2. While in some way it would have been a good idea to pass out literature or have people holding signs, because it was Good Friday, it was important to respect the sacredness of that day.

      Delete
    3. I happened to be there and it was very powerful to see the old, sick and poor there in droves as well as the young, and healthy. Shouldn't the goal be to increase the number of visitors who get spirtual nurishment from coming to Mater Dolorosa. And if the crowds making the annual pilgrimage on Good Friday increase each year, doesn't that mean more people get exposed to Mater Dolorosa and come at other times of the year too. Isn't that a good mission for the Fathers. Isn't part of being a good steward of this sacred land planning for that kind of a future. Why in God's name do they want to start selling off the property? Or are they merely folding up their tent and giving up and getting as much money as they can before they get out of the business of saving souls entirely. That must be their new mission.

      Delete
    4. According to their letter, they want to sell the land to fund their retirements. How selfish is that? Curtail their mission for their own immediate gratification. Then when the monies are gone, they look to sell something else. They already ruined their Houston retreat center by selling off a portion of that beautiful land when they needed money and now its surrounded by McMansions. All they care about is the money. While the message is still good, the messengers always fall short. Is it any wonder that religion is declining in America. What kind of example have the priests set when their only focus is on the money, on their own retirements. When you add to that the carnage and coverups from harming the most innocent among us and you realize that the current crop of priests have miserably failed in their mission.

      Delete
    5. They have also sold off some prime New York properties as well. Their retirement costs can't be that high.

      Delete
    6. Maybe somebody can help me with this. As recently as November of 2013on Mater Dolorosa's website, they mention in their "Thanksgiving Message" how people can donate to their "Campaign for the Passionists of Holy Cross Province". It further mentions that "The Passionists of Holy Cross Province committed themselves to this Campaign to provide comprehensive care for senior Passionists.....The campaign has reached nearly $4 million of the Celebration Goal of $5 million." So what happend? People step to the plate and donate money for them to reach their goal and now they announce they need to sell off Mater Dolorosa to pay the retirement costs for aging priests even though they just about reached their goal. Now, I can't find any mention of that campaign on the Mater Dolorosa website. As a donor, I want an explanation because they may have solicited for donations under false pretenses. If they needed 10 million, that should have been their goal. I want my money back.

      Delete
    7. Things are not quite what they appear to be in this situation. My guess is the money is needed for other purposes.

      Delete
    8. They certainly are closed-mouth about their real purposes. If anyone knows the real reasons, let's hear it.

      Delete
    9. It appears they pulled on people's heartstrings to make those donations to offs-set retirement costs and celebrate meeting the financial goal. Now they sell the land for the ostensible purpose of paying for those same retirement costs. What gives with that?

      Delete
    10. They should have to provide an accounting of where they money is going. I can't imagine you can just make up these needs for donations and trick people.

      Delete
    11. The City Council will not have the testes to require on site assembly parking as a condition of the sale of the excess land.

      Delete
  2. Good point, I really can't see all those people walking up the hill for services. Does anyone know what that area is zoned for?

    ReplyDelete
  3. If the almighty dollar was not such a big motivator for the Passionists, it seems that one of their missions should be to expand and increase the number of people who make the annual pilgrimage on Good Friday to walk the Stations of the Cross. What could be more important than that. There is no other place like this in the San Gabriel Valley or greater Los Angeles area. For Christian to sell off a signifcant portion of this land, is like the Muslims selling off a portion of Mecca. It just would never happen. Its also very short-sighted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since when has the almighty dollar not been the focus of the Catholic Church? Look at the Vatican and the wealth they have.

      Mecca has lots of hotels on it, its been sold off.

      Delete
    2. If they have all that wealth, why can't they use some of it to preserve this place.

      Delete
  4. Just because they can't figure out a specfic use for the land right now (although the pictures sure sure how the land is used at least on Good Friday), there may come a time when a true visionary on the Board of Directors comes up with a good idea. But by then, it will be too late and everybody will be kicking themselves for selling off the land. Unfortunately, you evidently have some very short-sighted people on the Board right now who are only focused on the here and now. Once the money from the sale of the land is used up, then I predict the retreat goes up for sale.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If they sold everything a hospital could be built. We sure could use a new hospital. Is that spring water still flowing up there? So many questions and we need to find answers that are good for the neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just wait until the locals complain about the sirens going up the street in the middle of the night!

      Delete
    2. There will be many other things for the neighbors to complain about if this project gets approved.

      Delete
  6. I heard that they are going to take all the money and build a state of the art retirement facility for aging priests. While I don't begrudge a need for that, there must be other ways to do it short of selling off hard assets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, basically an Assisted Living Facility for retired clergy. How ironic.

      Delete
    2. How many millions do they need. They had some campaign to raise money for retired priests and raised millions of dollars and yet they are going to sell the land too. Maybe nobody would have donated to that campaign if they know the land was going to be sold. That borders on fraud. There should be some accounting of where the money is all going and for what real purpose.

      Delete
    3. I bet alot of donors to Mater Dolorosa over the years are going to be very upset about this decision. Alot of people have made donations because this property is so unique and special. They should feel deceived.

      Delete
    4. I have donated to Mater Dolorosa over the years and feel betrayed by the sale of this land. However, they won't fool me again. No more donations from me to pay the legal costs for the bad behavior of the Priests. Now we are further penalized by the sale of the land.

      Delete
    5. There's something fishy about this whole thing.

      Delete
  7. I think the priests themselves have become somewhat jaded and resentful, that's why they are trying to get what they can while they can. They don't care about their mission any more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is not the priests that live a the Retreat House that want to sell the land. They do not own the property.
      The property is being sold to a developer by the Province in Chicago. The Province recently sold many acres in Houston to a developer and an Oceanside retreat on the east coast. The commission on the sales must be huge.

      Delete
    2. I had heard that the Board of Directors of Mater Dolorosa wields alot of influence in what's being done. Who are those people anyway. I don't see it listed any where on their website. I also heard there are alot of development oriented people as well as actual developers on the Board. They need to show themselves and explain why they made this decision that affects so many people.

      Delete
    3. There seems to be a trend here of selling off assests that are irreplacable. They are looking only at the short-term. They don't seem to understand that the same spiritual feeling you can get when you look at the vastness of the ocean, can also be found when these retreats are located in beautiful places. When you start selling them off or putting housing projects right at their doorsteps, you change the whole experience. Maybe they realize this, but just don't care. How sad. But its a sign of the times.

      Delete
  8. I wonder if any of the Board of Directors who made the decision to sell the property ever looked looked out yesterday on the throngs of people and caravan of cars as evidenced by those pictures and thought to themselves that maybe they are making a mistake in selling off this land.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The monastery is a holy shrine. The sights from yesterday's services are unique.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holy to some, not me, could not care less about some holy rollers and the fantasy world they live in, it's private property and they can sell it if they wish.

      Delete
    2. Do you like open spaces and nature?

      Delete
    3. Even if you are not religous like 10:18, how many open spaces are left in Sierra Madre? Where can you go in the San Gabriel Valley to get away from the hustle and bustle of this increasingly frenetic world? Its located right next door to Bailey Park. Can't someone come up with a better idea than a housing project.

      Delete
  10. The area where the cars are parked is not the southern area to be sold and all the people are not no that area either

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're wrong. The cars are parked on land that is to be sold. The people you see walking up from that hill came from those cars. Have you ever actually been there?

      Delete
    2. They have a brochure they handed it out that mentions as one of the reasons why Mater Delorosa is "A Place For Spirtual Renewal" is the "open fields and groves of trees". I don't know about the groves of trees but the open fields and beautiful vistas will be gone.

      Delete
    3. Because they want to curtail their mission and gradaully sell off assets, I guess the buidling up top is aptly named a "Retreat Center".

      Delete
    4. You'd think that another branch of the Catholic Church would see the value in preserving so beloved a spiritual resource.

      Delete
    5. They should just try to sell of the whole thing at once to keep it intact. The rest will be sold off soon enough because you obviously have people in leadership positions in the church who only care about the money.

      Delete
    6. I bet some or all of those developers on the Board of Directors have a financial stake in the selling of the property.

      Delete
    7. Corruption can happen anywhere.

      Delete
  11. Priests retiring? I thought once you chose a life of preaching God's will you never retired. This is all very confusing from a believers view point. If religion is changing like this how do we know the truth? We all have a right to are own religion / god but look at how much money is being moved around here, that is another question. I can't help but feel the Devil's hand at work here. Will we ever understand what is taking place right in front of us. The Govenor has declaired we are in a drought and we need to act accordingly. I think we all see a lot of problems here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe it's more like hidden from the public due to past sins than an actual retirement. The "retired"serve no purpose any more and are a liability to the order. They are housed next to the national Guard Armory by PHS.They used to live at the Monastery but in their infinite wisdom the Passionists tore it down in 1994 it was a beautiful holy building

      Delete
    2. The priests probably formed a union. They are agitating for higher pensions, cost of living increases and full health benefits. Welcome to the new world we live in.

      Delete
    3. 8:43...it was damaged beyond repair due to earthquake damage.

      Delete
    4. These priests seem to have lost their way. Its not a big leap to go from the same mindset that was only concerned about their own sexual gratification at the expense of the most innocent among us, to now be willing to see properties sold and their mission curtailed for their own retirements. Its called being selfish and even priests are not immune from these impulses.

      Delete
    5. That monastery could have been saved. Once again, it came from people outside the order who wanted to save it. And its going to take people from outside the order to save this land.

      Delete
    6. They tore it down before anyone in town knew of their plans.

      Delete
  12. How about we all get together and buy the property. We then put up a solar farm and sell the electricity that Sierra Madre doesn't use. We build the panels high enough to still park cars under it and the earth can still soak up the rain. That's what someone should do. You could call it the Sierra Madre Water & Electric Department. That makes more sense than water using homes. Let's please be smart about this, an opportunity has presented it's self that we as a city need to look at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Passionists turned down a plan to raise $10 to $15 million. They said it wasn't enough.

      Delete
    2. Well 8:31, why don't you do that then?

      Delete
  13. As a child I played at the place where they extract the water from the Raymond Basin. I recall it is a well into the side of the mountain. Do they have legal pumping rights? I wonder if it is even on their property? I don't own the water rights under my property do they? We need to research this......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The water issue is very real and they should not be allowed to divert water for theire own use that otherwise could be filling up the City's wells. Somebody mentioned the old monastery that was torn down because of earthquake damage. Are they even allowed to build over there if it is close to the fault lines.

      Delete
    2. They may also have a problem with prescriptive easements. Somebody should research this. My understanding is 5 years of continuous use can create the easements. Everybody walking on that property for all those years and most neighbors having a gate into the property may have established these easements. Once established, it takes the property owner another 5 years to regain control of the property and extinguish the prescriptve easements -presuming those easements weren't legally perfected by a judical action on the part of the people who created the easements. Any dog walkers out there who walked on the property off and on for 5 continuous years or neighbors who opened their little gates to enter the property? If you take legal action, you may be able to claim the right to continue to do so. Mater Dolorosa's fence only went up a couple of years ago. Before then, it was a free for all on that land. They probably realized that and put up the fences to prevent the creation of prescriptive easements. Any lawyer's out there with any thoughts about that?

      Delete
    3. I still ride my bike across that well worn path at the bottom of the monastery hill. Just to spite them and their dumb security. Just a matter of lifting my bike over the fence.

      Delete
    4. That's called trespassing, it's still private property.

      Delete
  14. 8:05, that's good.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What is the price on that property?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is one of the monastery mysteries.

      Delete
    2. It the $20,000,000+ range

      Delete
  16. Passive open space with swales to collect water by direct percolation, not retention basins as in the Sierra Madre settling basins. Paths around the perimeters and more trees for shade and contemplation. Places for parking for the visitors to the stations. The east and west Raymond basin water cache are replenished as are the souls. Pray for this now and in the hour of the demise of the Passionish Fathers retreat center.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 9:17 sounds like the kind of person they need on their Board of Directors - a person with a vision who can see what is and also see what it can become.

      Delete
  17. You have to know that anything you are hearing from the seller of this land is carefully prepared PR designed to dampen any opposition in the surrounding community. All very sentimental and designed to play on the emotions of the targeted audience. Obviously someone has been hired to perform that function.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right. Millions of dollars are at stake. They are going to have professional public relations people who will also recruit willing dupes in the community to gain credibility and legitimacy. Any Sierra Madre resident who is willing to sacrifice what's best for Sierra Madre for the benefit of the greedy people at Mater Dolorosa and the greedy developer should be ostracized and be a pariah in the community.

      Delete
  18. As the Tattler rightly points out, what's going to happen in the future for the annual pilgrimage to the Stations of the Cross. It is such a beautiful place to walk the Stations of the Cross that you have to believe that each year more and more people will learn about it and the crowds will only get larger. Where is everybody going to go and where are all the cars going to go? They probably haven't thought that through. If they sell the land, I'm sure people will end up being turned away on Good Friday. Are the Passionists really willing to sacrafice all that for their own retirements. Is that what we've come to? Disgraceful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce can charge for jitney rides like they do for the Wistaria festival.

      Delete
  19. There's money to be made! There are cash lined pockets, ready to develope. Greed is good...didn't think God is greed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alot of vested interests may want to see this thing built and people will make alot of money - Mater Dolorosa, the developer, the real estate brokers - but at what cost.

      Delete
  20. It appears they have chosen a path that is really going to change the nature of their relationship with Sierra Madre. The decision to sell off the property for selfish reasons is going to haunt them for along time.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just like a bad City Council can quickly ruin a city, a bad Board of Directors at Mater Dolorosa can with the stroke of a pen change that place forever. Tragic.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Those open fields would make an amazing place for horses. Let's turn it into stables and pastures..

    ReplyDelete