Bi-Lingual Mass ---> A big mistake


#1
  At my church we have 2 communities of catholics; mexican and non-mexican. We have traditionally had 3 masses, Saturday Vigil Mass, then Spanish Mass, then Sunday Mass in English. The two communities have never mingled even when we have TRIED to.... it is an arrangement that everyone is happy with - except our priest apparently.
 Every once in a while our priest will 'spring' a bi-lingual mass on us. And from my estimation - neither group appreciates it. Our priest is Irish, but speaks very good spanish and I think he wants all us lowly white people to follow suit. He emphasizes from the pulpit that we are one body - no argument - and that we should share our lives more fully, and the mass is the greatest expression of this. 
 Further, he has stated that our Saturday masses may all soon be bi-lingual from now on. 

I am very disappointed in this. I will try to explain. The bi-lingual masses are WAY too Spanish and so different from what I am use to. They are mostly spanish, they are too loud and ethnic, and I just can’t go with that flow! Am I bad? I have been to mass in Mexico and I respect and can appreciate their culture… But it is not MY culture. Now I feel like our priest is forcing us on each other.
I have always gone to vigil mass and really liked it. Now it looks like I may have to change my ways, or change churches.
Trying to mix our cultures in the mass is just not going to work!
If we have to share one mass it should be in LATIN!

Any thoughts?


#2

Is the priest Fr Phillip Fitzimons by any chance? I heared he moved back to Dublin, but that description shounds so much like him…


#3

I have experienced something very similar.

The parish I once belonged to had this really liberal pastor who did a lot of work with the Nicauraguans, Guatamalens, and Haitians in the community. However, the parish was mostly white and upper middle class.

He began to do Spanish and Creole masses, but then would “introduce” these languages and cultures at all masses, under the guise of making the parish more “aware” of these people in our midst. Now offhand, this could have been a good thing, but instead there was this message underneath it all, in which the priest was subtlely yet clearly saying “Shame! Shame! Shaaaaammmeeee! You rich white people who have nice cars and nice homes and plenty of money, while these poor Hispanics and Haitians have nothing! Shame on you all!” It was so heavy-handed that more than a few families left the parish, my mother and father included. By the time my wife, daughters, and I left (due to moving to a new city), the parish was having “Mass for the Oppressed Peoples of Nicauragua” theme masses and was pushing the Jesus the Liberator image too far.

So yes, I know what you are saying.


#4

I attend a bi-lingual Mass every Sunday: Latin and English.

Never had a problem with it. :whistle:


#5

I’ve always enjoyed the bi-lingual Masses at my parish and other parishes, though I barely speak the language myself. We do have a strong Hispanic community down here in San Diego, so I guess it kinda goes hand-in-hand. Our Liturgy of the Hours every Friday is also bi-lingual, but it doesn’t take away from the reverency or spirituality of the worship - I just think it makes it more inclusive.

We do have 2 Spanish Masses on the weekends, and the rest of our 7 Masses are all in English, but I don’t see the divide in the two - we’re kinda all one big happy family there!


#6

The masses i most enjoy watching (because of yet i am unable to attend one in person) are the Papal masses ,Easter vigils etc… celebrated by the pope. These masses have readings in several languages. I believe it really demonstates the universality of the Catholic church.


#7

[quote=Dr. Bombay]I attend a bi-lingual Mass every Sunday: Latin and English.

Never had a problem with it. :whistle:
[/quote]

Dont forget the greek… Kyrie , eleison. Christe,eleison. Kyrie, eleison.


#8

[quote=ridesawhitehors] At my church we have 2 communities of catholics; mexican and non-mexican. We have traditionally had 3 masses, Saturday Vigil Mass, then Spanish Mass, then Sunday Mass in English. The two communities have never mingled even when we have TRIED to… it is an arrangement that everyone is happy with - except our priest apparently.
Every once in a while our priest will ‘spring’ a bi-lingual mass on us. And from my estimation - neither group appreciates it. Our priest is Irish, but speaks very good spanish and I think he wants all us lowly white people to follow suit. He emphasizes from the pulpit that we are one body - no argument - and that we should share our lives more fully, and the mass is the greatest expression of this.
Further, he has stated that our Saturday masses may all soon be bi-lingual from now on.
I am very disappointed in this. I will try to explain. The bi-lingual masses are WAY too Spanish and so different from what I am use to. They are mostly spanish, they are too loud and ethnic, and I just can’t go with that flow! Am I bad? I have been to mass in Mexico and I respect and can appreciate their culture… But it is not MY culture. Now I feel like our priest is forcing us on each other.
I have always gone to vigil mass and really liked it. Now it looks like I may have to change my ways, or change churches.
Trying to mix our cultures in the mass is just not going to work!
If we have to share one mass it should be in LATIN!

Any thoughts?
[/quote]

I hear you loud and clear. Im not talking Latin-English here. Im talking Spanish-English alternating after each reading,response, etc. IT DOESNT WORK. This happened a few times where I go, it was especially bad on the major Holidays, it turns into the tower of bable. No offense here, it just doesnt work, the two groups cant concentrate. It only happened a few times, but its one of those things where you know they should have learned their lesson last time they tried it. It should be all one language.

We now have separate (but equal) Masses for each language and both groups like it that way.


#9

[quote=Dr. Bombay]I attend a bi-lingual Mass every Sunday: Latin and English.

Never had a problem with it. :whistle:
[/quote]

ME TOO!!!

Also, I am at a Slovak parish. When we have a big event it is bilingual (ie, Holy Thursday, Corpus Christi).
I am so happy to be at this parish, I don’t care at all.
Last week was our Parish Festival. We attended the Slovak Mass. Not a problem.


#10

get over it. most bi-lingual parishes have missalettes with the readings and Mass prayers in both languages, so you can easily read while another language is being used. Our Church is bi-lingual in this country. If not now, within 10 years half of American Catholics will have Spanish (or Central American dialects or Tagalog) as their first language. the Mass is not a staged event designed to cater to your comfort level and personal preferences. Open yourself up to different music (as long as it is liturgically appropriate) and allow yourself to be enriched by the dynamic, real lived faith exhibited by most of our newest Americans. What some of them lack in catechetical formation they make up for in intense faith. Be prepared for a revival in the American Church, be open to it, and cease viewing our parishes as ethnic enclaves but as open, welcoming and hospitable to all Catholics.


#11

In the parish where I grew up bilingual masses started in the late 1970’s-early 1980’s.

The masses are still bilingual, there are only a handful of non-hispanic people left in the neighborhood and parish, (my mother and sister being two of them). Few people attend Mass. The parish school is about to close even though tuition hasn’t been raised in about 5 years and the church building itself is literally on the verge of collapse.

So much for “dynamic,real faith”.


#12

I agree with the OP. Bi-lingual masses serve a purpose on holidays and such, where it isn’t possible to do a separate mass for each language, but not on a regular basis.

Puzzleannie- Why must we be the ones who “get over it”. If mass is not supposed to be catered to our comfort level, then surely these people would have no problem attending a traditional mass as celebrated in the language common to the area. Which in most parts of America is English!

Not to go off the subject, but I am so tired of my culture being overridden by the culture of new immigrants. I don’t have anything against other cultures. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like and appreciate my own.


#13

I’d be interested to see one of these bilingual masses. Around here you have a choice of going to one mass or the other, but not a combo. There is nothing all that strange about the Spanish only mass. The only "odd’ thing is that the Spanish speakers usually get relegated to the later masses of the day. I haven’t figured that one out, yet. Perhaps it is because they came as later additions to the parish (I’m in an older parish, probably originally Irish).

I think a bilingual mass would be a big adaptation for many people to make. Is this the new format? Previously would have had two different parishes within a block of eachother, say one Polish and one Irish. (gee, it is sooooo hard to guess what city I mean):smiley:


#14

[quote=puzzleannie]get over it.
[/quote]

Well, that’s a little harsh…

most bi-lingual parishes have missalettes with the readings and Mass prayers in both languages, so you can easily read while another language is being used.

Sort of like a Latin Mass.

Our Church is bi-lingual in this country.

I’m sure the Catholics in Maine, North Dakota, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan might be willing to challenge you on that.

If not now, within 10 years half of American Catholics will have Spanish (or Central American dialects or Tagalog) as their first language.

I’m sure that Ricky Sierra and Mario Obledo are dancing a jig.

the Mass is not a staged event designed to cater to your comfort level and personal preferences.

So that means that Anglos can go to Mexico City and demand that the bishop have English Masses? After all, it’s not about their personal preferences either, is it?

Open yourself up to different music (as long as it is liturgically appropriate)

That’s the question, isn’t it? :wink: But we’ll talk about Glory and Praise and Gather in another thread.

Be prepared for a revival in the American Church, be open to it

Oh, I’m open to it. I’d love to see the Church in the United States return to fidelity to the Vatican. We’ll see if it happens.

and cease viewing our parishes as ethnic enclaves but as open, welcoming and hospitable to all Catholics.

Just as long as they don’t speak English. :wink:


#15

[quote=Wolseley]Just as long as they don’t speak English. :wink:
[/quote]

Or Latin.


#16

At a country parish where my grandparents are from, there might be 5% of the Catholic community that is Spanish speaking. For the most part, these folks are white farmers, ranchers and miners.

The pastor decided that a bilingual Mass would be a good thing so every Sunday one of the Masses is bilingual - in a community with at the most 5% speak Spanish. The only other Sunday Mass is a Life Teen Mass so no one is able to have a “normal” Mass.


#17

I know that bilingual masses must seem strange or uncomfortable to some people. It just goes to show how different we really are from each other.

But It is so bizarre to me to find out that there are still places that don’t have lots of bilingual masses already. I guess they have been the norm around here so long I can’t imagine things are different some places.

But then it’s bizarre to me to imagine people live in places where most church buildings are more than 25 years old.

It is especially bizarre to me to imagine that people actually live in areas which have Anglo majorities. I was on vacation recently and it felt kind of creepy to see so many people of northern European ancestry. (I’m a lily-white Irish Catholic by the way.)

I wouldn’t want to force weekly bilingual masses on anyone. But it’s hard for me to imagine people wouldn’t want to have them occasionally.


#18

In places like southern California, Texas, even Florida, it might make sense to have a Spanish Mass, or if we must, a bi-lingual Mass.

But frankly, I see little sense in having a Spanish-language Mass in a place where there are very few people of Hispanic descent. What’s the point?

It would make about as much sense as being in Caracas, Venezuela, and having a Mass in Norwegian.


#19

[quote=SMHW]I know that bilingual masses must seem strange or uncomfortable to some people. It just goes to show how different we really are from each other.

But It is so bizarre to me to find out that there are still places that don’t have lots of bilingual masses already. I guess they have been the norm around here so long I can’t imagine things are different some places.

But then it’s bizarre to me to imagine people live in places where most church buildings are more than 25 years old.

It is especially bizarre to me to imagine that people actually live in areas which have Anglo majorities. I was on vacation recently and it felt kind of creepy to see so many people of northern European ancestry. (I’m a lily-white Irish Catholic by the way.)

I wouldn’t want to force weekly bilingual masses on anyone. But it’s hard for me to imagine people wouldn’t want to have them occasionally.
[/quote]

What is creepy about it?


#20

I am bi lingual. Although I am bi lingual, I find a bi lingual mass to be confusing. It is very difficult to follow along. When you are used to form and structure, you will not like this kind of mass.

Just my opinion. :wink: I have also spoken to the Hispanics and most of them feel the same way.


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