Thursday, May 3, 2007

Urban Renewal in a Parish (Part I)

Cathy of Alex, who blogs at Recovering Dissident Catholic, speaking from the experience of having been a member of several urban parishes, speculates on what "modern liturgical innovations" might do to the elderly and the immobile who cannot easily change their parish; or don't want to. Pray for them.

Imagine you are an elderly Catholic widow who has lived in your urban home for 50 years. You enjoy it because it's comfortable to you, your garden looks nice, you are close to a grocery store and your doctor's office. You smile at the memories of all the children you raised; who went to the Catholic school down the street. Your late husband is buried in the Catholic cemetery 3 blocks away-close enough for you to visit for prayer and flowers. The house is paid for. You are not wealthy but you are independent and financially comfortable. You don't have any serious health issues though you cannot drive due to some eyesight issues. But, it's fine, you are on a busline. Your grandkids visit on occasion. You can walk to daily Mass and receive the Sacraments at your Catholic parish down the street. The same parish you were wed in, your husband's funeral Mass was in, and that your children received their Sacraments of Initiation in.

Sure, some of your old friends have died or moved away. Yes, registrations and attendance at your parish and its school is falling because fewer of the people moving into the area are Catholic or practicing Catholics.

Eventually, your Pastor of many years retires. You look forward to the new Pastor with the usual slight apprehension but you've seen many new Priests come to this parish over your decades of faithfulness. You will be just fine. Your parish will be just fine.

You go to daily Mass one day and discover that Father Hip-Hop Side Your Head has decided to do away with daily Mass because it's not worth his time setting it up for only a handful of people. He has better things to do with his free time like: oh, working on his book about the "Errors of Every Council Before Vatican II" and working with his architect buddy on how to get rid of all the statues in the church as well as totally modernizing the Sanctuary. Read the entire post here.

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