Are you ready for Catholic megachurches due to priest shortages


#1

Are you ready for Catholic megachurches due to priest shortages?
In a letter sent by archbishop o'brian in our archdiocese - the future of the catholic church, he suggested between the lines, was the re-alignment, probably sale of church property - and we will be building large megachurches like the protestant ones now in operation where say 10,000 catholics can be at one mass because there is only 1 priest available. Are we ready to see this happen? :hey_bud:


#2

[quote="balt_orioles54, post:1, topic:235746"]
Are you ready for Catholic megachurches due to priest shortages?
In a letter sent by archbishop o'brian in our archdiocese - the future of the catholic church, he suggested between the lines, was the re-alignment, probably sale of church property - and we will be building large megachurches like the protestant ones now in operation where say 10,000 catholics can be at one mass because there is only 1 priest available. Are we ready to see this happen? :hey_bud:

[/quote]

I have not heard anything remotely like this or that the priest shortage is anywhere close to this bad - I have also heard the Vatican has disallowed the sale of Church property for secular resources in several dioceses. Do you have a link to this letter or is this rumor?


#3

No, i am not ready for that. I will pray for more priests to come and for people to be called to the priesthood.


#4

Please link to the letter. I couldn't find anything like this on the Catholic Review site.


#5

This attitude really ticks me off. In the past 200 years people have gotten very selfish. I'm near Canada and know alot about the early missionaries and martyers. Even after things were setteled priests often served congregations of 10,000 or more. They often had to travel...and none except for the Basillica would hold more than 200, if that. That being said, in places like northern VA there are catholic churches being built that are 5k-7k seaters, simply to keep up with the populous. One town built 3 such churches last year, already has another 3-4 and each has a several priests and a half dozen masses each weekend.


#6

I think there is a big difference between a big Church as purple sunshine describes and a megachurch complete with big screen TVs on the altars and such that you would find in Florida that the OP describes - so for us to please get a better idea please link to the letter.


#7

I've always thought the "megachurches" are a good place to start being a Christian. There are alot of people who go there from agnostic/non theist backgrounds. If it gets you in the door, let's start slow before we pummel them with everything. That could turn people off.

I think there will be alot less churches in the future, and some change to how they operate, but I don't see them turning into megachurches.


#8

[quote="balt_orioles54, post:1, topic:235746"]
Are you ready for Catholic megachurches due to priest shortages?
In a letter sent by archbishop o'brian in our archdiocese - the future of the catholic church, he suggested between the lines, was the re-alignment, probably sale of church property - and we will be building large megachurches like the protestant ones now in operation where say 10,000 catholics can be at one mass because there is only 1 priest available. Are we ready to see this happen? :hey_bud:

[/quote]

Are you talking about the Archbishop of Baltimore? If so, a letter to this effect was in the Sunday bulletin, I picked up a copy this morning. The letter seemed to be looking at the various options, pros and cons. My own parish in southwest Baltimore has combinded three churches into one already.


#9

No in no way am i ready to go back to we need to keep oraying for more priests.


#10

[quote="balt_orioles54, post:1, topic:235746"]
Are you ready for Catholic megachurches due to priest shortages?
In a letter sent by archbishop o'brian in our archdiocese - the future of the catholic church, he suggested between the lines, was the re-alignment, probably sale of church property - and we will be building large megachurches like the protestant ones now in operation where say 10,000 catholics can be at one mass because there is only 1 priest available. Are we ready to see this happen? :hey_bud:

[/quote]

people may disagree with me...but so what if it holds 10,000 people in it...its still a church right?...and its still a place to go to mass isnt it?...just because theres more people going to be attending it doesnt diminish the mass in any way


#11

[quote="crystal_waters, post:10, topic:235746"]
people may disagree with me...but so what if it holds 10,000 people in it...its still a church right?...and its still a place to go to mass isnt it?...just because theres more people going to be attending it doesnt diminish the mass in any way

[/quote]

This person doesn't disagree with you. I think people get very nervous and upset at the slightest bit of change-even if doesn't really happen.


#12

Having 10,000 people at Mass is a blessing, but having 10,000 people coming to your confessional, or asking for anointing, is a real danger. What will megachurches do to ensure everyone's full participation in the sacramental life of the Church? God willing, at least during Lent and Advent, more priests can come to celebrate communal penance services. But I fear that emergency situations will be poorly served by a lone, overtaxed priest in a theoretical superparish.

Perhaps we will see a return to the practices of the Middle Ages, when few people communicated more than once a year, because they were not in a state of grace, because priests were so rare in their area that confessions were just as infrequent.


#13

I don't think it matters how many people are at the mass - I personally think there is something to be said for large numbers of people praying and receiving Eucharist together. (Why do I see a thread on the obvious need for EMHCs following this) Just watch a mass that Pope Benedict celebrates and tell me there aren't a few thousand there or so. I think the problem becomes when it is more a production then a mass. To me it takes away from what should be center of the mass - Christ in the tabernacle. This is the image that comes to mind for me when someone says megachurch. So I guess maybe for the purpose of the discussion a better definition is needed.

To the previous poster who said they saw the letter in their bulletin - do you have a link to this letter?


#14

[quote="lakotak, post:8, topic:235746"]
My own parish in southwest Baltimore has combinded three churches into one already.

[/quote]

How large (in terms of the truly church-going population) were the previously existing parishes?


#15

A Catholic "megachurch" (as opposed to, say, an old basilica) would bother me largely because of the Protestant-like connotations- music so loud that you feel yourself vibrating, ugly, utilitarian architecture, and less individual interaction with the clergy and probably most of the people. I do not want to feel anonymous. I would like for the priest to at least know my name and be not so busy that I cannot talk to him beyond a mere "hello" should something important arise. I have been going every week to two different parishes (since I attend college, I go to Daily Mass whenever at the nearest church, but my "regular" parish is relatively close to my home) for the past several months, at one of them (the one near the university), no one knows my name, not any of the laity nor either one of the two priests nor the deacon (though I have only seen him once or twice). I really bothers me. Fortunately, at my "real" parish, I do converse with the pastor on a regular basis (I think that I could say with honesty that we are fairly good friends) and know the deacon and various laymen. Maybe it is my ego, but I cannot tolerate not being noticed by anyone.


#16

According to the web site of my home parish, the Cathedral Guadalupe in Dallas, "With 25,000 registered families, the Cathedral Shrine is recognized as the second largest cathedral congregation in the nation, second only to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Equally significant, the Cathedral Shrine has the largest Latino congregation in the nation." There's 2 masses on Saturday (1 English, 1 Spanish) and six masses on Sunday (2 English, 4 Spanish).

Their confession times are 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM (before English Mass) and 6:00 PM - 6:45 PM (before Spanish Mass). And that's it. Also, because 90% of the attendees are Spanish speakers, virtually all the opportunities for service and adult catechesis are in Spanish as well.

That being said, I think that even mid-sized churches could handle a huge amount of members as long as enough masses were being said, and enough priests were available. It's the ratio of people to priests that makes the difference to me.


#17

That is apples and oranges. How many priests serve that congregation of 25,000? And how many actual bodies are in the church at each Mass? How many people can be seated in the church building?


#18

OF course since no one has actually posted any link to any letter by any Bishop there is no responsible definition and all of this is wild speculation, rumor, and innuendo.


#19

I think in general, people function better and are happier in small groups. The Army is large, but it fights in squads, platoons, companies, battalions and on up the chain. Having a connection to the people around you is important as a motivation to behavior. From the leadership angle, knowing the people you are responsible for leading also makes you more accountable for your decisions.

Also, mega-churches as structures are often hideous, overblown, garish, movie-theatre-like monstrosities, with slide projectors, praise bands....coffee-and-donuts replaced with latte-and-biscotti..."cats and dogs, sleeping together".


#20

[quote="joanofarc2008, post:18, topic:235746"]
OF course since no one has actually posted any link to any letter by any Bishop there is no responsible definition and all of this is wild speculation, rumor, and innuendo.

[/quote]

In the OP's defense, Archbishop O'Brien has been making a lot of changes, beginning with the school system. A number of schools were merged or closed last year, and there was a great deal of upset about it. I do recall reading that he is turning his attention to the parishes now in order to achieve the most efficient use of human and material resources. I just can't find the letter.


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