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Friday, 18 July 2008

But then I worry about aligning myself with someone like THIS...

An old story, hopefully that parish, that diocese, has righted itself.

A woman who teaches religious ed learns that her pastor is unavailable for the HOly Sacrifice of the Mass:
Church was filling up. One of the married priests of the congregation came to argue about him doing liturgy, but I said no. We were prepared to do what we would do. Liturgy began, and coming in procession, I suddenly felt like I was riding a wave. That continued through the opening prayers, after which I took a long moment, looked around at the assembly who were still standing, looking expectant, and said, "Sometimes miracles happen. This isn't one of them!" And they laughed. And we proceeded to pray together. Midway through, a visiting Jesuit knelt by my pew and whispered that he was a priest and if I wanted, he could do the consecration and all. I said no. (We had Liturgy of the Word, no communion, because we don't keep enough hosts in the tabernacle for 600+ people.) I thought that to plug him in at that moment would be to dishonor the community. For us to fast from Eucharist one time would only give us a deeper hunger. We did more than survive. We thrived.Our parish is a wonderful community with a good grasp on its own identity and mission. For some, it is the "parish of last resort" before they leave the Catholic Church altogether. For others it is a welcome home. Many find a place where they can begin to heal, and go on to heal others.

Well, I suspect they fulfill that "mission" very well, ushering people out the door... kind of the flip side of Joyce - there goes everbody.


Mary Jane said...

Oy! Who needs Father anyway? They can have a grand old time without him.

Scelata said...

Isn't that sad?
I read a similar story by a priest, approvingly, of a priestless community he came across in his travels.
They were doing just fine, he thought, (I think it was the author of one of the English transaltions of "Pescador des Hombres," IIRC)

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