Sunday, June 28, 2009

Who needs homilies?

We went to [parish unnamed to protect the guilty] in the Baltimore area last week before heading down to Chincoteague, VA with our family for vacation. Father [ditto] decided since it was Father's Day, he wouldn't give a homily, but just a series of jokes instead.

He begged the congregation no less than four times not to write the Archbishop.

Naturally, I just sent my letter, citing the GIRM (emphasis added):

The Homily

66. The Homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate.

There is to be a homily on Sundays and holy days of obligation at all Masses that are celebrated with the participation of a congregation; it may not be omitted without a serious reason. It is recommended on other days, especially on the weekdays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter Season, as well as on other festive days and occasions when the people come to church in greater numbers.
And I'm sure he's not the only one.

UPDATE: Here's the Archdiocese's reply:

Your e-mail below was referred to me as the Director of the Archdiocesan Office for Worship. True concern for the liturgy and the life and love that Christ wishes to bestow on us in the liturgy are high priorities for the Archbishop and for me personally. I contacted Father ____ and asked him to explain the situation.

Father ____ shared with me that he did in fact have a homily on June 21, Father’s Day. It was shorter than his usual homily and it did contain three humorous stories all of which he sent and none of which involved Jesus playing golf. Father ____ used these stories to feature the care that father’s give their children. Then he related that to the care that to his primary focus, the God has for us, as was evidenced in the gospel where Jesus calms the storms. He has since received compliments on the homily, one of which he shared with me. While compliments do not ensure a good homily, he indicated that those who complimented him understood and appreciated the point about God’s care for us. I am sorry that you did not share this reception.

After examining the situation, I am confident that, while different in style even from his own usual homilies, there was no liturgical abuse at _____ Church on June 21, 2009. Father _____ is a good pastor who is familiar with and follows the rubrics as laid out in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and the other pertinent documents. Father _____ also indicated that he greets people after every Mass and would have been more than willing to discuss this with you. Since you indicate that you return to the area occasionally, perhaps next time you may want to bring it up with him after Mass.
No, thank you. Quite simply, this priest lied. I will not attend his parish again, since he has no credibility with me anymore. And what a whitewash.

I will, however, pray for him.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Devastating Arguments

Two of the best articles I've seen on why same-sex marriage is so wrong:

The Worst Thing About Gay Marriage
by Sam Schulman (in short, no concept of kinship).

God, Gays, and Mayberry by Stuart Schwartz (some facts you'll never hear from Brian, Katie, or Charlie).

Stand firm, folks. Don't back down. Don't shut up.

Church Review: Holy Cross Catholic Community, Sparks, NV


First of all, I'm inclined not to trust any parish that bills itself a "Catholic community." That's just so Spirit of Vatican II. Then again, so is this design, built in 2002.

At the sanctuary's only entrance, it has a Big Baptismal Font which has been the trend in many modern churches, with holy water located nowhere else that I could tell.

The sanctuary more resembles a chapel where one would go on a high school retreat. There's a magnificent view to the west toward Spanish Springs. Logistically disturbing was the sign I saw at the emergency exit doors: "Doors Will Open In 15 Seconds." That doesn't sound very fire code to me!

No pews or kneelers, only chairs. No one in the congregation that I could see genuflected toward the altar. No one.

I could abide these things if before Mass, the PA system hadn't been playing Indian sitar music. Had I known George Harrison was approved for liturgical use, I'd have started belting out "Within You Without You" or "My Sweet Lord." Doesn't help for meditating on anything other than Ravi Shankar.

Most people were failing to observe Holy Silence.

The lector introduced all the ministers of the Mass. As a friend once said, "You don't need to know the bus driver's name for him to get you where you're going." Then the obligatory "turn and greet those around you" (for no particular reason).

Most of the rest of the Mass was rather uneventful, except for the Prayer of the Faithful. Prayers to end war (okay) and Global Climate Change (wha-wha-wha-whaaa? Those folks seriously need to read this), but nothing about ending abortion.

On the upside, the bulletins weren't handed out upon entrance, but upon exit instead. Do people really need to meditate on what the Youth Ministry is doing next Wednesday night?

Summary: Your all-too-typical postmodern suburban parish that reeks of the Tyranny of Nice.