Thursday, August 11, 2005

Comments from Our Readers

Some Comments
I have waited a while to add anything to the blog because I feel a little torn about the entire situation. I believe in all of the workings of our "special 5" and acknowledge them as very hard workers. I am concerned about the amount of items that seem to keep being added to the already depressing situation. I still stand behind what was done to our parish was/is wrong and no one has ever tried to meet with any parishioners as a whole since the whole mess transpired.

We as parishioners need to keep the "spirit" alive in our church through our stewardship of service to all the programs offered. I love being a part of some of the programs-- they have become some of what I am proud to be -- such as helping at Briarcliff and teaching in the religious education program.

As a teacher, by profession and as a volunteer, I must add to the discussion concerning the issue of textbooks; They are very expensive and we can teach with just the teacher resource manuals. Both Martha and Elfida work hard at having all of our materials ready to go. I would tend to be more concerned if the religious education program would not be offered at all, not about the amount of textbooks available. Alot of what is taught also comes with tradition and modeling and discussion and hands on activities.

As far as the rose on the altar, I think the argument about it is petty. Now, the bread used for communion is worth fighting for but the rose? Please, convince me of how that hurts anyone! As far as kneeling during the service, we do have kneelers and that is not a big sacrifice to make. Kneeling also shows respect and reverence to our Lord, not necessarily our pastor.

I, personally, will continue to support this letter/blog, however, I feel that there is a need to be careful about which battles are truly worth fighting for. I believe that part of the lack of "love" that I feel when I attend mass is caused by our pastor not taking real partnership with us as parishioners and I am sure employees and the other is knowing that so many of us are still unhappy and are beginning to nitpick about certain things as mentioned above.

I too want justice for our parish--it is a part of my and my family's life-- but will we ever be part of the peace making? Is there ever going to be any compromise from either side on anything or is conflict going to rule for ever? I truly do not mean to offend anyone but my heart grows weary. I do not seek an argument, I just wanted to add to the dialogue.

Wanting peace and hope and comfort--
Yours in Christ,
Delia Mendoza

Dear Delia,
I am glad to see you posting to Kanickers. And we miss you at the Sunday night vigil. We are meeting at 8 pm during the summer. In September, we switch back to 7 pm. Please join us again!

Allow me to comment. Yes, the rose seems a petty concern. But it is against the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) to have anything on the altar that does not have to do with the consecration. The pastor errs often about Catholic teaching and we call him to task on it. Jesus demands at least that from his followers.

The kneeling is more complicated. Only in the US are the faithful asked to kneel during the entire Eucharistic Prayer because the US bishops requested it. Why are we in the US setting ourselves apart from the universal Catholic Church? This national separatism can lead to grave problems of faith, such as nationalism becoming confused with spirituality. I think that that is indeed a problem in the US that the Vatican should not encourage. In any case, the US version of the GIRM says that we should kneel “unless health, lack of space, or some other good reason suggests that we remaining standing.” That leaves it pretty wide open. I have “some other good reason” that I will not go into here, hence I stand.

A minor point about kneeling during the Eucharistic prayer: There is a sentence that reads, “as we stand in your presence and serve you.” Isn’t it a bit odd that almost everyone is kneeling at the time that sentence is read! A side bar; the pastor has taken to leaving that sentence out of the Eucharistic Prayer after the apparent discrepancy between what is read and the posture of the people was pointed out to him. He thinks that he can just leave out parts of the Eucharistic Prayer! He displays an alarming lack of respect for the Eucharist, which he recently claimed was “the center of [his] life”. Reminiscent of the abusive husband who tells his wife he loves her, while he beats her.

You are right, Delia, the bread we had is truly worth fighting over and it is high time that we do it again! The GIRM “demands” bread that is like real food. The GIRM is very forceful in it’s wording about using freshly baked bread that looks like real bread. We had it at Holy Spirit; we need to get it back! Thanks in great part to people who know Church teachings well, such as Ann Cass, we were entirely in line with current Catholic teaching, as we were in just about everything before the bishop sent his thugs in to destroy our Vatican II parish.

And please don’t accuse me of being too harsh in calling them the "bishop's thugs". Jesus called misguided clergy “vipers, evil, hypocrites” and many other bad names. Jesus was very harsh against clergy who were leading the faithful astray, like our pastor and the bishop. Vatican II is the law of the Church right now and those that do not follow Vatican II are going against the church. Catholic Churches are required to adhere to Vatican II teachings. We did at Holy Spirit before June 18, 2003.

You wonder if there will be compromise. We cannot compromise the teachings of Jesus or the Church as expressed in its current form, Vatican II. It seems quite evident that this pastor must go. He has been given ample opportunity to become our shepherd, but has refused, scattering the flock and not caring one wit about the lost sheep among our flock, the lost sheep that Jesus would have left the rest of the flock to recover.

Finally you express a weariness of heart and a desire for “peace and hope and comfort”. Jesus wanted that, too, but it was not to be. In the end, He did what his Father in Heaven wanted and we were saved as a consequence. He calls us to shoulder his burden. With him it is bearable. I would love to leave this alone and rest, maybe even find another church where I can wallow in grace easily poured down from above. But I know that it is not meant to be and we are here doing what our brother Jesus wanted us to do. Let us shoulder the burden together, Delia.
~Guy Hallman