Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Thoughts From A Parishioner

This message is meant as a reconciliation and acceptance of some changes that have been done at Holy Spirit, but it is also meant as an unflinching stance at other changes that have occurred. I have analyzed the changes on whether the changes have a chilling effect on any of the following three things that I teach my children: (1) Pray by yourself, find your own dialogue, your very own conversation with God, (2) Pray with your family, your community, your church, and (3) Put your prayers into action by helping others as Jesus did.

If the change does not have a chilling effect on any of the forgoing three things, then I accept the change as part of my reconciliation: however, if the change has a chilling effect on any of the three forgoing things, then I cannot accept the change and reach the goal of reconciliation. I will share my thoughts on some of the changes with the forgoing parameters.

The Kneeling Requirement
I accept the kneeling requirement because it does not have a chilling effect on individual prayer, prayer within our Holy Spirit Parish group, or in our obligation to help others. My preference would be as it was before which, may be a surprise to some, was those who wanted to stand could and those who wanted to kneel could - that was the actual practice, although as a rule, we stood.. We never had a diehard policy that you had to stand, but now we have a diehard policy that you have to kneel. I still accept it.

The Gold Cups
How special and easy it was to explain to others why we didn't use gold cups. Jesus is not interested in material things. He is interested in what is in your heart. See how easy. Even though not using gold cups was special, I accept the change because it does not affect any of the three above mentioned things.

The Red Rose
I accept the red rose. I understand that certain rules do not allow for the red rose, but for the sake of reconciliation, I accept it because it does not affect any of the three things mentioned above.

Families Preparing The Table
I accept the change of families not preparing the table. The symbolism of families setting the tablecloth was strong, warm and endearing, but not doing it does not go against the three things mentioned above.

The Peace And Justice Committee
The Peace and Justice Committee was one of the many good things at Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, through the committee, was helping others as Jesus taught us. Restricting the actions of the committee does affect the third thing mentioned above. Restricting the actions of the committee goes against the teachings of Jesus Christ and silences a loud and visible voice we had in our community to bring peace and justice to all our brothers and sisters. There must be a sound explanation for the restrictions. If there is, then I apologize for not having yet heard it. I cannot reconcile this change with my knowledge of the fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ. If someone can help me reconcile this change, I welcome you to help me.
Arturo R. Cantu, Parishoner

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Kanickers said...

For the Blog.
Re: Thoughts from a Parishioner.

God Bless Mr. Cantu for his honesty and openness. The dialogue he brings forward is so necessary for reconciliation in our parish. So here goes more dialogue using the same parameters.

The Kneeling Requirement:
There is an existing perception that deep down the motivation behind the change was not based totally on the meaning of the posture of kneeling but based on a power play - you will do this because I tell you. Since Holy Spirit was known as “that parish where they stand,” removing that meaningful tradition could be seen as a way of stripping away some of the identity of the community.

Seen in that light, the kneeling requirement would certainly have a chilling effect on praying as a community. I don’t think we can achieve real reconciliation from the hurt caused by this requirement until the perception that “only good Catholics kneel” and that “the parish has been doing something wrong all these years” is honestly and fully dealt with. Standing has been and is still an appropriate and valid posture.

The Gold Cups:
Amen! Jesus comes to the chalice of our hearts.

The Red Rose:
The rose is a beautiful symbol. I think what is upsetting to people is that so many of our changes have been proposed as making sure we are following the rules, so why not follow the rules on this one. I would hope that we could reconcile around the rose and let it truly be a symbol of respect for life in its entirety, including respect for those with whom we disagree.

Families Preparing the Table:
As Mr. Cantu points out, the symbolism of the families preparing the table was very strong – a physical reality that we bring all our offerings to the table and that we all have a place at the table.

I think that not having the families has had a chilling effect on our ability to pray together as a community and church. I mean no offense to those who now prepare the table. It is just that having a small group of approved people setting the table means we now have a divided community where you have to be judged “good enough.” I just have a hard time believing that is what Jesus meant when he asked us “to do this in memory of me.”

The Peace and Justice Committee:
Amen! We gather each week to bring our offerings, to remember, to celebrate together, to be strengthened to go back out and to help bring about the kingdom of God. The last words spoken by our celebrant or deacon are on the lines of “Let us go out to serve the Lord”, to which we all respond; “Thanks be to God!” I cannot reconcile myself to the disbanding of our Peace and Justice Committee either.
Michelle Peña, parishioner

Kanickers said...


A few questions:

1. Have you taught your children that it would NOT be in agreement with Christ’s teachings to confiscate money that has been placed in your trust by your employees?

2. Have you taught your children that it would NOT be in agreement with Christ’s teachings to encourage the practice of firing your long-term employees with no advance warning, no severance pay and no reason for dismissal?

3. Have you taught your children that it would NOT be in agreement with Christ’s teachings to cover-up hideous sexual crimes committed against our youth?

4. Have you taught your children that it would NOT be in agreement with Christ’s teachings to “hide” the perpetrators of such hideous sex crimes from the governing authorities, so that they will escape punishment?

5. Have you taught your children that it would NOT be in agreement with Christ’s teachings to remove parishioners from serving in His ministries just because they have the courage to voice opposition to the wrongful acts of their bishop and pastor?

6. Have you taught your children that it would NOT be in agreement with Christ’s teachings for a pastor to lie about the circumstances that have surrounded his many wrongful acts?

7. Have you taught your children that it would NOT be in agreement with Christ’s teachings to be required to post your opinions concerning the wrong-doings of your bishop and pastor “anonymously”, in fear of reprisal, removal from service and being declared “a Catholic not in good standing” by your church authority.

This is NOT about gold cups, kneeling, a rose on the altar, setting the table or serving the Peace and Justice needs of our community. It is about the abuse of power by those that we have ENTRUSTED to promote and live by His example.

Our Catholic Church needs FIXING. We CANNOT have the LEADERS of our church not practice what He taught!

I refuse to ACCEPT or FORGIVE any of the changes that our bishop and Fr. Louie have made at Holy Spirit Parish. They were all done out of spite and with no regard for Christ’s teachings! How am I expected to explain this to MY CHILDREN?

Kanickers said...

I was at a friends house and found this saying on the door...

The choice has been made
There's no looking back
I've stepped over the line
I won't let up, back up, give up, or shut up...
My focus is clear, my path straight, my God reliable...
I am a disciple of Christ.

Luke 9:23 1John 2:6
~ A Hopeful Parishioner

Kanickers said...

Re: Anonymous

Just a few more questions to add:

1. Have you also taught your children that it would NOT be in agreement with Christ’s teachings to punish your own priests if they speak out against your acts of injustice?

2. Have you also taught your children that it would NOT be in agreement with Christ’s teachings to SUE YOUR OWN DIOCESE FOR MEGA-BUCKS on behalf of your parents, for an automobile accident that happened while they where being transported in a Diocesan vehicle under your instructions?

3. Have you also taught your children that it would NOT be in agreement with Christ’s teachings to confiscate a National Shrine of the Catholic Church from the Holy Order of priests that built it, simply because it was located within your Diocese and it was a “money maker”?

YES, our Catholic Church does need FIXING. Most of all, we need ACCOUNTABILITY from our CHURCH LEADERS!
Sign me Anonymous 2.

Kanickers said...

Re: Anonymous1 & Anonymous2
Wow! Any suggestions on how to fix things? But please, no more "just pray about it".

Kanickers said...

Re: Fixing Things.
Not from your diocese, but don't hold your breath. We have been trying to get rid of our Bishop for years.

Bishops answer only to the Pope. By the time your complaint actually gets to the Pope, you and your Bishop will both die from old age.

Why do you think everyone keeps suggesting, "just pray about it"!
Still praying in Wash.

Kanickers said...

Re: Fixing Things
Bishop Pena is due to retire in about two years. See, sometimes our prayers ARE answered.