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Saving Buffalo Churches

Feb 17, 2014|

Mass Mob Organizer Chris Byrd; Pt I

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

And now to our spotlight story you may have heard about the buffalo mass mobbed by -- we mean in the Catholic Church holy mass. It's -- local group looking to help some of Buffalo's struggling Catholic parishes. WBM's. Tom pocket does the reports on the story this morning but. Mess mob organizer Chris Byrd isn't studio this morning a -- us understand how this is going to work. He began his quest to fill some of these sparsely attended churches. Awhile ago during a visit to -- builders basilica. These side of Buffalo's right Chris. Yet the buffalo -- smiled. After it really started in 2000. And tan it was sweet it -- FaceBook masks. I'm involved in the probably Fillmore neighborhood buffalo would you FaceBook mass and it's. Stated -- Zeljko we invited all seen it -- FaceBook fans to come to church and how many people can. For that mess we have about 200 people among many parishioners does that church hold 1000 odd. About a thousand people right and actually it -- right now aids. Is not closed but they're only they only have formats easier now. They merged with Saint John came to church on the police. Do you do this more often than just that one time that there are future plans here right right well what we started -- -- they've seen it Albert's. FaceBook -- was really the Genesis with the idea for the buffalo Mannesmann. And Lester got together with a a group of three other people and we started. On the -- asked my movement and we actually -- -- -- Albert Brazil cup to be the first -- has pleaded with the FaceBook masks a few years ago. And it it's taken off from there and it spreads right across social media you send a text like a flash -- kind of thing. Right what we do we is we give people the opportunity to vote for church we spread it through Twitter and FaceBook and really -- also rely on the congregations and other people to spread the word about what church is going to be. I'm holding the next match since you're using face. Good Twitter and social media. Which Israel about a loss of younger people how we gonna get the masses to a lot of older people that might not be involved. What what's interesting about this is once a church itself a warm -- parishes finds out that there'd been selected is that they start spreading it through. -- parish community and we've had stories in this in the Buffalo News and on a regular traditional media. Or in studio guest between now late this morning as the buffalo guy who's very active in Buffalo's broadway's Fillmore district whose name is Chris Byrd. Chris most recently. Has been the organizer of masts mob. In mass we mean holy mass in the Catholic Church it's a local effort and using social media FaceBook Twitter to get the faithful to come together. And -- some of Buffalo's older churches were holy mass these days is very sparsely attended. Chris thank you for coming in this morning and help us go through this let me ask you -- off the -- Why. Is holding -- sparsely attended in some of these parishes is that because of neighborhood decline. Is that included. Well one of the reasons is Tom it with a look at me mirrors kind of the rest of buffalo and and in neighborhoods where these churches are. The -- the suburbs in the sixties and seventies. Led to a lot of these churches. The correlation there's -- churches there -- per share based started declining. What is your goal here by bringing together for just one day. And let me underline that are just Monday for bringing people together to go to a particular church do you think he'll have a longer term impact -- May -- Boost the overall of viability of that Paris. Right the the goal here is a lot of these churches to a fell off the radar screen. What happens over time. Is people forget about them what that the mass -- to enhance style with some of the church are ready is put them back on people's radar screens. If our goal here areas we don't think that this is gonna cause a mass revolution people to start coming back to a particular church. But as with our second -- we've had former parishioners that said they were looking for a way to get re connected with and their church. And what makes obviously sound as an opportunity if a handful these people get back involved with their churches it's it's a plus. The local churches right now that you'd like the faithful to visit or revisit. Name them how can people go get the information you're trying to put out here. Are we able website it's -- mass mamma dot org. Tom our next couple mass -- is march 23. And we have four churches that are potentially where the awful mess rob and and they -- those churches and where they look at how we have saint Kashmir's church and Buffalo's -- town. We have holy angels church on Buffalo's west side. We have saint Anthony's church in downtown buffalo behind city hall and we have -- John -- anti church in east Buffalo's -- And people can go to this site and vote for which one you select as the next adolescent target -- some benefit. Next location for the messed up right people who go to the website and they can vote for the church voting is really high with these things and it's one of the things that were amazed at how popular it's become at least four churches. You just mentioned. I can go through the regular members think has -- holy angels on the west side. Saint -- behind City Hall Saint John Kennedy on Broadway in the Polonia. Anyone of these in the lead right now and is a -- runner. As of this morning I believe holy angels on the west side was in first at Niagara in Jersey I -- Porter avenue Porter avenue right. As this goes on what kind of reaction have you had not just from the parishioners but from the diocese do they care. We were contacted by the diocese they were interest it is just find out what we were at I actually know about and we. -- it plainly told them which -- bring attention to these churches in the city. What we're really amazed with is how the movement has taken off nationally we're starting to see -- mob's top op. In New York City in Columbus and Cleveland to honor about a dozen. Other places that's really we will. Did not expect that this is all because of the seeds you plant here right. The Associated Press to the story after the second match mob that really took off nationwide and again we were. To know what to expect when it happened but to see these other mass -- pop up in other communities around the country is really on nights.