There are those in St. Peter’s flock who are suffering a type of exile. I had originally wanted to call it a “self-imposed” exile, but that term does not match the reality of the situation. Their exile cannot be called voluntary – rather, their exile is “to avoid the near occasion of sin.”
The changes to the liturgy at St. Peter’s have been imposed by the new Pastor. These changes have been distracting and disturbing. They have detracted from the beauty and richness of the Mass. The changes, although licit and within a liberal interpretation of the General Instruction for the Roman Missal (GIRM), lead some to mourn what they have lost or what has been taken from them. And for some, the changes have evoked emotions akin to anger.
So, they leave. They won’t allow themselves to participate in a liturgy that is marred by feelings that do not belong to something so holy as the Mass. Instead, they go to other parishes for nourishment. They go seeking to be fed with food to strengthen the spirit.
My wife is one of St. Peter’s sheep in exile. So, I join her in her quest for nourishment every week, but I also remain at St. Peter’s to hold our rightful place in the parish we had chosen for our retirement. Because of that and for many other reasons, I refuse to be driven away.
St. Peter’s sheep in exile not only give up their parish, they must also leave their Catholic community and their friends behind. It is easy to lose track of events and festivities that used to be a part of the seasons of their lives. Unfortunately, the new parish Web site does not post the Sunday bulletins. If they were posted, then St. Peter’s sheep in exile could at least know who is sick and in need of prayers. So, until the bulletins are posted by the Parish, I will try to make them available on a regular basis. Following are links to bulletins for the last four weeks: