The Sheep of Kephas

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Emergency Hymnal Rescue – Reconnaissance

After this blog’s report concerning the daring rescue of a large number of Adoremus Hymnals from the vestibule of St. Peter’s, a very observant reader advised us that there were several more hymnals being held hostage in a box near the organ and piano. Upon learning this, Fre3d was heard to bellow a terrible “Drat!!! and Double Drat!!!” He had realized his reconnaissance was not as good as he thought.

Today, the 1962, pink Rambler American once again stealthily slipped into St. Peter’s parking lot. Fre3d, followed by my very, very dead horse, made their way into the vestibule and found that the report of remaining hymnals was all too true. There they were begging for a new home and it appeared that no one had responded to their pleas.

AbandonedFre3d quietly and reassuringly spoke to the poor hymnals and promised he would do whatever necessary to free them and find any of their friends that might yet be held captive in the Church. They pleaded to be taken immediately by Fre3d and Petition. But Fre3d, aware that this could be some kind of trap, told them that they would have to wait there until he could devise a foolproof plan to free them from their bondage in such an inhospitable parish. Reluctantly, they promised they would try to hang on until Fre3d’s plan could be executed.

Meanwhile, Petition made his way into the Church. With camera in hand (of course I mean hoof) he advanced along the side aisle and saw what this now “Modern” parish has to offer its sheep.

Modern There it was before him – a poverty. The new Journeysongs had displaced the Adoremus Hymnals. Where once there used to be missalettes for the sheep to use to follow Mass there was nothing now except a card that feebly said “Principle Parts of the Mass”. The parish that had once been rich in ways to worship had now been stripped bare to a Protestant-style emptiness. Petition, remembered that the new Pastor had said that Adoremus would stay, but that statement no longer held any meaning. Truly, thought Petition, this is a poverty.

The pink Rambler quietly exited the parking lot. My friend and my dead horse were both silent. St. Peter’s is now “Modern”.

dead-horse

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The Curious Case of Lector Training – New Data

If you recall, in the last paragraph of the post The Curious Case of Lector Training – A Fre3d Capra Mystery my dead horse Petition cautioned Fre3d Capra concerning whether the LTP lector training materials were actually questionable:

… Petition did point out to Fre3d that Gabe Huck was fired from LTP circa 2001. It is possible that changes were made at LTP and the 2016 lector training workbook is not of the same questionable nature as one might have found in the Gabe Huck era at NTP. Nevertheless, the question of what is going on with lectors and lector training at St. Peter’s remains an open one.

Fortunately, this blog has a highly alert and knowledgeable collection of readers with an excellent corporate memory. One of them was able to fill in some important information gaps:

These Lector preparation books are issued to all of the Lectors, pre-dating Father Grinnell. They are especially needed since we no longer can “borrow” a Missalette, but they provide the opportunity for Lectors to practice before Mass. …

These are standard Issue for Lectors (and about 90% of their “Training” since Deacon Charlie retired), and I am confident that this is the result of ordering some extras to provide to new recruits. I am surprised they were left out, however; at last call, they still wanted an additional Lector for the 11:00.

Upon learning this, my dear friend who has a somewhat clever and acute mind, was moved to admit that perhaps, in his new found orthodoxy, he has become overly sensitive to what is questionable and what is not. He promised, that although his sleuthing activities will continue, he will pay close attention to gathering all the facts before jumping to a conclusion.

Fre3d, Petition, my wife, and I are, however, still faced with the challenge of finding a correct and proper explanation as to why the two copies of the LTP training workbook were discarded. Just as our friend was “surprised” that “they were left out”, we too wonder about that point. Of course, despite his promise to base his findings on fact, Fre3d has offered a theory. He suspects that there might be a new book being used for training. Hmmm!

The Curios Case of Lector Training continues ….

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2016-06-26

Here is Bulletin_2016-06-26

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

St_JohnWhen the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child

she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.

We attended the 8:30 Mass at St. John the Baptist today. This was a special day for the parish with extra special blessings. First there was a plenary indulgence for attending Mass at the parish under the patronage of St. John. Next there was a final blessing with a 1st class relic of the Saint.

Analysis and Commentary

It looks like Father will be away for a portion of this coming week. According to the bulletin, there will be Communion Services on Monday and Wednesday and the office will be closed on Monday. We wonder if there will be a visiting priest for Masses this weekend.

 

The Curious Case of Lector Training – A Fre3d Capra Mystery

The first inkling that something was amiss came during the great Emergency Hymnal Rescue. It was then that we learned that Fre3d Capra, a man of recent orthodoxy, was not only capable of great deeds, he now showed that he also has the makings of a master sleuth.

wl16It occurred as Fre3d and my dead horse Petition were surveying the table where the orphaned and abandoned Adoremus Hymnals were displayed. To the left side, Fre3d spied two copies of a yellow workbook. It was conspicuous both by its color and its unusual topic Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word® 2016 USA. Having little time to dawdle, and recognizing that his primary objective was to liberate the hymnals that had no home, Fre3d quickly snatched a copy of the workbook, secure in his judgement that this was a proper action.

Some time later after the hymnals had been taken to their new home, Fre3d and Petition were in the barn wonderingly wondering what was the significance of the workbook. Clearly, it was new as was its mate. Clearly, it could still be used all the way through November 2016, but, despite that, it had been ejected. Fre3d’s newfound sense of orthodoxy almost caused him to jump to an incorrect conclusion – “Is this book also being discarded because it is too orthodox for the new, modern St. Peter’s?” No, unlike the Adoremus Hymnal, the workbook did not have the feel or flavor of orthodoxy possessed by the hymnal. The words inside were somewhat soft and squishy, not solid and direct. There was something here that aroused suspicion.

Quick, yet careful, research uncovered two articles from reliable sources that quickly confirmed the suspicions mounting in the somewhat clever and acute mind of our protagonist. The first article, With Liturgy… and Justice for All, informed Fre3d:

We’d venture that when it comes to liturgy, Gabe Huck would get the Most Despised Man in America Award from traditional Catholics. Huck was head of Liturgy Training Publication (LTP), one of the most far-out of liturgical renewal outfits. Huck is a big proponent of so-called inclusive language, and his publications disdained using B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, in the Year of the Lord) in favor of the secularist, Messiah-omitting B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era).

The article also noted:

LTP is owned by the Archdiocese of Chicago, and Huck was protected by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. But then along came Francis Cardinal George, and in spite of Huck’s managerial skills, he was fired.

The second article from the Website Adoremus.org entitled: BCL orders Huck books removed from distribution stated:

Two books by liturgist Gabe Huck were ordered withdrawn from the catalogue of Liturgy Training Publications. Huck, the former director of LTP, was relieved of his duties last year by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. The publishing firm is owned by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The books, The Communion Rite at Sunday Mass (1989) and Sunday Mass Five Years From Now (2001), were withdrawn as a result of a letter from Monsignor James Moroney , director of the secretariat of the Bishops Committee on the Liturgy.

Fre3d and Petition both scratched their heads when they read all of this. This did not fit the pattern. Our Pastor has be discarding all vestiges of orthodoxy and replacing them with questionable materials. But now, Fre3d could not explain why potentially questionable materials were being discarded. He wonderingly wondered to himself, “Why has this happened? What information are we missing?

Unable to solve the mystery with this paucity of clues, Fre3d considered what else might be happening. After pondering for a while, he stood bolt upright and exclaimed to Petition, There is another clue! And this clue has been given to us by our own Pastor.

Rapidly, Fre3d paged through months and months of St. Peters bulletins. Then, there it was in Bulletin_2016-05-15:

WE NEED 4 LECTORS

We need 2 lectors to serve at the 5:00 pm (Saturday) mass, and 2 additional lectors to serve at the 8:30 am and 11 am Mass on Sunday. We will train you – please contact: ….

And so it was, since May 15th our Pastor has been seeking new lectors. Each bulletin since then has carried a similar notice, although some positions have finally been filled

This clue did not answer Fre3d’s question, but he knew the discarding of the lectors’ training workbooks and the rather sudden need for a large number of lectors were somehow linked.

Unfortunately, we said that Fre3d has the makings of a master sleuth, but we cannot yet say that he is one. After all, he is Fre3d Capra and his is only a “somewhat clever and acute mind”. He needs more information to solve the mystery – Why, if the trend is towards heterodoxy, would our Pastor freely give away questionable materials when they could be used to serve his intent to fundamentally transform the parish? [Please forgive my split infinitive.]

Dear readers, if you can provide information, data, evidence, or reasonable explanation as to what might be going on with the lectors and lector training, please come to the aid of our poor, confused detective. Is Fre3d merely overly suspicious and seeing every action in the parish through a Moderno-phobic lense, or is there really something amiss?

Now, before we leave this evening, Petition did point out to Fre3d that Gabe Huck was fired from LTP circa 2001. It is possible that changes were made at LTP and the 2016 lector training workbook is not of the same questionable nature as one might have found in the Gabe Huck era at NTP. Nevertheless, the question of what is going on with lectors and lector training at St. Peter’s remains an open one.

 

Emergency Hymnal Rescue

Despite the sign that innocently stated “Free to a good home”, there was an element of danger in this daring, daytime rescue.

There they were – 21 innocent Adoremus Hymnals. They were faithful and true and they had served St. Peter Catholic Church so very well over these past years. Ever present and ever ready to provide words and music to a collection of hymns that offered praise and worship through time-honored musical expression. They were innocent, but abandoned, discarded by a pastor who saw no use in them or what they represented to the flock at St. Peter’s.

Of course they would be “Free to a good home” because, if truth be told (and I submit the truth must be told) there was no longer a “good home” for them at St. Peter’s. And if hymnals could think or feel, they would share in the thoughts and feelings of those Sheep of Kephas who, like the hymnal, had been abandoned and discarded by a pastor who saw no use in them or what they represented.

So it was on the day of rescue. The old, pink 1962 Rambler American drove up to the side of St. Peter’s. Two strange beings emerged. First was the mastermind of the rescue, my dear friend Fre3d Capra. Next came none other than my dead horse Petition. They quickly sneaked into the front door and found the hymnals on a table at the left side of the vestibule. In swift, well rehearsed moves they rapidly collected 21 of the abandoned hymnals. Their hearts were pounding, not only with fear of being seen by the pastor, but also the deep anxiety that their rescue might not be successful.

Adoremus

Asylum seekers in the trunk of the 1962 Rambler

The pink Rambler squealed out the church parking lot and turned on to US 211. The mission was complete and it was a success.

Today, the pink Rambler pulled into a friendly safe haven for those who are orthodox and those who appreciate the work that a former pastor of St. Peter’s, Fr. Pokorsky, when he,  Fr. Fesio, SJ and others made the Adoremus Hymnal possible. Fre3d brought ten of the liberated hymnals into the parish office, where they were granted asylum. Tonight, they are preparing to take their places alongside other Adoremus Hymnals and be used by parishioners who still appreciate them.

Two of the remaining eleven hymnals have also found good homes. Meanwhile, dear readers, I have retained nine for any of you who might want them. They are full of love and adoration and would be more than overjoyed if you were to offer them a truly caring and safe haven from the winds and waves of Modernism. If you want one or more, please address an email to Fre3d Capra at francis01ds@gmail.com

 

For the Sheep in Exile – 2016-06-19

Here is Bulletin_2016-06-19

1. Reset: Never entertain delusions, they are always accompanied by disappointments. As noted in For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2016-06-05, the Clergy Appointments 2016 are now a part of our “new normal”. Our current Pastor is likely to be our Pastor for perhaps several years to come, possibly until his retirement. Had my wife and I any deluded notion that he would be leaving soon, we would now be in a state of dismay approaching despair. No, that’s not us. However, we are both planning on going to Confession very soon. Yes, indeed, words of a rather vulgar nature were spoken when we read the Clergy Appointments.

Perhaps some of you are wondering what to do now. The Sheep in Exile, of course, will remain in exile safeguarding the recollections of what St. Peter’s used to be and what it may become again some day. Those who don’t really know what our Radical Pastor is up to will continue down the garden path of Modernism, truly believing that his imposed changes are for the best. But, there will be some of you who will remain and wait. And there is a smaller group that will remain and resist.

So, that is it. Today I have made an internal “reset”. I will remain and resist. I have no time left in my life to squander on fruitless, passive resistance while awaiting a pastor’s reassignment or retirement. For me, there is only time enough left to speak up and act out. John Lennon can take his “Imagine” with him to wherever he is now (and that may be a very warm place). I won’t “join” him. Instead, I will work in sustained, active resistance to thwart the plans of this modernist, activist, community organizing, radical pastor our Diocese has given us.

https://i1.wp.com/i.huffpost.com/gen/1083621/images/o-BOOK-BURNING-facebook.jpg2. Fire Sale: One reader of this blog speculated on when Father would have a “book burning” to deliver our Adoremus hymnals to the ash bin of Parish history. No, Father lovingly and deceptively has devised a better way to handle the matter. Go now to the vestibule of St. Peter’s and you will find the remaining copies of Adoremus free for the taking. It’s a “Fire Sale”!

In his words we will be so much better off because: “This hymnal has all the songs that we already sing at St. Peter’s and many hymns more to boot.” Friends, the “many hymns to boot” were the hymns our previous pastors knew would be problematic and distracting. That is why we had Adoremus. But, it’s a done deed. The red Adoremus has been banished and is now replaced by the green Journeysongs. Enjoy the guitars and the slap happy melodies.

3. Parish Pastoral Council: Let’s look at some facts:

  • Fact – There have been no Parish Pastoral Council minutes posted since November 7, 2015. Check it out here.
  • Fact – There has been no formal notifications of any recent changes in the members/representatives on the Council, yet there have been changes.
  • Fact – There is no indication whatsoever that the Pastoral Council ever recommended, considered, or advised on recent changes to the music at St. Peter’s.

Ask your Parish Pastoral Council representative, if you can figure out who it is, to fill you in on what has and has not been recommended, considered, or advised during any of the recent, unreported meetings of the Council. Our point is this, did Father start making changes to the music based on Pastoral Council recommendations? Or, did Father refrain from discussing the topic with the Council and commence changing the music without any input from the various members/representatives?

Please let us know what you find out. I’m sure those of you who read this blog would like to know.

Petition4. Second Petition: We missed it. Somehow, we never had the opportunity to sign the Second Petition. What is the Second Petition you might ask? You know, it’s the petition that was presented to Father indicating the huge number of parishioners that wanted to have “Glory & Praise” music, guitars, and other Church of Nice additions to our liturgy. There must have been people outside St. Peter’s after every Mass for at least six weeks to get all those signatures that swayed Father to bring in the Journeysongs hymnal, the guitars, and the slap-happy songs that we are enjoying at the 5PM and 8:30AM Masses.

No, our First Petition concerning the Mass might not have been successful. We just didn’t get out there and gather enough signatures. But, look at the success of the Second Petition. Even without our signatures, Father was overwhelmed with the outpouring of sentiment within the Parish to trash the old, moldy, out-of-date, un-hip, backward, and reactionary Adoremus hymnal and bring in a more “modern” sound.

Of course, however inconceivable it sounds, there might not have been a Second Petition. Perhaps Father just did this all on his own.

5. It’s Not Just the Music: Music may have been the topic in the last several sections, but I assure you it is not the most important topic on our minds. After sitting through the five months of touchy-feely discussions on Laudato Si’, I have deeper more far reaching concerns. On one hand, I heard how great and wonderful our Pope is. Then, without a moment’s hesitation I heard Catholic teaching on Life being ignored or ridiculed. I can’t forget how the whole situation came to be. It was the product of the mind and “organizing talent” of our Pastor. Whether it is in the community or in the pews, our Pastor spends little time in promoting complete and authentic Catholic doctrine. Instead, we see a relentless effort to “change” the environment in our parish and in our county.

No, it’s not just the music. It’s the teaching. Social Justicism has replaced doctrine. Humanism has replaced Catholicism. We are not on a journey of faith that leads to God. We are on a journey of songs that leads to Mother Earth.

St. Michael, defend us in battle!

 

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2016-06-12

Here is Bulletin_2016-06-12

We will keep this brief because I’m in training preparing myself for the last of the five conversations supposedly based The Training Montage: A Love Story (photo)on Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato si‘. Maintaining composure in the midst of a large group of secular humanists, atheists, and social justicismists requires great skills. What kind of skills? “You know like nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills.” You just never know what type of heresy or lunacy your going to encounter that will challenge your apologetics skills. As soon as I finish this post, I’m heading downstairs to get my nightly glass of that great, tasty drink that made Rocky Balboa and Napoleon Dynamite champions.

1. Join the Conversation: Father is inviting us to join him for the LAST conversation. I would like to believe the that it is the last we hear of this, but I have evidence confirming that this is just the beginning. We’ll talk about that in the next Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors. Meanwhile, my double-dog dare to attend a conversation still stands. Perhaps you might be motivated to attend when you learn that Father says, “this last conversation will prove to be very fruitful to those who participate.” Does “fruitful” in the context of these conversations mean “full of fruits”?

2. Journeysongs: If you missed it, a “new hymnal is on the way.” If you have the time, consider the the information presented by J.A. Tucker in his article Hidden Hand Behind Bad Catholic Music, The.

The article provides worthwhile commentary on the “Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) — the leading Catholic purveyor of bad music in the United States”. If you don’t have the time to read the article here is one big takeaway:

If you’ve been keeping up with the OCP’s latest offerings, you know that the songs from the mid-1970s don’t begin to plumb the depths. The newest OCP hymnals are jam-packed with music from the 1980s and 1990s, with styles meant to reflect the popular music trends of the time. (Actually, they’re about five years behind the times.)

They sail under different names (Music Issue, Journeysongs, Heritage Hymnal, Glory & Praise), but the content is similar in all of them: an eclectic, hit-and-miss bag with an emphasis on new popular styles massaged for liturgical use.

Tucker provides many well-researched insights in his article. Towards the end, he provides a list of things that can be done to free a parish from bondage to OCP’s musical mania. Below you will see the list, but it’s as if he is talking to a pastor who wants to rescue his parish from the grip of OCP. At St. Peter’s our Pastor is heading full speed into the OCP mess and seemingly has no intention whatsoever of changing course. So, as you read each of the three steps given by Tucker, just realize that our radical pastor is doing the exact opposite.

What You Can Do Right Now

The truth is that no one is happy with the state of Catholic liturgical music — least of all musicians — and the OCP is a big part of the problem. So, what can you do?

Step 1 is to get rid of the liturgical planning guides and use an old Scripture index to select good hymns that have stood the test of time (if you absolutely must continue to use the OCP’s materials).

Step 2 is to rein in the liturgical managers and explain to them that the Eucharist, and not music, is the reason people show up to Mass Sunday after Sunday.

Step 3 is to get rid of the OCP hymnals and replace them with Adoremus or Collegeville or something from GIA (no, none of these is perfect, but they are all an oasis by comparison).