The Sheep of Kephas

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Petition Update #6

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1. Petition & Meeting: We had a petition. We delivered the petition. We had a meeting about the petition Saturday, January 24, at St. Peter’s, at 9:30 A.M. Fr. Grinnell ended the meeting by saying that he would be “thinking about the petition and making a decision.” The Sheep of Kephas blog went into a self imposed hiatus until there was a decision.
2. Decision: On February 9th, Fr. Grinnell told the organizer of the petition that sometime over the next two weeks he intends to make the following changes to the 10:45 A.M. Sunday Mass (it was not clear whether he said he would make the following changes with or without a preliminary announcement):

  • Additional bells;
  • Incense (at Easter and perhaps on other Sundays);
  • Precious vessels; and
  • Continued use of the Adoremus Hymnal.

Father was asked about Communion under both species and he replied that he plans to continue that practice.

3. End of the Hiatus: Now that there is a decision, The Sheep of Kephas blog will raise its voice again. The petition specifically stated the following:

“We, the undersigned Parishioners of St. Peter, Washington Virginia, respectfully request Fr. Horace Grinnell, Pastor of St. Peter, reinstate one Sunday Mass as previously celebrated.”

As my wife and I said in our very first post concerning the petition:

“Hidden beneath these few simple words is a deep anguish felt by many Parishioners of St. Peter’s Catholic Church concerning the replacement of a longstanding, rich Novus Ordo liturgical expression with something less, something wanting. Instead of a liturgy that reflects the “Holy, holy, holy …” that takes place in Heaven, we are confronted with the imposition of a self-styled, minimalistic celebration of the Holy Mass. What we see now is “correct” and it is “valid.” Yet, we are left with a sense of incompleteness as we leave Mass each Sunday – a sense of near impoverishment.”

4. Our Response: At this time, my wife and I respond to Fr. Grinnell, “You just don’t get it!”

It’s not about “smells and bells” the way the high Anglicans would say. It is about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is about adoring and honoring and praising God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Eucharist. It is about giving your utmost and not your least. It is not about throwing some disgruntled parishioners a bone. It is about what we had before Fr. Grinnell came to St. Peter’s. It is about restoring the “status quo ante.”

5. Restitution: For years, the Sheep at St. Peter’s had the inexpressible joy and honor to be served by pastors who made the Mass and the Eucharist the central point of focus in the Parish. As chronicled in this blog, however, bit-by-bit that point of focus has become blurred.

Quite frankly, my wife and I feel that a spiritual crime has been committed. The person in charge of our spiritual finances, our spiritual riches, has embezzled from the spiritual repository that had been built up in St. Peter’s. There has been a theft. What we had has been stolen. A great piece of beautiful spiritual art and grace has been snatched away and replaced by an imitation.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

2412 In virtue of commutative justice, reparation for injustice committed requires the restitution of stolen goods to their owner:”

Our Pastor’s list of changes for a single Mass do not come close to providing reparation for injustice, nor do believe that the items in the list constitute full restitution of stolen goods.
6. Prayer for My Pastor: It should be obvious from our tone in this post that we see our Pastor’s decision is nothing more than a mocking attempt to put the petition to rest and let the sheep scatter in their many directions of disagreement. We cannot and will not speak for the other 16 people at the meeting. I made my statement to Father then in a way that could be seen as an insult but, in truth, it was meant as a prayer. I quoted St. Josemaria Escriva:
“Don’t fly like a barnyard hen when you can soar like an eagle.”
The more complete quote is:
Don’t have a “small town” outlook. Enlarge your heart until it becomes universal – “catholic”. Don’t fly like a barnyard hen when you can soar like an eagle.
7. The Future: Only God can say what the future will bring for my wife and for me. For now, we remain among the Sheep in Exile. We will remain that way until St. Peter’s stolen goods are restored and the Parish can be returned to the “status quo ante.”
St. Michael the Archangel, protect us!
Our Lady Undoer of Knots, please open our Pastor’s heart so that he can soar like an eagle.

 

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