"We're not that traditional"


#1

The more I learn about my faith, the more things I see in my parish that bother me. The latest example is Divine Mercy Sunday. I asked the liturgical coordinator of our parish the other day why there was no mention of Divine Mercy Sunday being made in our parish - especially due to its connection with JPII. She said ‘Well, we’re not that traditional of a parish’. I feel awkward in these situations and I only replied ‘possibly, but it would be nice to learn about these teachings’. She ignored me. How should I have handled this? I’m not quite sure what to do when I see the ‘traditional’ aspects of the church being ignored. I would not have even known it was the Year of the Eucharist were it not for me watching EWTN, this forum, etc.
What do others do in parishes like mine, where there are a lot of good things, but also lot of things that also are not ‘traditional’. I’m feeling very out of place these days as I become more ‘traditional’.


#2

I think you described your problem in a nutshell: “liturgical coordinator.” :rolleyes:


#3

I used to have this attitude at my parish. Unfortunately, at the time (more than five years ago) I didn’t really know how many things were liturgical abuses. As my faith grew and I learned more, I also realized some things that were missing.

Over the last five years we have changed a lot. We now have kneelers, a crucifix over the altar, the tabernacle has been moved back to the front of the church, etc. Largely this has been due to a new pastor we received about the same time, and also a new influx of parishioners who were also more orthodox and traditional.

It greatly changed our parish in that many families left, but many more came and our church is now flourishing. It all goes to show that people don’t want a watered-down faith, we want the truth in all of its fullness as God intended.

So, my advice to you is to pray, pray, pray! Spend time in Eucharistic adoration (if you don’t have it at your parish, find one that does) and bring before Jesus all your concerns. Pray for faithful priests, traditional liturgical coordinators and religious ed directors, etc. Don’t be afraid to speak the truth and/or to approach others regarding things such as Mercy Sunday. Maybe you should start planning what your parish could do next year. Find others of like mind and show that people do want these devotions.

My prayers are with you!


#4

LOL, I am trying to figure out how traditional and divine mercy sunday fit together. Seems to me that it’s a new thing within the last 26 years at least.


#5

Well, you got to stand up for the truth. You also need to ask the priest what he means by not that traditional. He can’t mean that being traditional means that you follow the church. You got to ask him why he wouldn’t want all of your sins forgiven not only by God, but your pugatory time is eliminated compleately. I think only a fool would not do Divine Mercy for a parish. But if confornting him doesn’t work, tell the bishop and hopefully he will get things straighted out.


#6

[quote=gelsbern]LOL, I am trying to figure out how traditional and divine mercy sunday fit together. Seems to me that it’s a new thing within the last 26 years at least.
[/quote]

Yes, you’re right!!! Kind of like Pope Leo XIII (died 1903) adding the prayer to Saint Michael to the Mass. I’m guessing that you don’t believe in Fatima (early 20th Century) or Lourdes (mid-1800’s) and that the popes shouldn’t have included those in the fabric of our faith?


#7

Elzee,

There are a lot of different approaches to the mass that is based on culture and the degree of traditionalism. Some people love the Latin mass even though they don’t speak a word of it. If you feel your specific church is celebrating the mass in a way that is somewhat bland or uninspiring, there is absolutley no reason why you should not try attending mass at a different church that may be more traditional.

I returned to the church after a 13 year absence. But I still have not gone to the local church I should be a part of. I was have been attending services at a church 20 miles away. I just seemed to fit there a little better.

Thal59


#8

[quote=Elzee]The more I learn about my faith, the more things I see in my parish that bother me. The latest example is Divine Mercy Sunday. I asked the liturgical coordinator of our parish the other day why there was no mention of Divine Mercy Sunday being made in our parish - especially due to its connection with JPII. She said ‘Well, we’re not that traditional of a parish’. I’.
[/quote]

you would think the non-traditional innovative types would love Divine Mercy devotion because it originated in the last 50 years, they should be jumping all over it like ducks on a junebug.


#9

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to approach my priest with my concerns? I’m not good at this. He has delegated a LOT to this particular staff person, and my feeling is she directs him on many things instead of the other way around. She is not one who is open to suggestions so I don’t think talking to her would get me anywhere. I just don’t know how to ‘start’ the conversation with my priest. Any suggestions? I know this will take time, but I feel like I need to start planting seeds…


#10

I know everyone is so busy with so many threads open, but does anyone have any suggestions on how to best approach my priest with concerns? I can easiliy set up a time to meet with him, but I don’t know how to ‘open’ the conversation since I have no idea what his reaction will be. Thank you so much for any advice you can give me.


#11

My only suggestion is that you should perhaps give rest to the idea of talking to the pastor and go to the sacramentualists in the bishop’s curia.

What sort of a joke is a lay liturgical coordinator? A lay, female liturgical coordinator plus “we are not that traditional of a parish” clearly looks suspicious. Dang, those “progressive Catholics” have a knack for annoying me. What’s next? “We are a pro-choice parish” said by a lay female doctrinal coordinator?

I would show the woman what the Catechism says about schism. Knowing better than Rome is schism. I would worry about the poor pastor as well. Looks like he has his spiritual Dalilah now.


#12

I might try the “kill with kindness” approach. It will take longer and be more difficult perhaps, but in the end worth it.

I’d approach the coordinator, express thanks for all her hard work, appreciation of her skills (you can pick an area which is not “abuse-worthy”, such as her diligence or perseverance, etc.). I’d ask if there were ways I could help out (most people LOVE to have new helpers to do grunt tasks). You can offer them up (the grunt tasks, that is).

Then, as you start to know each other better, you can ask her, non confrontationally, about some of her deeper spiritual thoughts (that usually works nicely as we all like to be thought of as being spiritually “deep”). Who knows, she may actually have some very good ideas and is just not expressing them in a clear way, and if you ask her to help you understand SHE might wind up understanding better herself. You can also, very carefully, one at a time and at times she’s in a “good space”, ask her about some of YOUR deep spiritual ideas. Even if she comes out with some radically AWFUL stuff, there is usually a basis for common ground. If she’s into enneagrams and labyrinths, it’s probably because they’re supposed to be “old tradition”. . .well, you can usually find some REAL old tradition and very, very carefully work around them. Labyrinths actually CAN be spiritually helpful–IF you don’t just walk around doing OMS but do instead the “Jesus” prayer, or have people recite the rosary, etc.

So you can help “steer” things, perhaps. At the very worst, if she proves completely unamenable to any sort of dialogue, explanation, instruction, help, etc., then you’ll have a “documented” list of things you can bring to your pastor and bishop which will be very helpful to them in determining whether the coordinator should continue or not. And, if she’s that intransigent, unless you have a bishop on the hot road to heterodoxy (luckily still rare even in the U.S.), she’ll probably get the word to change and/or embrace orthodoxy.

And of course, pray unceasingly!


#13

[quote=Elzee]Does anyone have any suggestions on how to approach my priest with my concerns? I’m not good at this. He has delegated a LOT to this particular staff person, and my feeling is she directs him on many things instead of the other way around. She is not one who is open to suggestions so I don’t think talking to her would get me anywhere. I just don’t know how to ‘start’ the conversation with my priest. Any suggestions? I know this will take time, but I feel like I need to start planting seeds…
[/quote]

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I think that your motivation is good, and your willingness to be involved is good. Do you ordinarily volunteer at the parish, or do you see yourself as a *customer *of the parish?

The reason I ask is that there is no shortage of customers, people who expect “services”, but actually do not take ownership. It is a common attitude, but the people most involved will have the most influence.

The Catholic church is chock full of ways to worship, many very ancient and traditional devotions as well as new ones. No parish can offer them all, there has to be an expectation that the devotion is sustainable and reflects the community. The Divine Mercy devotion is a novelty, most Catholics did not grow up with it and I suspect most are still quite disinterested. I wouldn’t expect every parish to take it up immediately and it may never become universally popular.

I personally would like the local parish to have daily Matins and Vespers, but they will have no part of it. One local parish did Matins three days a week but I am convinced that they discontinued it for lack of interest, oh well…

In light of that it might be worthwhile for you to seek another parish that reflects your own spirituality a bit better. Many Catholics find other outlets for their emerging spirituality such as Third Orders and Oblates. Quite a few are represented here on this message board.

If you really want to get the Divine Mercy devotion started ask that a mention of it be put into the parish bulletin with you as the contact person and you can help organize the interested people as a private devotion, if the parish sees an interest they will undoubtedly include Divine Mercy Sunday in the calendar next year.

+T+
Michael


#14

Thank you all for your help and suggestions. I guess I’m wanting a ‘quick fix’ and I should know that is not going to happen. Michael, to answer your question, I’m very involved with the parish, but right now it is mostly with the younger kids ministries (which I’m having a chance to influence…but I don’t think this is my calling…). Since I’ve been learning more about my faith this past year and reading more and more apologetics material, I feel like I’m being called to another area of volunteering. The idea of helping the ‘liturgical coordinator’ is good. Because of the volunteer work I do at the parish I know several of the staff members - not well - but I know them and we get along well. I would love to help with ‘liturgy coodination’, but, I know the coordinator well enough to know that having someone ‘help’ would seem to her like she was ‘giving up control’ and she would not do that. She likes to do it all herself. Perhaps I can steer my efforts towards the RCIA program or something else that will give me more access to the staff, adult education, etc. and maybe eventually be better able to ease into giving some suggsetions on the liturgy, Eucharistic Adoration, etc. (LIke I said in an earlier post, I would have had no idea this was the Year of the Eucharist if it wasn’t for my own reading and these forums. Our parish never has Eucharistic Adoration, except for 2 hours after Mass on Holy Thursday - and that’s ‘set-up’ in a conference room in the parish hall. I never hear any mention of Mary or the Saints during homilies, although our priest is very good about stressing the importance of a relationship and dependence on Jesus, surrendering to him, etc. continually being transformed into his likeness, etc…) That said, there are lot of good things about this parish, **especially **compared to the other parishes in our area so I don’t think switching parishes is an option. I know there is no ‘perfect’ parish. I’m just very fearful of the influece the liberal, lay members of our staff have on our priest.


#15

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