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Local Catholics reflect on new diocesan leadership

Rochester, N.Y. -- As Christians around the world celebrated Easter, some in the local Catholic community reflected on the first Easter under the guidance of Bishop Salvatore Matano.

Deacon Dick Lombard of the Holy Name Jesus Church in Greece said Bishop Matano seems to be taking a very methodical approach.

"What he's doing is he's taking his time," said Lombard, who has been working at Holy Name since 1987. "He's learning his way around and he's not rushing to anything and seems to be a very measured and thoughtful person."

The Diocese of Rochester was left without a permanent Bishop for almost an entire year following the retirement of Bishop Matthew Clark.

Bishop Matano took the helm in January. Many parishioners said they haven't noticed drastic changes.

"Not yet," said John Durrant, an usher for 25 years at Holy Name. "It hasn't worked its way down to the parish level.

Like many Catholics, Durrant has observed a slow but steady decrease in church attendance, but hopes new ideas will blunt some of the decline.

"I'm seeing a lot of folks who haven't been to mass for a while," he said, referring to recent attendance. "I'm hoping the renewal with them is going to work its way back into our parish level."

Decon Lombard also pointed to the relatively new Pope Francis as an inspiration that help bring younger generations to the Catholic Church.

"He's putting a more human face on the church," Lombard said. "That's a very good thing because we are, after all, very human... all of us."

According to a recent Pew Research Poll, about 39% Catholics polled said they attend mass weekly, almost unchanged since 2007.


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Washington Times