It Can Happen.


#1

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.


#2

It also goes to show that the laity have a real role to play in assuring that the truth is taught, the rubrics are followed, the Mass is celebrated in sync with the universal Church, and all ministries in which they participate are ecclesial, that is, conducted with the mind of the church. When lay people demand that the truth and fullness of the faith be taught to them and their children, when they demand that priests fulfill their vocational promises, just as married people should, then things will begin to change. It also goes to show the power of making a concrete proposal, in the proper manner, to the proper person, rather than whining and moaning and subverting the action behind the scenes.

It also goes to show that humility is the fundamental virtue that priests and lay people in service to the Church should strive for.


#3

:tiphat:


#4

Great post, it shows that sometimes planting the seeds and a little bit of water can go a long way.:clapping:


#5

[quote=Stu]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.
[/quote]

Thanks be to God. The Holy Spirit is working in Stu’s parish. I don’t know what a letter like that would do today as we have a new pastor, but three months ago it would have been harshly rejected.

To begin with, it would be challanging the person who actually gets paid to be in charge of altar servers at my parish…


#6

:tiphat:

Amen.


#7

Stu,
You mentioned that your Pastor went on a retreat and when he got back things changed for the better.
When was the last time your parish had a retreat and I am sure now would be a good time, since the Holy Spirit granted him some grace.
I would guess BIG things happening at your parish!

go with God!
Edwin


#8

Stu–Thanks for sharing that. It says good things about your priest but also about you too. :thumbsup: God bless you for all you do for your parish.


#9

What exactly was the problem with the altar servers?


#10

[quote=Exalt]What exactly was the problem with the altar servers?
[/quote]

Nothing out of the ordinary that you would expect from teens. My proposals were to tighten the discipline up a bit while asking to reintroduce some more traditional elements back to the Mass (bells, communion patens, etc) in order to bring the reverence back which in turn would help with the discipline etc.

At the same time, there were other petitions to fix some elements of the Mass that were being done incorrectly. All the things you see talked about here.

Hopefully we will be able to fix these details and it will allow our parish to receive even more gifts. As Father said during his homily on Sunday, “from obedience comes grace”. God Bless him.


#11

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