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The Curious Case of Lector Training – A Fre3d Capra Mystery

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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 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 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.



1 Comment

  1. Jeffrey says:

    By jettisoning The Adoremus Hymnals, Father Grinnell has failed to honor his commitment to those parishioners (petitioners) attending the 11AM Mass at St. Peter’s – very sad. Is there no end to Father Grinnell’s ongoing “fundamental transformation” of St. Peter’s?


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