A lot of priests, doing a BUNCH of big masses is not what I had in mind there.
Imagined maybe the Bishop, Cardinal or whatever doing ONE big diocesan mass at a large venue (in my area it might be Anaheim Stadium, say) perhaps coordinating it with (and like) the many parish St. Joseph’s tables and meals for the poor that go on apart from masses.
We Catholics have the numbers (especially when visible in those occasional Papal outdoor masses) to attract the media … and thus spread the gospel through the public worship. It’s Ecumenical too … even if it were also a day to reflect upon Catholic contributions to America as part of what we are thankful for.
Here in Orange County, California there is a little known place called Christianizes Creek, part of the Camp Pendleton lands … where Catholic missionaries first baptized natives in what is now California (and the United States). As it predated there even being a United States (at that time there were just English colonies on the North Amarican East Coast.
I always thought calling attention to Christianitos, or possibly being allowed to build a Catholic Church there (for the many Catholic marine families there … but open to the local public) would be a nice idea.
An outdoor mass of “pilgrimage” to that historic California (and Catholic) on Thanksgiving Day (or even otherwise … like the anniversary of those first baptisms in the creek by the missionaries) … could be a celebration that West Coast Americans could all enjoy. That western native Americans were also welcomed to God’s table by the pilgrims from Spain (or in St. Junipero Serra’s case, the Balearic Island of Mallorca).
I don’t think many think of Catholics as being Thanksgiving spoilsports deliberately minimizing Thanksgiving as a Protestant or Secular or National Day that is … un-Catholic, if in no wise anti-Catholic. But there is an Ecumenical opportunity here that could help draw peoples closer to one another in the name of God and our common thanks to Him (and each other).
The Catholic Church can sometimes LOOK to outsiders (and insiders!) as sort of an exclusive club … as opposed to the Christ founded “go and teach (and baptise) all nations …” all inclusive family that it was ordained to be.
Suffice it to say “we” can do Thanksgiving better. On an individual basis, I probably will this year (per prayer anyway).
The lack of available masses may lead to more Rocky Catholics (referring to a Catholic in a movie that referenced Thanksgiving in it).
Rocky Balboa tried to ask out his intended love interest (Adrianne) at her home (and that of her brother Pauly, Rocky’s friend) on Thanksgiving Day.
Adrianne: (who in opposition to “going out” was trying to make a family dinner): But … it’s Thanksgiving!
Rocky: To YOU … maybe. To ME … it’s … like … Thursday.