Catholic "communities"

I recently went to a Catholic wedding at church called St. Neumann. It was a very strange church, no kneelers, no tabernacle, no pews. Just row seating. It was kind of pyramid-like and simple inside, with white walls and one stained glass window. There was a priest officiating, and the prayers were recognizable as Catholic prayers, but it was just weird! The sign outside said St. Neumann, “Catholic community”. Was this place a valid Catholic Church? Thank you.

The sign outside said St. Neumann, “Catholic community”. Was this place a valid Catholic Church? Thank you.

Probably, although you can call your diocese office to be sure of course.

St. John Neumann was a 19th century Bohemian-American priest who was canonized about 30 years ago, so any church named after him would be a modern one built in the last 30 years.

Many modern Catholic churches don’t have kneelers, and put the tabernacle in a separate chapel instead of on the main altar. Also, many like to refer to themselves as community.

As far as the status of the church in question, you can check it on line at masstimes.org , and if its listed for your town, yes indeed it is a canonical, legal Catholic church.

I was at a church once with no pews, no kneelers, and the tabernacle off in a side chapel…big place…in Rome…St. Peter’s or something…

Most people forget that pews are a protestant import, invented in churches when they emphasized the preaching over and above the action of the Eucharist. Kneelers came with them, since for real traditional Catholics, kneeling is only for penitence, not praise. And the tabernacle is supposed to be in a seperate chapel, away from the main altar according to universal norms on liturgical space.

As for the term “community” …thats what church means, the latin word for chuch, ecclesia, literally means community… so “community” is a more direct translation, thats all.

No it’s not! It is only in churches or basilicas, such as St. Peter’s, etc., where there are always tourists milling around that the Tabernacle is supposed to be in a seperate chapel. In ordinary parish churches or cathedrals that do not get lots of visitors the Tabernacle is supposed to be front and center - clearly seen on entering the church and easily available for prayer.

[quote=Protoclete]\ Kneelers came with them, since for real traditional Catholics, kneeling is only for penitence, not praise. .
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There are groups, of no small influence, who are trying to talk us out of kneeling. “It doesn’t suit our culture”, they say (which culture?) “It’s not right for a grown man to do this — he should face God on his feet”. Or again: “It’s not appropriate for redeemed man — he has been set free by Christ and doesn’t need to kneel any more”…

Kneeling does not come from any culture — it comes from the Bible and its knowledge of God. The central importance of kneeling in the Bible can be seen in a very concrete way. The word proskynein alone occurs fifty-nine times in the New Testament, twenty-four of which are in the Apocalypse, the book of the heavenly Liturgy, which is presented to the Church as the standard for her own Liturgy…

The Christian Liturgy is a cosmic Liturgy precisely because it bends the knee before the crucified and exalted Lord. Here is the center of authentic culture — the culture of truth. The humble gesture by which we fall at the feet of the Lord inserts us into the true path of life of the cosmos…

It may well be that kneeling is alien to modern culture — insofar as it is a culture, for this culture has turned away from the faith and no longer knows the one before whom kneeling is the right, indeed the intrinsically necessary gesture. The man who learns to believe learns also to kneel, and a faith or a liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core. Where it has been lost, kneeling must be rediscovered, so that, in our prayer, we remain in fellowship with the apostles and martyrs, in fellowship with the whole cosmos, indeed in union with Jesus Christ Himself.

***Theology Of Kneeling, The ***

**From Cardinal Ratzinger’s *The Spirit of the Liturgy


catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=4607

[quote=Protoclete] And the tabernacle is supposed to be in a seperate chapel, away from the main altar according to universal norms on liturgical space.
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Back that statement up with proof.

[quote=Protoclete]I was at a church once with no pews, no kneelers, and the tabernacle off in a side chapel…big place…in Rome…St. Peter’s or something…
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That’s funny. I’ve attended Mass at a place called St. Peter’s in Rome, too! Several times. In fact, I was married there in 1998. If memory serves me (and I checked my videotape to make sure), everyone knelt down during the proper times, even those people without kneelers! And, BTW, there were pews with kneelers in the Blessed Sacrament chapel at that time.

Also, you know as well as I do that the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in St. Peter’s is larger than most churches are in the United States. You sound as if it’s some closet or something.

Also, the reason there is a separate chapel is that in cathedral churches, basillica, and other famous churches, there is usually a lot of foot-traffic. Church law recommends that, in these instances, the Blessed Sacrament be housed away from the main body of the church.

[quote=Protoclete]Most people forget that pews are a protestant import, invented in churches when they emphasized the preaching over and above the action of the Eucharist. Kneelers came with them, since for real traditional Catholics, kneeling is only for penitence, not praise.
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You seem to be confusing tradition with antiquarianism, which was condemned by Vatican II and other pre-VII documents as well.

[quote=Protoclete] And the tabernacle is supposed to be in a seperate chapel, away from the main altar according to universal norms on liturgical space.
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Not according Built of Living Stones (particular law for the United States, and only a guideline) and the current *General Instruction for the Roman Missal *(universal and particular law for the U.S.)

Maybe you know something that I don’t.

[quote=Protoclete]As for the term “community” …thats what church means, the latin word for chuch, ecclesia, literally means community… so “community” is a more direct translation, thats all.
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This must be your opinion, since I’ve seen no liturgical documentation mention this before.

The word “church” is basically a transliteration of the german word “kirche”, which is a transliteration of the latin “ecclesia”, which is itself and transliteration of the original greek.
In fact, by googling “define:ecclesia” (Gr. “the gathering of the people”), you’ll find it described as the following:

  • The gathering of the faithful at the church for worship
  • the church where the liturgy is celebrated
  • Latin spelling of the Greek word meaning church or community
  • The Greek word (ecclesia) means “church” or "assembly
  • *n the New Testament, the word denotes a Christian assembly, and is rendered into English by the word church
  • In classical Greek this word signifies any assembly

Many of the more-progressive Catholic churches will use the term “community.” In fact, EVERYTHING in these churches revolves around some sort of horizontal “community” as opposed to a vertical connection with God.*

Was it THIS St. John Neumann?

http://www.aodonline.org/aodonline-sqlimages/ART/InsideNeumann.jpg

Been there, I will pray for you!

Not saying this is necessarily the case, but I worked at one of these so-called Catholic Communities. Calling it a community was a practicality. We were a recognized campus ministry with an assigned priest, but not officially a parish. There are a few distinctions that I don’t know enough about to understand why. It wasn’t accurate to call us simply a Campus Ministry, because a number of adults (mostly misfits who didn’t fit in at any of the rest of the already rather liberal parishes around the area) considered us their regular place of worship. Thus, a community, not a parish.

As soon as I had transportation, I attended Mass at the Cathedral down the road. For other reasons (a lousy boyfriend, mainly), I stagnated in the faith and wasn’t diligent in fulfilling my Sunday obligation during my sophomore and junior years. I went through most of college with no Catholic friends, and no real dialog on faith issues. I knew I was missing something, and was often very lonely.

When I returned to the Catholic Campus Ministry my last semester, I found a small group of students who, like me, were against all the inappropriate, illicit activities at Mass. As I began attending more regularly there, I noticed more and more people kneeling despite the lack of kneelers, saying He rather than replacing the pronoun with God in the Our Father and other prayers, and just generally showing more reverence toward Mass and the Eucharist. I completed a threesome that prayed the rosary weekly in the student center, and I finally met some Catholic friends.

I felt called to be a traditional, orthodox presence, and spent a year as Associate Campus Minister. I connected with so many wonderful people, some of whom were more or less orthodox, and others of whom were/are very misguided. I can only pray that the Holy Spirit was able to use my year there to change their hearts and bring them to a fuller understanding of Catholic teaching.

Pray about it before you abandon the church “community” or make a lot of waves. God is still in control of His church. I met my fiance and my best friends at my liberal “Catholic community.” They, like me, are very uncomfortable with many things that go on. My suggestion? Go there, and watch for other people who try to kneel anyway. How else are you going to find faithful Catholics for friends?

Officially Catholic churches are either parishes, missions or oratories. A mission is dependent canonically on a parish, an oratory on a diocese or “ordinary.” Calling any of the above a “Such-and-Such Catholic Community” is a somewhat trendy but I think generally harmless way of personalizing the group and emphasizing the relationships they hope to find within. Like orange carpets in the sanctuary, these heavy stone signs advertising one or another “Catholic Community” might come to be dated signs of a forgotten trend, but I think the name is chosen usually to emphasize the concept of being an “intentional community” in which people actually want to participate.

[quote=Joan M]No it’s not! It is only in churches or basilicas, such as St. Peter’s, etc., where there are always tourists milling around that the Tabernacle is supposed to be in a seperate chapel. In ordinary parish churches or cathedrals that do not get lots of visitors the Tabernacle is supposed to be front and center - clearly seen on entering the church and easily available for prayer.
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Not always so. When we built our new church about ten or twelve years ago the tabernacle was recommended to be in a side chapel. I believe that since that time a still newer set of instruction for construction has come out and we are back to the tabernacle in the main body of the Church. I am thinking the interim rule had something to do with the concept that mass attendees were supposed to receive the Eucharist confected at the Mass they attended and not reserved hosts. As a practical matter this doesn’t always work out in practice.

[quote=Fortiterinre] Calling any of the above a “Such-and-Such Catholic Community” is a somewhat trendy but I think generally harmless way of personalizing the group and emphasizing the relationships they hope to find within.
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Harmless? I don’t think so. It’s another blur in the line between Catholicism and Protestantism. When people don’t question the little changes, abuses are just invited in.

[quote=Detroit Sue]Harmless? I don’t think so. It’s another blur in the line between Catholicism and Protestantism. When people don’t question the little changes, abuses are just invited in.
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I would say as harmless as parishes actually calling themselves “Such-and-such Parish,” which I see more of as well. Modern Catholic churches with dozens of paid staff and volunteer programs pretty much have adopted a completely Protestant pastoral style as it is, so the “line” has been blurred for some decades. Do you know of any diocese that forbids this? My old diocese was actually very careful to refer to each parish the way it referred to itself, so some were “communities,” some were “parishes,” some were “Roman Catholic Church,” some just “Catholic Church,” and some just “St. Whoever Church.” I don’t see any need for uniformity here, and I know of no diocese that ever had it.

The directives for church buildings are the same regardless of the size of the church. And they indicate it should not be front and center, but in its own chapel, albeit not a seperate building…which is the later clarification refered to.

[quote=muledog] Also, you know as well as I do that the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in St. Peter’s is larger than most churches are in the United States. You sound as if it’s some closet or something.
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I don’t see how i made it sound like a closet, but that certainly wasn’t my intent. Nor would i suggest putting a tabernacle in a closet, but it deserves its own chapel. Better that than some makeshift conversion of the conference room or choir loft come Holy Thursday, no?

[quote=muledog] Not according Built of Living Stones (particular law for the United States, and only a guideline) and the current *General Instruction for the Roman Missal *(universal and particular law for the U.S.).
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Actually it was both of these documents i was referencing. THe GIRM allows two possible locations for the reservation of the Blessed sacrament: 1)in a seperate chapel, or 2) in the main body of the church, but not “front and center” on the altar. It is up to the local ordinary to determine whether one is prefered or both allowed in his diocese. BLS backs this up.

As for translation opinions…The translation is accurate, but only my opinion that it’s no worse (or better) than “church”.

Actually it was both of these documents i was referencing. THe GIRM allows two possible locations for the reservation of the Blessed sacrament: 1)in a seperate chapel, or 2) in the main body of the church, but not “front and center” on the altar. It is up to the local ordinary to determine whether one is prefered or both allowed in his diocese. BLS backs this up.

Separate chapel is probably o.k. in our current daya. Most churches are kept locked except during masses, which is quite different than the old days. The exception are tourists churches where non worshippers visit, and where the separate chapel is also appropriate.

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