Here is Bulletin_2016-09-04
Analysis and Commentary:
Although not as rapidly as we would wish, the oppressive heat and humidity of the Summer of 2016 are coming to an end. The past several weeks at St. Peter’s have been very quiet. And, even if the past several bulletins have been nothing more than a generic, cookie cutter product, new trends are beginning to emerge. It appears that the agenda for the Radical Rectory have been set for the coming year. Watch closely, will we know the changes for what they are when we see them?
1. Another Absence: There will be Communion Services on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this coming week. Those of you who would want to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Mary on Thursday the 8th by attending Mass will have to go elsewhere. For the Sheep in Exile, every feast day and every Mass are celebrated “elsewhere”. Wouldn’t it be good if we could all return home from “elsewhere” and be with the other sheep of our flock?
2. Why the Absence: Where will our Pastor be this time? No ready answer is available. Of course he will be “elsewhere”, but he will not be in exile. When he goes “elsewhere” it is usually an “elsewhere” of his own choosing. When you read the Pastor’s Piece in the bulletin, you will note that, “Father John Quinn will be visiting our parish next weekend to speak at all the Masses on behalf of the Cross Catholic Outreach.” This would make one wonder if our Pastor’s absence will extend into the weekend. Will Fr. Quinn only speak at all the Masses, or will he, in fact, pray all the Masses. If that is the case, then our Pastor gets to have an extended stay “elsewhere”. It won’t matter much for the Sheep in Exile because they, no doubt, will be “elsewhere”. And that is where they will remain until our Pastor goes “elsewhere” permanently.
3. Discussion and Study Groups: An emerging trend sponsored by the Radical Rectory is the proliferation of discussion groups. The Pastor’s Piece highlights the following three:
- THOMAS MERTON’s – “THE SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN” – STARTING MONDAY, SEPT. 26, AT 9:15AM-10:15AM
- THE MONKS OF TIBHIRINE, FAITH, LOVE AND TERROR IN ALGERIA STARTING THURSDAY, SEPT. 29, AT 5pm-6pm
- BIBLE STUDY ON ST. MARK’S GOSPEL WEDNESDAY MORNINGS, 9 A.M.-10 A.M.
***Observation: When it is a social justicism issue, our Pastor will hit the streets and take action. When it is a spiritual issue, he will have a discussion.
4. Opportunity Knocks: On page 3 of the bulletin you will note the item “REPRESENTATIVE NEEDED FOR THE PASTORAL COUNCIL FOR THE 8:30AM MASS”. We have not spoken highly of the Pastoral Council in our posts. That is because we have seen that it can be used to set the impression that Council representatives in some way actually represent groups of parishioners. Thus, when a new policy is set and the members of the Council agree with Father that it is a good policy, then the policy gains increased legitimacy. The questions becomes “What if the Council does not agree with Father?” Then he must act unilaterally.
The workings of the Pastoral Council are not always transparent. Here’s an example. Because the minutes for the last several Pastoral Council meetings have not been published, we will never know officially whether the Council agreed with Father on ditching the Adoremus hymnals and replacing them with the OCP Journeysongs hymnals. No, we will never know officially. But unofficially we can say this. My amazing, wonderful wife took the opportunity to speak to a member of the Council and asked him whether the Council approved with our Pastor’s actions. The very direct answer was – the Council was never consulted about the change. It was done without the Council’s knowledge. But, there are no minutes, no official record. Does the purchase of all those new hymnals from parish funds turn out to be some kind of “taxation without representation”?
If you think we don’t understand that the Catholic Church is not a democratic institution, you are wrong. When Father says “REPRESENTATIVE NEEDED….” We know full well that is an extreme abuse of the word “REPRESENTATIVE”. But when that word is used, people tend to hear it to mean that their “representative” works within a process that will somehow bring change to the parish in a way that reflects the desires and feelings of each of the parishioners. The real answer is: if the Council agrees with Father, the Council becomes a “rubber stamp”. If the Council does not agree with Father, Father will do what he wants. If Father doesn’t want to deal with disagreement from the Council, he will leave the Council in the dark and act unilaterally. – It’s as simple as that.
Now, here is where my wife and I make a radical turnaround and call upon you to do something that isn’t intuitively obvious. What’s that? It is this. The motto of this blog is “ASSENT TO COUNTER DISSENT”. The best possible Pastoral Council is one that is filled with those who fully assent to the teachings of the Church. You don’t have to argue or confront, you merely continue to assent to that which you know is true. If that is done, then the Pastoral Council will never become a “rubber stamp” for a dissenting or radical pastor.
So, if you are reading this, and you attend the 8:30AM Mass with any regularity, please email Father immediately and tell him you want to be the new representative for that Mass. Don’t take no for an answer. Do it now, right now before someone who doesn’t understand what it means to be part of the Church Militant gets accepted by Father before you.
If you are still reading this, please stop, say the prayer to St. Michael, and start drafting that email to Father.