True, but I have seen much more disturbing things on this forum from people claiming to be Catholic Christians.
Well Father have you ever considered the following? What you describe also reflects very poorly on you:
1. “Father, my favorite part of the Mass is the hug part!”
Explaining the sign of peace to your parishioners?
2. “Why didn’t we do the cup thing today? I really like the cup thing!”
The significance of being able to receive under both kinds?
3. “Father we’re running low on hosts—should I put more in the tabernacle for you to give out at Mass?”
Just how failed the catechesis system is that formed this person, and why such a person would have access to the tabernacle?
4. “The most important part of the wedding Mass is the unity candle!”
Again, more/better catechesis is needed.
5. “Why don’t we vote on music that we like for Mass?”
6. “What can we do to make the Mass more fun for kids?”
Perhaps teach them to understand it?
7. Come to Mass wearing faded gym shorts, dirty sneakers and a t-shirt celebrating your favorite rock band.
How do you dress, Father? Have you ever set tactful expectations for your parishioners?
8. To receive Holy Communion, put out one hand and look bored, as if Father were giving you a complimentary poker chip at Atlantic City and you wanted to be somewhere else.
When was the last time you provided catechesis on how to properly receive, Father?
9. Wander off absentmindedly with a Host in your hand, and, just as Father is about to catch up with you, pop the Host in your mouth as if he had given you a cough drop.
10. After Mass, look puzzled when Father is horrified upon finding Hosts in hymnals, prayer books or under the pews.
I have NEVER heard of this actually happening in real life. I spent an entire year cleaning/straightening my parish after Mass and NEVER found a host. Catholic Urban Myth!
Father missed the granddaddy of them all!
A priest is to be respected no matter what. After all he has underwent an ontological change! He is a man of God!
Yet when it’s revealed that a priest has committed a hideous crime, the justifying chant become “after all, he is just a man!”
That one really bugs me.
A Jesuit priest wrote it. So, its obviously something that is demoralizing for him.
Dang it, Duesenberg! How dare you post something that I agree with!
That’s very true. The difficult part for me is that there really is no positive recourse. If one is treated poorly/indifferently or observes others being treated poorly/indifferently by a pastor, one can choose to either find another parish (if that’s an option), to swallow it, or to drift away from the Church – and many have done just that. Unless it’s a very serious issue, the bishop is certainly not going to get involved.
This culture of “no potential for correction” and even “no tolerance for questioning” has done a real number on the Church.
There you go again! If you’re not careful, I’m going to start liking you.
I rarely wear T-shirts, but I do have band t-shirts. And yes, I have worn them to church. Sometimes my dryer goes out. Which is more important, that I’m dressed nice, or that I’m there? (I’d prefer both)
Of course that you are there. I didn’t mean to sound preachy. Of course it is important that you do not miss Mass unless absolutely sick or major reason. I am sorry for the way my words were written.
So sadly this has happened to me, finding a host on the floor in the pews. I tried to tell myself that a week or two ago prior there had been practice for first communion and so hopefully it was from that, but of course treated the host as consecrated. I can truly empathize with a priest being demoralized by witnessing lack of reverence toward the sacred host.
I have to wonder though, did he review it with his congregation after the incident? Did he provide real-time catehchesis or did he write a punch list of laments instead?
I agree with you that on topic, direct catechesis addressing a specific issue is the most likely thing to help. Also, I think it should be done in a gentle, guiding tone if talking directly to a person. I think so many people just don’t know a lot of information about Catholicism.
I agree, and I very much agree that any teaching should be done in a gentle, kind manner. I see teens for example trying to pick the host out of the communion distributors’ fingers. That’s a red light that they not only need to be shown how, the formation they went through also needs to be reviewed.
Yes, that is the perfect opportunity to gently demonstrate/tell them the proper posture for reception. If it is a teen, it may not be the teaching program, but rather the lack of having been in the program past first communion, so they have forgotten or even been away from the Church for years. So many people never make it to confirmation class (latin-rite). Last I heard it was like 40% or something. If it is a lot of teens, though, the program needs review.
I find the list a little bizarre. And I don’t think most of the priests I encountered in the Church would necessarily write it. This is what I call ‘traditionalist’ sounding - not trying to poke any bears here - I speak from a kind of ignorance. Perhaps even a parody of traditionalism.
The general trend or point of the list I guess is a certain nonchalance or disrespect? Secularism? Maybe I would agree with that on a certain level - if we want to start the Vatican II naysaying again. Modernists have opened the door and look what has happened, etc… I think that is true on a much more serous demoralizing level than this list. A number of priests would probably agree with that.
I will say most Catholics I have ever seen at Mass actually try to be quite reverent most of the time. And well behaved. Last point, which can get overlooked, going to Mass reverently and struggling to be an authentic Christian are not always the same thing though they are often equated…
“The general trend or point of the list I guess is a certain nonchalance or disrespect?”
I agree. I believe that is the point he was trying to make. Many, though not all, don’t treat Mass as the MOST IMPORTANT part of their week—what the rest of their week should revolve around. They treat it as just something they have to do so they “slip it in when it’s convenient and they get there the way they get there”. They don’t realize they are attending THE Heavenly Banquet here on Earth. They ARE in Jesus’ presence. Again not all but some just don’t understand WHO it is all about.
Agreed to a point. But even beyond the Catholics, services can be treated almost like a spectacle. An obligation. I always wonder why people who don’t want to be there go there. I get distracted by their distractedness which makes me keep asking myself why are they here. Then I remember (or someone said to me) people know they are fallen, sinners, weak; they try to believe, participate, get it right. In short, that is the best they can do. I just focus on my own participation. I consider Mass a success if I do that anyway.
Hmmm. Monitoring this thread is enlightening.
I see several different points of view. I can even understand a few of them.
However, “don’t pile on the wabbit.” Sure, there are priests who probably could do more. NObody, however, asked whether the comments were done out of frustration and the “suggestions” of the Monday morning quarterbacks have been tried to no end.
Has anyone read Scott Hahn’s wonderful comparison between the Mass and Heaven in the context of Revelations? If not do so. Then think again how you dress for Mass. You are going to a wedding every Sunday. Sure, if you have some circumstance that warrants dressing down, go for it. I doubt that most have said circumstance.
My (half) sister is Christian Jewish. She keeps volunteering that “you people could improve your attendance by having a nice band and maybe show a movie, instead of the same thing every week, maybe some flat screen TVs”. She doesn’t “get” it, and so far, I haven’t gotten her to understand just what the Mass is.
So, yes, I understand that priests can have a hard time keeping up morale. That is not to say things are perfect. They’re not. Neither are Priests, although most of the ones I know are pretty good.
Just something to think about, and pray about during your next adoration visit.
P.S. Scott Hahn’s book is “The Lamb’s Supper.”
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not a “service”, it’s a Sacrifice. I usually attend an early morning Mass and I think a fair number are there simply out of habit. They have been doing so for 50, 60, 70, 80+ years. It’s simply an ingrained part of their Sunday morning.