I’ve had quite a last week and a half and feel that I should share my experience. Two Fridays ago, Father summoned me to his office to discuss my proposed stewardship of the altar servers. I had provided him some read ahead material (proposed server guide and detailed goals for the program) so that the discussion could be focused on what he would approve. However that would not be the case as he informed me that the parish was not ready for the changes I would like to make and that my services would not be required.
After some thought, I decided that the best course of action would be for me and my family to find another parish; one that was more orthodox. The following Sunday we went to Mass at the local cathedral and I drafted a letter to Father informing him of my decision to leave. In essence, I stated in the letter that since it appeared no change would take place in how we celebrated Mass I would have to move on. After mailing the letter, I thought that would be it.
Well it seems as though an extraordinary chain of events was working in the background. Father went on a retreat and when he returned he had a total change of heart. Even before receiving my letter he got together with another fellow parishoner to discuss getting the Mass up to GIRM standards and such. He also called me to see if we could revisit the altar server decision. So with that and some discussion with the fellow parishoner, I decided to return to Mass at my parish as one last try. But the best part is today he got up during Mass and informed the parish that we were going to be “by the book” and that he would lead by example fixing the things within his purview, then the the different ministries (servers, lectors, etc) and then the congregation itself. He even outlined some immediate changes to get us on the right track.
I say without shame that I was in tears during his announcement. Whether the rest of the parish realized it or not, Father basically got up, humbled himself and told everyone that he was wrong and how we were all going to fix the problems together. In a word, it was leadership and it has made him my hero.
Now I don’t think it was my letter or anything like that. It truly was the Lord working in the way that He does and for that I am grateful. Just goes to show that prayer and perseverance works. God Bless.