Diocese Action, Letters

Is the this the Shepherd we want Leading our Flock?

Several weeks ago one of our Parishioners wrote to Bishop Dewane to express her dismay and outrage over what has happened to Fr Chris and our Parish.  Below you will find a copy of her letter (we share this with her permission), the letter the Bishop “Our Spiritual Leader” wrote back to her and her follow up letter to the Bishop.

May 25,2017,
Bishop Frank J. Dewane,
It seems you preach Christ’s message on forgiveness, reconciliation and “communication” in print as the Pope’s message suggested not for substance   but for money .  The letter “Statement for The Catholic Communication Campaign Collection”.   However, one would witness, you are not what you preach in person.  I have attended many churches in the area and asked about the “Bishop”.  I can say, you need public relations help!   Not paid employees from Venice writing for the News Press, but  your flock, that either does not know you, nor wants to, or knows you and wishes for better.
You have invaded St. Isabel’s and removed our beloved Pastor, then put in a novice to carry your messages. The “pastor in residence” would be fine if he simply attended to the parish without delivering your constant oppressive orders.  The Message in Sunday’s Bulletin has been changed.   Did you consult the parishioners?  Did you ever meet with them as they have requested?   Are you intentionally destroying a wonderful priest AND the solvent parish along with the people there?  Do you act Christ like or more like a egocentric dictator?  Is this Christ like?
Just how does what the Pope recommends apply to you?  Do you communicate the message by practicing what you preach?  The bridges you seem to be building are going nowhere, in fact you are destroying bridges with every person involved in your witch hunt.
I have traveled and lived in countries of great oppression.  I have seen the wonders of faith, not religion, living in the spirits of persecuted people.  I have four friends who gave their lives for their faith.  One in Ecuador and the others in Buffalo, New York.   Two priests and a nun Murdered! I know what counts!  I was in Warsaw, Poland when Pope John Paul returned the first time.  Cardinal Franz Konig was our friend and confirmed my two children in Vienna, Austria.  These are people of substance and bridge builders.  Read his book,Open to God, Open to the World, The Hour is Now.  THE HOUR FOR YOU IS NOW!  You are a sad example of a leader, quoting Christ as an example.  I doubt there is anything anyone can say to change you.  There is a saying in Spanish that “Old Parrots can not be taught”.
The seven months of HELL you have brought to this parish and wonderful people should get you a ticket to exactly that place.  The silk lined, fat cat life you lead represents the epitome of what is driving Catholics away and what Pope Francis finds disdainful. If this is an example of your “communication” you FAILED! 
God will be your judge. 
Kathleen Magner Zagustin Place

Resposne to Mrs. Place from Bishop Dewane

BFD response to Place p1

BFD response to Place p2

Letter Mrs. Place has just sent to the Bishop
Bishop Frank J. Dewane,                                                            June 8,2017
Your reply to my letter is full of your erroneous assumptions. You do not know me.  You do not know the majority of your “fathful” in the Diocese.  You have ignored pleas from the hundreds of your “faithful” and continued on a destructive, malicious path.
This is about your bias actions and concern for a “ few people” from another state that presented nefarious allegations against a beloved Pastor, Fr. Christopher Senk.
The entire case based on a former nun’s “gifting”  (nuns are known for their generosity, especially to the church).  A nun at heart will always carry her dedication in her heart for her church family, even after marriage and a family.
The ALLEGATIONS that the STATE OF FLORIDA deemed UNFOUNDED  and WITHOUT PROOF.  Her parish family knew her well.  Those very “faithful” you do not listen to.  The “faithful” that built ”their” church with  Fr. Christopher Senk.  They too are extremely generous and responsible for the beautiful and solvent church in your Diocese of Venice.  The one you deemed necessary to limit it’s use to them.  Is it to punish them for not agreeing with you because they know the truth?
It gives one pause about generous giving to the church, to build what was once believed something that belongs to the people, for the church family.  It does not!
One Bishop and three outsiders, can destroy the harmony and beauty of a vibrant, loving church and inflict undue suffering to the church family in only a few months. 
Why would you direct words of forgiveness to me?
You “lament my inordinate anger “.  I am not angry.  I am outraged at the entire production!
What other reaction can be expected for actions of destruction, arrogance and injustice.
WHY are YOU doing this?  Christ is LOVE. Destruction of the “faithful “is not.
 Perhaps you could request for forgiveness from those you have offended and hurt knowingly and constantly, for seven long months.  You failed your “faithful” with your attempted destruction of Fr. Senk  with a 40 year dedication and about 15 years at St. Isabel’s.                                                                               Based on ALLEGATIONS that were deemed UNFOUNDED by the STATE OF FLORIDA  after a two year investigation.
Kathleen Magner Zagustin Place

How does a letter like this reflect the face of an all merciful God?  Has Fr. Chris ever spoken to any one of us like this? How can there possibly be justice in this situation if a Bishop tending his flock speaks to people like this?


5 thoughts on “Is the this the Shepherd we want Leading our Flock?”

  1. I am a “snowbird” and for the three months my husband and I were in Fort Myers we never saw or heard about the bishop making a visit to St. Isabel’s or the parish family. I have heard about all the accusations made against Fr. Senk. I have heard about the denial of use of the church facilities by people who are in the know. I firmly believe something needs to be done by the bishop to help alleviate the current situation.

    Elizabeth Barry

    Sent from my iPad


  2. How disgraceful Dewane’s letter is to Kathleen. My dentist was Marion’s dentist and he was interviewed by the bishop’ office and reported she was of strong mind during the period in question and capable of making her own decisions. Perhaps we should be looking to talk to all the people who we interviewed so we can expose this Dewane for the fraud that he is. Maybe he has been promised some money by this litigious greedy family from Balitimore.

    Mike Dicorpo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s so hard not to feel angry and discouraged after seeing Bishop Dewane’s response. How did Jesus ever say those words when he was literally nailed to a cross, “they know not what they do” and “forgive”? After repeated letters from the St Isabel parishioners, Bishop Dewane continues to have tunnel vision, a deaf ear and no sense of remorse at what his actions/inactions and words are doing to the lives and spiritual well-being of Fr Senk and our parish community. We need continue to pray and work for justice and the return of Fr Christopher.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Kathleen for your letter to the bishop. I too am outraged. His reference to “governing” his flock instead of offering care and concern tells the story. I wonder, what is wrong with pleas for justice. The old saying “Justice delayed is justice denied” certainly applies.
    I question what are the “legitimate needs” of our parish. Are a few of these the use of our church for prayer, our parish facilities for social interaction as well as offering solace to a bereaved family? This has happened at St. Isabel’s and is the tip of the iceberg.
    He is right in one thing. Any reply by him, especially one which turns the tables and places blame for lack of understanding on those who demand justice for our pastor.
    There will never be a dissipation of upset feelings. He has attempted to ruin the reputation of a good man and in the process has turned so many of us into a group of parishioners who see him not as a bishop or a “tender of the flock” but as a vengeful and vindictive man whose ego and greed have taken over any possibility of a just and righteous end to this saga.
    He is in no position to forgive our judgments. There is nothing to forgive. We are standing tall and will not give up. We will not forgive until justice prevails.
    In the end, it is the bishop who should be investigated. What interesting things would we learn?


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