I’m not sure if this is the right place but here goes:
I came on here to ask for some advice about a decision I am going to have to make in the near future. I am posting as “anonymous” because of my position and we can leave it at that. I have talked to my spiritual director as well other close friends and I am at a point where I’m still not sure what to do. The question is: I am at a parish where there was a good priest that is more orthodox than most but they have been replaced with someone that just lets things go and is fairly liberal. By that I mean people are starting to do what they want. Another priest at our parish is starting to change things in the Mass, things like that. The CCD program is not so hot and most kids come out not knowing much. I have a family with young children and I don’t know whether to stay and try to help the parish by reporting such things to the pastor, bishop, etc. and try and make a difference, or leave and go to a parish in a neighboring city that I really know is solid. I know that if I try to stay and fight I pretty much know I will get nowhere because of the people there. They want things to be soft and protestantized the way they used to be. The problem is that I feel I have an obligation to help if I can. If I didn’t have kids I would no doubt stay and try to fight. I don’t want them to have to go through this garbage and have to come home every Sunday and tell them how Mass is supposed to be. By the way, I’m not some over-the-top right-wing traditionalist (no offense anybody! ) or anything, just a solid Catholic. And I’m not talking about little abuses either. I mean things that may make the consecration invalid, things along that line. I can’t really go into details because of my situation. Back on point, I feel that all this would be confusing to my children. I know people that have been through this fight before to no avail. I am praying about this constantly and I ask that you pray for our parish as well. If you have any advice I ask that you please let me hear it. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks and God bless.
I appreciate that you don’t want to say too much, for fear of revealing your identity.
But it seems to me that we are not being given enough information to make it possible to advise you.
For instance, several times people have complained on these boards about abuses in the Mass, and then it turns out that they were mistaken; either the things they complained about were in fact permitted options, or else it came down to a matter of opinion on what was tasteful and fitting.
Facing the chalice and ciborium away during consecration, letting Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion self-communicate the extra hosts during the purification of the vessels, stopping during Mass and and making people re-reply because “that just wasn’t good enough, lets try that again.” Things like that. No, I’m not 100% sure these are abuses, I’m still looking into it. But this happened the first Sunday after the new pastor came and had never happened before with this priest. So what’s next?
I was visiting another parish and this happened about a month ago. At first I was reeeeeally startled, but then it made me think “no, we sounded terribly dull and not even half-hearted, that was fair”.
What will you do if you go to another parish that one gets a new pastor who is less orthodox? That’s the problem with leaving a parish . . . the one you go to may end up being as bad or worse than the one you left.
I am sympathetic, and have personally cringed at some things which I have seen in parishes. But, I have also waited some of them out and seen the parish become more orthodox later – which probably caused some other folks in the pews to cringe!
Not going to happen, he’s a lifer. He’s been there many years. I do know what you mean though. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so hesitant. I hate to parish shop, you know? I would feel like I was one of “those people”. Plus I feel obliged to where I am now, but I don’t know if I can put my family through all this. Where is my spirituality going to go if all I am doing is fighting? (I hope this doesn’t go any further than where it is now.) Things are never perfect anywhere, I know that. But is my obligation to my parish or my family and our spirituality? Thanks.
It sounds to me like you are being called to lead by example. The convergance of your parish’s potential problems, your families potential problems and your personal potential problems make me think this. It is the same problem for yourself as for your family and your parish. The only real solution is to make the extra effort that it will take to explain what is going on to anyone who will listen and every chance you get. That is, you must dig deeper into your own spirituality and let that be your first evangelist. I guarantee you that if you begin to shine with a little too much holiness you will be noticed for good and for ill, which kind of turns the lights on and reveals the true nature of the potential problems you are facing. I wouldn’t be surprised to find you are not at all alone in your concerns. Use the experience itself as a sacrifice (just make sure you supplement your childrens “education” with solid instruction and practice in the home) and offer it up for what is lacking in your parish, Find others who will pray and bear this with you and be patient. You may end up as the catalyst for a great renewal, or you may wind up being the thorn in some wishy-washy Catholics flesh. Either way, it sounds to me like your awareness of the problems is an invitation to intercede for your parish family with a renewed focus on prayer and fasting, and all the better once you connect with like-minded parishoners. “Wise as serpents and harmless as doves . . .”
If you feel called to fight then at least give it a try and trust the Lord. You’re right that YOU (alone) will get nowhere with this but remember that all is possible with the Lord.
Take this as a chance to read up on what SHOULD be done at mass and what really does constitute an abuse. You say you don’t know if some of those things all constitute abuses but you feel uneasy, so take this chance to learn.
Talk to the priest about this in a letter (or in person if you can do so without being confrontational). If you can show him why certain things are wrong and he doesn’t listen or has no good reason to allow such things then go to the Bishop.
As for your children, remember that good education starts at home. If they’re confused then strengthen their faith by teaching them more, teaching them what’s right, what’s wrong, and why.
As a side note, saying “that wasn’t good enough” might be the priests attempt to get people to wake up and participate. Nothing really wrong with that in itself (so long as it’s not too frequent) but the thing you mentioned of the Extraordinary ministers is worrying.
If after you’ve tried it really does go nowhere then there’s no problem with leaving to a better parish. There’s no reason why it’s wrong to do so even without this “fight” but perhaps there’s a reason you feel compelled to “fight”. Pray for discernment and do what you can in the meantime. I’ll pray for you too.
**Don’t run, Jesus stood for the Truth, even at the cost of His life!
"“I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” (Is 42:6-7)
Correct their errors in a loving and helpful way. i also cringe when a Priest or lay person decides to put their own personal interpretation into the Truth, especially during the Most Holy Mass!
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!
In the San Francisco Bay area it is imperative to “church shop”. There are very few parishes that are orthodox. Let’s say for instance that you lived in the city of San Francisco. There are parishes there that welcome “two mommies”…need I say more:rolleyes: Since you are anonymous you could be living right in the middle of San Francisco where it would be your duty to drive a distance for a proper parish. Many parishes south of SF in The San Jose diocese accept New Age spiritualities. It is very common in the South Bay for families to church shop. You want the best for your family…then shop! In Sacramento there is an orthodox parish with the Latin mass. It also has its own grade school that would remind one of the good old fashioned 50’s. Families drive from many miles away to be part of that parish.
When the priest says “this is body” and “this is my blood” he is supposed to breathe on the host or wine in his hand. They were turned to the congregation instead.
And as far as finishing chalices goes, you can only do that with the bishops permission as stated below. It says nothing about hosts. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!!!
"In those instances when there remains more consecrated wine than was necessary, if needs dictate, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may consume what remains of the Precious Blood from their cup of distribution with the permission of the diocesan bishop. The sacred vessles are to be purified by the priest, the deacon or an instituted acolyte. The amount of wine to be consecrated should be carefully measured before the celebration so that none remains afterward. It is strictly forbidden to pour the Precious Blood into the ground or into the sacrarium. (NDRHC, 51-55).
Similarly, “consecrated hosts are to be reserved in a ciborium or vessel in sufficient quantity for the needs of the faithful; they are to be frequently renewed and the old hosts properly consumed” (Code of Canon Law, no. 939). Burying hosts or consecrated Eucharistic bread is strictly forbidden.
It sounds like some problems have been going on for awhile (CCD) and others a new with this priest (changes in the Mass). Which priest is the pastor? And how long has he been there? When were these transfers made? Here the bishop does most of the transfers in July after the June ordinations. If that is the case where you are also, I would say you don’t have enough information to judge yet about the new priest.
Before you decide to leave, get to know your new priest. Invite him over for dinner, ask him about his background. Share your families favorite devotions with him. In other words, try to develop a relationship. It is much easier to influence someone if they know you.
Learn what is correct at Mass and what isn’t. As another poster said, just because something is different, doesn’t mean it is wrong. Be sure you are witnessing actual true abuses before you bring them up to the priest. But if you are confiused about something he does, certainly you should ask. Simply, “Father, I’ve never seen xyz before. What does it mean?” (Or perhaps, is it from a different rite?) His response will tell you more about what is licit and what is not.
Hopefully those steps will help you correct any actual abuses during Mass. Those things that are licit but just different may be things you can get used to.
For the other issues, talk to the DRE or whoever runs CCD. See if you parish can start using *Faith and Life *or another solid program. Do you volunteer to help with the program? If not, then now is the time to start. Offer to teach in your older children’s classes or for those children that may be receiving a sacrament this year. Helping with the oldest will ensure that you can explain the more complicated part of the faith. The younger children usually do OK anyway.
Finally, be sure that you are modelling strong faith in your own home. Have a family prayer time every day, maybe start saying a family rosary. Be sure to pray for the Holy father and your priests every day. We parents are the most important educators of our children anyway and it is up to us to show them how to be devout.
Thanks so much for all your good advice. I couldn’t tell you all the info you asked or it would tell too much about where I am. I know this is probably aggravating to you all but I do appreciate all the suggestions. The CCD program problem is not the director, it’s the teachers. They are not solid in their faith. I do know the pastor. I really wish I could say more but I’ve probably said too much as it is. Thanks
To be honest, I didn’t say anything to him about the liturgical issues. I didn’t want it to be a personal problem between the two of them.
When the priest says “he gave it to his disciples” he shows the chalice and the Host respectively to the congregation. Then he says “take this all you and eat/drink it, this is My Body/Cup of My Blood”. When he says this, the Priest is supposed to breathe on the host/wine as part of the correct posture for consecration (that’s what I’ve always seen and heard anyway). By the way, the page you linked may be correct, but don’t believe all you read on wikipedia. Thanks for the questions and concern, I really appreciate you all!
I would say, pray & listen to whatever God is speaking to you within your heart. Do whatever you think is best for your children. The definition of insanity is: performing the same actions expecting different results. If you been down this road before you know where it leads.
If your children will be scandalise go to a better parish. Pray hard for the priests, and offer sacrifices for them, because satan works 1,000 times harder to win priests than us. If it gets a priest it can win 1,000’s of souls, a bishop can get it 100,000’s of souls. It’s the year of the priest and where would we be without them - no sacraments? Move on, but pray hard for them.