Sunday, May 21, 2006

Again, More Thoughts...

Prophetic words from a 14th Century Saint:

~ Consecrated ~
All has been consecrated.
The creatures in the forest know this,
the earth does, the seas do, the clouds know,
as does the heart full of love.
Strange a priest would rob us of
this knowledge
and then empower himself
with the ability
to make holy
what already was.

Saint Catherine of Siena
as quoted in Love Poems from God
by Daniel Ladinsky

Money Changers in My Fathers House!
I attended the 12:30 Mass today. Very enjoyable… No screaming or dramatics… Nice homely by Fr. Genaro. However, after Mass I could hardly make my way out of the church. It seems the Money Changers have taken over the temple!

Who has allowed these merchants to sell their wares in our church? There was also about six or eight different organizations trying to sell raffle tickets, food plates, etc. They even had a “sidewalk sale” tent outside!

What gives with all of this? Are we turning Mass at Holy Spirit into a commercial enterprise? I felt like the vultures were sweeping down on me to get what little money I had left from the 2 collection basket offerings. Guess that was how Jesus felt when he ran the money changers from the temple.
A Parishioner

25th anniversary.
While attending the 12:30 mass today (May 21st), I listened to the announcements of the Gala Banquet and Raffle. The person speaking on the Gala explained that it was a fundraiser with the profit to be used on facility repairs. I did notice that there are many overhead lights out and that one projection screen was dim (even with overhead lights in that area out). I have also heard that the air conditioners are out in rooms 104/105. I am sure that there is more that needs repair in our parish than I have seen or heard of. The second collection was announced to be for the Building fund, once again for building maintenance (since the church building has been paid off for some time). The gentleman speaking on the raffle mentioned that 1200 tickets had been turned in so far. I have heard complaints about how the Jamaica was not too successful and that our yearbook had to be canceled for poor participation. Every week the collection amount for the previous week is usually a lot less than budget. All of this makes me wonder just how bad our finances really are? Are all of these activities really being set up to celebrate our 25th Anniversary or, are they just being done to help replace the lost collections that have occurred because of the loss in parish membership?
~Wondering and Concerned

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Kanickers said...

Re: Money Changers
I had the same feelings... Vultures trying to get at my money!

Kanickers said...

Re: Money Changers
How true! It used to be nice just to visit after mass without being solicited right and left.

Kanickers said...

Re: Olive Wood Hand Carvings Available for Purchase after Mass.
As Fr Louie said when we tried to bring attention to the injustice in El Salvador... "Why should we be concerned with those people, they are not from here?"
Now I ask, "Why should we be concerned with those 600 catholic families in Bethlehem that are under constant threat of violence, they are not from here?"
Old Peace & Justice Member

Kanickers said...

Re: Money Changers
Very sad, but with all of the other mediocrity that has settled into our once beloved church, who can be surprised to find that the Money Changers have taken over. In these days it is so obvious; the secret parish council overrun with businessmen, the exclusive Gala as a money making enterprise, the hand-wringing over the fact that the Jamaica did not make much money, the hope that the raffle will make money, and the Money Changers everywhere in the gathering space.

Sadder still, the tiny poor basket was shoved into a corner behind the olive wood carving vendors. You could not have gotten to it to place a bag of beans in there even if you did see it. Some plastic was in it, as it seemed it was being used as a trash receptacle! How telling; in the "Post" Vatican II Holy Spirit Parish, the poor are unwanted, not the center of our social attention as Jesus said they must be.

But we have seen it before; no one can claim that this is something new. Remember when Fr. Brum (not Msgr. yet) discouraged communion at a poor funeral. Remember the poor who came looking for help and were turned away. Remember when humble rice and beans were part of the offering. Remember when the Peace and Justice Commission raised our consciousness about the plight of the poor.

Saddest of all, where is the outrage from the parishioners that this has happened to our church? What will we tell Jesus on judgment day when he asks why we failed to help him and we say, "but we adored your likeness in wafer in the golden monstrance and recited the rosary to your mother on our knees!" And did nothing as our parish was destroyed. What do you think He will say to us?

A disgusted parishioner

Kanickers said...

Re: The Money Mongers
How true! I got exactly the same feelings as I was leaving Mass. It was always so enjoyable to hang around after Mass to visit with fellow parishioners. Now, you have to run for your life to get away from the Money Mongers. Who is responsibile for allowing this?
~An old timer.

Kanickers said...

The Money Changers
What do you expect, we are over $200,000 in the RED! We have lost hundreds of parishioners and those that remain are no longer donating like they were before. Expect more of this! Happy Anniversary!
A Bean Counter

Kanickers said...

25th Anniversary
Did you notice the bulletin insert with the sponsor levels for the off-site exclusive high-price 25th Anniversary Gala/Fund-Raiser (e.g., Archangel, Cherubim, Vatican, etc.)? I propose the following "sponsor levels" for an alternative celebration at the Lark Community Center based on what you bring to the potluck: Bag of Chips - Widow Level; Salad - Orphan Level; Fried Chicken - Foreigner Level; Setting Up/Cleaning Up - Servant Level; A smile and an abrazo for everyone - Good Thief on the Cross Level.
~A Parishioner

Kanickers said...

Re: The Money Changers
A word to the wise for Fr. Louie!

When you are sincere about the services that you provide and generously give of your time and devotion to serving the needs of your parishioners, the money quickly FOLLLOWS.

When you are never available for them and place your personal feelings and affairs above those of your parish, the money quickly SLOWS to a trickle!

Christ set examples for us all!

Need Mo’ Money?
Fr. Benjamin