I regularly attend the 7:00 PM Holy Spirit Sunday Evening Prayer Vigil.
For those of your readers who are unfamiliar with this vigil, it was started when the Diocese attempted to fire all of our staff. It originally provided a way for members of our parish to show support to our staff and to encourage a healing process relative to the injustice that was brought against us.
Over the past two years, this vigil has evolved into a very special prayerful event, wherein, among other things, we pray for peace in the world, the well being of our parish, our pastor and our Bishop.
The four members of our staff that were actually "fired" during the attempted take-over usually are well represented at this vigil. Last night, however, none of them were present. When I inquired about their absence, I was informed that Fr. Louis had forbidden them from attending the prayer vigil, indicating that if they did attend they would be in direct defiance of one of his orders!
Several of our parishioners and committee heads have already learned the repercussions of not adhering to one of our new pastor's wishes. Many have been removed from their parish committee positions and have been forbidden to participate in ministerial parish activities.
This action by our new pastor is extremely disturbing to me!
How can a pastor of the Catholic Church threaten his employees by forbidding them to attend a prayer vigil that is held after working hours? Is he now trying to control what his employees are allowed to do during their free time? With threats like this from our clergy, does anyone wonder why every employee of the Catholic Church should not seek the protection of union representation?
It amazes me that ever since the attempted hostile take-over of our parish, the Diocese has continuously acted like it was the fired employees and the parishioners who were responsible for the fiasco of June 18, 2003. They never dream of placing blame on themselves.
Father Louis Brum has failed miserably at uniting our parish and at attempting to establish even minuscule common grounds for reconciliation and healing. His attitude and actions, since his early arrival, have been so utterly deplorable that it is hard to assume that the Bishop did not assign him to Holy Spirit Parish with specific instructions to continue retaliatory efforts against our parish.
Over 270 concerned parishioners of Holy Spirit Parish have signed a letter of petition voicing their concern over the destructive nature of this new pastor. Since Fr Brum has objected to addressing our concerns in an open, parish-wide meeting, we assigned a small group of five (5) members to meet with him to discuss these concerns. After many attempts, he has refused to meet with our representatives. Our efforts have been met with one excuse after another, i.e. "This problem is not my TOP priority", "The people that signed your letter are not REAL parishioners", etc.
Bishop Pena, it is high time that you assign a knowledgeable, compassionate priest to Holy Spirit Parish that is capable of initiating the healing process needed to enable our parish to recover. This is a problem that YOU should have addressed long ago. This problem is NOT going to go away!
The pastor that you assigned to our parish is making things much WORSE! YOU caused this problem and YOU need to fix it! Fr. Louis Brum needs to be replaced immediately! We will NOT allow our parish to be systematically destroyed!
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
-A faithful Holy Spirit parishioner since the early school cafeteria days.
P.S. Bishop Pena: If you feel that the signers of our Letter of Petition are not "real Holy Spirit parishioners", we would be most happy to have them assemble in our Parish Hall so that you could have the opportunity of meeting each one of them in person.
SUNDAY EVENING VIGIL UPDATE
For all of those who were unable to attend last Sunday.
We began PRAYING THE ROSARY THROUGH THE PSALMS, a Pax Christi publication with reflections by Sister Joan D. Chittister.
We prayed the Glorious Mysteries and everyone was impressed by how profound and deeply rooted on scripture the reflections were.
I hope that all of you that couldn't come and anyone else interested in this wonderful alternative form of praying the Rosary will join us at our next vigil.
Mary, Model of strength Be our guide
Model of patience Be our guide
Model of courage Be our guide
Model of perseverance Be our guide
Mother of the liberator Pray for us
Mother of the condemned Pray for us
Oppressed woman Lead us to life
Marginalized woman Lead us to life
Comforter of the afflicted Lead us to life
Woman of mercy Empower us
Woman of faith Empower us
Woman of vision Empower us
Woman, pregnant with hope Empower us
Woman, centered in God Empower us
(From the Litany of Mary of Nazareth)
Submitted by Ana Hallman
There will be no Sunday evening vigil this weekend due to the holiday and graduations. The weekly vigil will continue next Sunday (June 5). Beginning with this June vigil, the starting time will change from 7 PM to 8 PM.
Also, please remember to bring rice and beans to put before the altar as many weekends as you can to show our continued commitment to the poor among us - in contrast to spending money on flowers, which are just for show.
I was recently reading the comments on Reflections of the Spirit and was completely astounded by the comment that "gringos " were responsible for the controversy at our parish.
The person who made those remarks has clearly demonstrated an internal bias and willingness to discriminate against what the Church is all about. His /her comments only enhance the dysfunctionality of the "Holy Spirit Family" that has developed since the appointment of our new pastor. We used to be a family, now we are searching for family ties. Whoever made those comments about "gringos" should take time to search his/her heart to understand what the "Universal Church" really means.
These comments only express an internal confusion and long lasting enmity about people who are different than the person who made the comment. I certainly hope this person is never in an administrative position. That would certainly not bode well for those who were not of his/her ethnic background or political or religious views. There would certainly be repercussions if there were ever a disagreement.
I consider myself a Catholic and I am willing to accept the faith of all who choose to be Catholic. I have a problem with those who think that the Church only exists within the boundaries of Holy Spirit Parish. Jesus did not become man to be held hostage behind a glass window in a small chapel. His message was to go out and serve the poor and preach the gospel, not only in word, but also in action.
Our pastor finds it hard to humble himself to serve others. That is his problem. We still have the obligation to follow the gospel despite his lack of leadership. You and I will be judged, not by his mandates, but by the mandates of the gospel. He finds security behind his collar. A collar is a man made object. Faith and the gospel are God made objects. Which do you think we should choose?
Universality encompasses all people of all ethnic backgrounds and cultural differences. The person who made those comments about "gringos" has no knowledge of the Church or what the Church is all about. He/she is all about himself/herself. Some people get so caught up in hostility and hatred that they cannot find the door to truth and love and healing. Our bishop has that problem and so do most of the clergy in our diocese because they are frightened by the bishop.
Our pastor is under mandate to make us Catholic. Little does he know that we are more Catholic than he. He is completely clueless about what Church is all about. He thinks it is "I am the pastor and you do what I tell you to do". Sorry. God gave us free will and the option to be who we are and still be followers of the gospel. Jesus never told us how to serve Him, He just said, "If you choose my message, than be my disciple". Our pastor has chosen to be Jesus with a bias.
Holy Spirit Dysfunctional Family Parish, thanks to our pastor, who is infrequently present, will continue to pray for healing and reprieve from the chains of bondage. And, oh yes, we will also pray that our staff members will be allowed to pray in front of the church during the vigils. He is so intimidating that he thinks he can control the lives of staff members after working hours. Wow, is he a Hitler all over again. How does he live with himself? I would find it difficult to be everybody's conscience. Why doesn't he join the vigil to pray for healing? Maybe it would take too much of his time, or maybe it is not his priority. HE came to serve. Apparently he came to serve himself and the bishop. You and I are merely obstacles in his way.
And to the "Gringo" accuser,.. pray for guidance. Someday you may understand the nature of the Church and the fact that it's not all about money.
Well said, Harry.
You are truly a follower of Christ; He would not mince words when talking about the religious hierarchy and their cronies who abuse their positions.
The right-hand man of Mr. Brum that you refer to who spreads division has done other like things. For example, he accused me of saying to him that Mr. Brum was a "lying bastard". He has also been loose with confidential information on church finances. He is on the verge of getting into legal trouble.
Keep the faith, Harry.
When will you people ever learn?
You are directing your efforts to the wrong person.
Your new priest has vowed strict obedience to his Bishop. He can not do one thing at Holy Spirit that has not previously been cleared by the Bishop and any action that is taken is strictly the result of direct orders from the Bishop, which, for the sake of his personal integrity, are always filtered down through the Vicar General, then to the local parish priest. That way, if anything derogatory happens, he can always claim, "I don't know anything about it". Remember his response to orders given to Father Delgado!
Lots of luck to you fine folks.
Your parish priest is over-stepping his bounds...
Your parish employees should go to the vigil and "pray" that your priest fires them. They would NEVER have to work again!
Hope is like a path in the country;
there was never a path there before,
but when many people walk there,
the path comes into existence.
Never Give Up Hope.
I am not finished. The divisive person Harry and I
mention as well as other people who have surfaced to
try to corrupt Holy Spirit Parish are not entirely to
blame for their actions. Some of them were here
before Mr. Brum came, and we got along with them and
participated in functions with them, such as adoration
and rosary. Fr. Jerry was able to reconcile problems
arising from healthy differences among parishioners
and made it an important part of his pastoral service.
I actually liked these people for what they were
then. Diversity in the church is good and to be
nurtured. The Body of Christ is made of many
different parts, and all are to be welcome at the
Contrary to this ideal for the Church, Mr. Brum
encourages division and plays these poor souls (who
erroneously feel that if they do exactly what the
pastor wants they are being good Catholics) like the
devil's fiddle to accomplish it. Mr. Brum is the
primary one to blame, and the bishop for setting this
in motion and then not doing anything to correct it.
Have Mr. Brum and the bishop no fear of the Lord? Do
they not believe in a just God?
OK,.. I guess apologies are in order.
I have gotten several e-mails noting that because of my "you know what to do" posting (when I announced that the Bishop was going to be at Holy Spirit for confirmation) that a security guard was hired by Fr. Louis just in case something was planned for the Bishop! It seems Fr. Louis also gave Conrado instructions to keep an eye on the bathrooms and outside areas for potential PROTESTORS. Many in attendance also noted that he seemed to have a bad case of paranoia and even left the alter several times just to go check on things.
As noted, the "you know what to do" was in referance to the proper way to greet a Bishop of the Catholic Church. I think this is quite hysterical! As everybody knows, I even did a posting with instructions well before the Bishop was even scheduled to arrive.
At any rate, I apologize if it caused any misunderstanding.
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