How Should I View These Things

So some of what I want to bring up are liturgical issues, but some are not and so I felt like this would be a better section to post this in.

Today I attended Mass at my home parish and I noticed some things that concerned me. Most of them were an extension of issues I complained about or had been bothered by. Still I felt like I should ask about these things.

First, it was announced that we’d be introducing a children’s liturgy. Now I heard of these and so I assume they are okay, but what I heard described seems wrong. The plan is to have the kids dismissed during the Liturgy of the Word. They will go to a room where a simpler version of the readings will be used and they will have time for reflection. Since volunteers were requested, I assume this will be lay run (a priest won’t do the reading or lead the reflection). Is this okay?

Secondly, I was looking through the bulletin and I saw an advertisement for the Intercommunity of Peace & Justice Center Cafes. Last spring an event they ran had been advertised in the bulletin. Since it was pro-gay marriage, Liberation Theology, women priests and anti priestly celibacy I knew the event was concerning. I complained about it to my pastor and he agreed that it was concerning. Since this organization seems to be established in multiple states, while the event was local (and I can’t find much about the organization.s specific beliefs minus a Catholic Culture review that gives it a red rating) I’d like to see if any of you know of it.

Lastly, are the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers a concerning organization.? I have heard some negative things and Catholic Culture gave a site by a similar name a red rating, but I’m unsure if the sites are related. When I type up the name in the bulletin I’m lead to this website: maryknollsociety.org/ and the review provides this link: home.maryknoll.org So in re-reading the review I think they may be refering to the same group, but I’d like some additional feedback. Here is the review: catholicculture.org/culture/reviews/view.cfm?recnum=2227&repos=2&subrepos=0&searchid=1173399

  1. The children’s liturgy seems fine to me. They may benefit more while in a more age appropriate setting where they can get more individual attention. This one does not concern me to greatly.
  2. If this group is promoting issues contrary to the teachings of the Church, then I would not have a thing about them in the bulletin.
  3. I am at a time restriction as far as reading the cited references you included in your post. However, I have known of the MaryKnoll’s for over two decades and have experienced no specific problems with them. This does not mean there are none, but they may be local, new or via personal behaviors. Try learning about the founders and the overall history of the group, ask your priest for information and continue reading. Take time to discern what you read and put it all together. If possible you might even visit one of their communities. (Don’t know where you are or if there is one.) Basically don’t jump to conclusions and beware of critics AND promoters who seem to one sided or dramatic.

What your church is doing with the children’s liturgy is perfectly proper and has been done around the country for years. It is called the Children’s Liturgy of the Word, and consists of the readings and Gospel for the day with teaching at their appropriate age level. It is not a “liturgical abuse”, and yes, the instructor may read the Gospel.

FYI, in any Liturgy of the Word service when a priest or deacon is not present, a lay person may read the Gospel.

I like having kids there for the whole mass. I can see some parents feeling embarrassed sometimes, but they bring a greater feeling of life and community. Obviously you don’t want them screaming and yelling, but it wouldn’t be the same without children.

The other day there was this big extended family sitting in several rows in front of me. They had this little baby boy old enough to smile and laugh. They just passed him from person-to-person to keep him occupied while he smiled at everybody behind them. Little things like that are priceless. I wouldn’t want to lose children during mass.

Thanks for the replies. So I did look this up and you’re right, the Children’s Liturgy of the Word is allowed. I just thought it seemed odd for a lay person to be bleeding the reflection and reading the Gospel. But even those things are allowed by the rubrics; so there mist be a logical reason for it. Sorry for bringing this point up, I should have researched it better. I’m still interested in feedback on the other two points. Thanks again.

I wish I could help you, but I don’t know anything about the first, and I’ve known about the Maryknoll Missionaries since I was a kid when we used to get their magazine and donate to them. I have not heard anything negative, so I can’t help you with the second.

IN any case, it’s probably not a good idea to post negative things about them, one cannot be assured of the truth and there may be false accusations. Also, that sort of thing could get one banned from the forums.

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