Toilet paper Catholicism
My pastor is a soft spoken man, a priest converted from the Episcopalian Church along with his wife, kids and grandchildren. He pretty much runs things the way he feels is best. When Fr. Tim says we'll have a ministry set up in a particular manner, thats the way it is. I'm told the initial meetings in getting our alcoholism/drug addiction ministry going were "interesting". He wanted the parish to have it's very own AA meeting. When the ministry head, a recovering alkie with over 30 yrs. sobriety said, "You can't do it that way." the real fun began. But I wasn't there so maybe it wasn't that noteworthy. Whatever. You can count on doing it IAW Church teaching as he sees best or forget it.
We have female altar servers and a plethora of Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers, no TLM, the Vigil Mass is known as the "Sandals & Tanktop Mass" and our choir has bongo drums, tambourines, guitars and now a flutist (my wife). We also have the Rosary said before every Sunday Mass, Confession heard every day of the week, a strong prolife ministry, 4 seminarians (I'm told thats a lot for a single parish) and we're expanding so quickly that most Masses are SRO by the time they start. FWIW, the congregation resembles the UN more than anything else. We've got Hispanics, Africans, Vietnamese, one Irishman I know of and probably a lot of other ethnicities I don't.
Not too much direct mention is made of Hell by name in the homilies, the need to follow God's Word, the expected difficulty of doing that and the implied eternal consequences following success or failure are.
So thats my parish in a nutshell.
The reason I mention all of this is as background for a comment made by our pastor not too long ago in reference to the constant bickering by the extreme wings of Catholicism. On one end that would be those who feel the only truly reverent way to worship is in full formal attire, the women with head coverings and the children in suits & dresses. Everyone says the Mass in Latin, kneels at the altar for the Eucharist received on the tongue, no female altar servers ever allowed, and the music is what my wife would call "Catholic dirges" . Forgive her, she's a convert.
The other end would be those pining away for ordained women, hoping for a married priesthood, consider the Sacrament of Penance to be outmoded and quaint, foam at the mouth for more involvement in "social justice work" and feel anyone not actively hugging any tree in sight is probably doomed to Hell. The choir director should get his inspiration from Up With People concerts more than anything else.
Fr. Tim's comment about the squabbles was, "It's all about as relevant as questioning the texture of toilet paper in the rest rooms." This was said as part of a homily regarding religious persecution in the world today.
That kind of makes sense. If we're reallly trying to follow Christ shouldn't our focus be first and foremost on ourselves and our families? Shouldn't we try being powers of example instead of colossal pains in the ass? Aren't there enough REAL problems for Catholics to address?
Funny ... sounds much like the Fr. Tim who used to be our pastor, who's now up at Immaculate Conception in Denton.
Anthony, nope. Ours is in Allen at St. Jude. But it's good to know there are more like him.
Sounds very good--and sort of like our pastor! Except for the music and vigil thing.
IR, I admit we could lose those traits and I'd refrain from weeping.
Post a Comment