See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mass Chat: Adoration cancelled... merging parishes... cluster headaches...



Mass Chat on a Wednesday?
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I know - it is usually my Sunday feature, but adoration day at my parish was cancelled today so they could have a Holy Hour for Life.  They do it once a year.  Last year they kept all day adoration and simply dedicated an hour at midday for formal prayers and Benediction.  Few people showed up.  So I'm guessing today they figure if they pull out all of the stops and have the piano and songs and some special prayers with ribbons tied to sticks - in church - with or without the Blessed Sacrament exposed - they will attract more people. 
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They say they want to promote adoration, but I don't think they do.  None of the religious who work at the parish ever spend a minute in adoration, neither do they show reverence for the Blessed Sacrament as they pop in and out of the Church to lock it up at 3 PM, or get their albs ready for the next day's Word and Communion service.  I'm not judging - but one just can't miss seeing what goes on in the sanctuary as they saunter through.  I get the feeling adoration was simply a concession to a small group of church ladies a couple of years ago - otherwise it is never promoted, and very few people show up.  Oh - so anyway, this is why Mass Chat is on today.
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Merging parishes.
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One parish not far away is merging with our parish - when?  I'm not exactly sure.  The incoming parish has a larger group of 'adorers' - their adoration day is Thursday.  Hopefully, they will spike the fervor of our parish when they come over.  I haven't spoken to any of them so I don't know how they feel about the merger.
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The pastor at my parish seems excited.  He keeps repeating, "The receiving parish of the merging parish gets all of their assets (and liabilities)".  I'm sure Father doesn't mean to sound so mercenary - he just has a way of saying things.  Remember the time he told the 80 something lady not to bring her 90 year old sister to Mass anymore if she is going to get sick or pass out and require an ambulance.  It distracted him while celebrating Mass.  (Another good reason for celebrating ad orientem.)  Just last month Father annoyed the same old lady as she arrived to get the bulletins ready for Saturday vigil mass, telling her, "You're late - I need you to get the flowers from yesterdays' funeral onto the altar for Mass."  Poor volunteer old lady arrives an hour before Mass and can hardly even walk some days.  Anyway - Father just doesn't realize how insensitive he can sound sometimes.
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9 to 5

Father also mentioned that when the parishes finally do merge, a new 12 year term of pastor begins with the new date.  A man in his early 60's, he said he is not planning on staying around that long.  As it is, Father seems to be frequently absent from the parish for archdiocesan business, retreats, vacation, long weekends, studies, priest support-group get-togethers, and so on.  Some people think he'd rather be elsewhere, although he does live off campus in his own place - these days, such an arrangement is not unusual.  I suspect even more priests will be doing the same thing after parish mergers and cluster parishes are in place.
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More and more the Church can seem like a business, the priesthood - a job.  I think the same attitude prevails with the religious formation sister who has her own apartment, works 9-5 and has weekends off. 
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(NB:  Please understand that this is my personal opinion - personal thoughts, albeit expressed as a result of my very penetrating anthropological studies and scientific observation of a species of church people and their leaders.  I know!  I'm so like Jane Goodall and her work with chimps.)
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Kumbaya.
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14 comments:

  1. Hi Terry -

    My liberal parish merged (July 4 of this year) with a very traditional parish about a mile away, and I must tell you I am tickled senseless with my new parish. I hurt for anyone involved in a closure/merger, but sometimes it is not a bad thing to focus on what you have gained, rather than to simply grieve for what is lost.

    Parishioners from both my parish and the merging parish quietly participated in a Rosary novena over Lent a few months before the merger, with the intentions of asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for Bishop Lennon, that he select a holy and devout pastor for us, and for his protection and for the protection of the priest he selected for us.

    Our poor, beleagured Bishop, who has been scandalously attacked by the media and Catholics of the Diocese, selected an exemplary priest as our pastor (a former Franciscan) and named him about two weeks after Easter. We have been fortunate also in that parishioners from both former parishes have treated one another with respect and warmth.

    It will take time for everything to come together, but there is nowhere else I would rather be, and I would not want to give up my new parish home and go back to the way things were for anything. I will pray for the people of your Archdiocese with pleasure, but perhaps it might be a good thing for your people to pray for your Archbishop as well - you all may be part of God's plan in all the pain you will endure.

    Blessings from the Cleveland Diocese

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  2. SMP - that is great news! Thanks. I am confident a greater good will come out of all of this - we also have some very excellent young priests - things really are looking up - I hope.

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  3. Peace, Terry, hang in there.

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  4. ROFL! I can't help it.

    Seriously, we may be losing Adoration in our parish soon as we are the merging parish and we have an hour uncovered and it's causing Father too much indigestion to think about it.

    However, the receiving parish has Adoration in their very nice Chapel so I'm hopeful

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  5. Our entire diocese is undergoing mergers, my parish included. We're "absorbing" 2 parishes; In one area there are six parishes merging into one. In a working class city with what used to be immigrant ghettos, finding 5 Catholic Churches on the same street within a mile and a half is not so unusual.

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  6. Chimps...now there's a great idea, Mr. Terry;
    wouldn't you like to have a chimp around to just, you know, make life fun?:-)!
    Sorry...my ADD is in over-drive today;
    nevermind.

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  7. The parish I now attend is made up of old German farm families. There has been perpetual adoration there since 1996.
    The other evening I was in the adoration chapel doing my hour when our priest stepped in for a quick prayer with a visiting seminarian.
    As they were leaving, I heard him say to the seminarian, "This is the keel of our ship."

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  8. "None of the religious who work at the parish ever spend a minute in adoration,"

    Some years ago I signed up for the 5-6 hour Friday mornings at a St. Paul parish. Occasionialy the 6-7 person wouldn't show up so I might have to pull a 5-7 shift.

    It wasn't that big a deal.

    But most times, a parish "employee" would show up. Unfortunately he showed up with breakfast in hand. Sandwich, coffee, etc.

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  9. "Remember the time he told the 80 something lady not to bring her 90 year old sister to Mass anymore if she is going to get sick or pass out and require an ambulance. It distracted him while celebrating Mass. (Another good reason for celebrating ad orientem.)"

    Definitely 4 LJs, Terry It took you a look time.

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  10. Terry--I work on an in pt psychiatric unit at a major hospital in DC. I had this homeless guy I working towards placing w/ the Missionaries of Charity. This priest had an admin who had clear instructions about whayt days he was on and off and when I could leave a msg and couln't. When I spoke w/ him he said: you know whay Missionaries of Charities stand for, don't you? Mass Chaos. I said: well, at least they doing it 24/7. You know my man Hardon SJ had no tolerance for these shennanigans. Hardon said a priest is ON 24/7, or should be. He said he prayed to be interrupted, bothered, put upon. You know, I cannot wait until he is canonized. Just can't wait. GREAT post, Terry.

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  11. And here I've been complaining that so few parishes in the area have perpetual Adoration. We do at least have several with 24 hour Adoration, typically on Fridays. Sometimes in praying things would be better, one can lose sight of the blessings one has. And one of those parishes is now praying the Hours publically and will have Latin Vespers next year.

    So, yeah, I need to shut up.

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  12. Cathy, check the Cathedral's webpage. Adoration is being expanded as of next week. I think it's 8-7 Tues& Thurs, 8-4 m, W, F and still 3:30-5 on Sat. It's a step in the direction of perpetual.

    I think we become a parish cluster with St. Vincent, which is merely formalizing an arrangement already in place, as is true of many of these arrangements. We've been a parish cluster since Fr. was named Rector as he was already their pastor.

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  13. I'm told that Irish parishes in the New Prague area will not be pleased at being reassigned to a Czech church so will likely reassign themselves to another Irish parish in the area.

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