Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration
This weekend we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of our parish. What should have been a time of joy and celebration instead was a day of sadness.
There was no mention of the accomplishments of our parish or that our dedicated staff has made this parish what it is today. A perfect opportunity for reconciliation was instead a reminder of the division that still plagues our parish.
I attended 8:30 Mass. The Bishop was a no-show (supposedly because of illness?); the Knights were present in full regalia; the Catholic Daughters were there in their virginal white; but the largest single group represented was those of us unhappy with the direction our parish has taken since Msgr. Louis arrived two years ago. However, based on past experience, the fact that there was such a large number of us in Holy Spirit Red will be overlooked, or will be used as fodder for the fire that is the division that marks this once-unified parish.
My family is very blessed to have found such a tight-knit community that we are proud to call family. It was very heart breaking as I sat in the pew on Sunday and saw members of what used to be a larger community. I saw the faces of people who I didn’t always agree with, but were, along with me and my family, a part of something very special: a place where people were encouraged to share their gifts of time and talent; a place where we became, not a parish community, but a parish family.
It is my wish – as Holy Spirit Parish continues its journey to the next anniversary – that we who have been shunned are welcomed to return, or even just to enter into dialogue with those who would have us leave or at the very least be silenced. I don’t have any expectations of our pastor. He has shown that he is not interested in reconciling with any of us he has removed from ministry. I do have hope in the parishioners – conservative and progressive alike - and I challenge them to come together in spite of the atmosphere of distrust and anger that Msgr. Louis allows. I also ask our new Associate Pastor to come forward and meet us. We are Catholics in good standing. We love our faith. We love Holy Spirit Parish, and we are here to stay.
Holy Spirit Parishioner
Sad, but the poorly attended 8:30 Mass/25th Anniversary Celebration was a total let down for me. First off, the Bishop didn’t even show (as predicted by many)… also, it seemed a lot of the event’s participants were not even a part of Holy Spirit Parish during it’s infancy… then the video didn’t work, etc., etc., etc…. About the only thing that did go as planned was the speech by our Mayor.
Also, talk about a time when we REALLY MISSED our long time Choir Director! What a contribution his musical talents have made to Holy Spirit over the years! There was no recognition needed there (and none given), as the absence of those talents were clearly evident on 06/04/06!
I also would have liked to have seen a few of our previous pastors… Fr. Guss… Fr. Bob Mahr… Fr. Jerry… those priests that helped mold our parish into what we are (were)… also, there should have been some mention of that sweet old lady that so graciously donated all of our land… and our multi-purpose building contractor (present, but not even so much as mentioned)… and that very special person that was APPOINTED by the Bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville to establish a Vatican-II Catholic Parish in North McAllen, often without the assistance of a resident priest… not even a “Thank You” to her, sitting at the piano… also, no “Thank You” to our SURVIVING STAFF MEMBERS who have dedicated their lives to making Holy Spirit Parish the shining example and envy of what a Catholic Parish should be (once was)…
There was, however, many a “Thank You” to the Johnny-come-lately 25th Anniversary Committee! How sad to see our once so wonderful parish being destroyed before our very eyes,… with battle swords, fancy feathered hats and military processions; March, March, March… Man your Battle Stations… Draw Your Swords…!
Holy Spirit was NEVER about any of that… made me sick at my stomach! How could such a loving, wonderful and giving parish be so systematically destroyed? Are they so blind that they cannot see what they are being led by their pastor to do?
The most encouraging thing to me was seeing all those parishioners that were wearing RED. They OVERPOWERED the service! They were EVERYWHERE! Those are the TRUE parishioners of Holy Spirit… those that care enough about their parish to STAND UP and FIGHT for what they believe a Catholic Parish should be… My CATHOLIC FAITH has been RESTORED! I have been silent long enough! How do I join your group?
~A DEEPLY SADDENED Parishioner, here since Rayburn.
25th Anniversary Mass
If one approaches the mass with a sense of humor it is more tolerable, even entertaining. What a circus today complete with Master of Ceremonies and clowns! So until we get our real Holy Spirit Parish back and have some reason to celebrate an anniversary, let's enjoy the antics of those in charge now and not get too stressed out about the sacrilege that they are causing.
-A formally astonished but now only amused parishioner
In addition to the Decree presented from the Mayor of McAllen, wouldn’t it have been nice if we would have been presented with a Decree from His Excellency, Bishop Raymundo Peña, recognizing the 25-year long dedication of Ann Cass and the Holy Spirit Staff for putting forth the effort, hard work and dedication to organize, manage and maintain one of the most respected, successful and loved Catholic Parishes in the history of the Brownsville Dioceses?
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