View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A comment

I was reading an interesting post over at Journey to a New Pentecost ("Some Thoughts About Bishop Clark’s Dispirited “State of the Diocese of Rochester” Address")

I tried to post a comment - a couple of times, but the site was refusing for some reason (said I had to be logged in even though I was logged in!).

Anyway, go read the post, and here's the comment I tried to post.

The diocese is guided by good men and women, but too many of them are stuck in an older (70s/80s) intellectual mindset. The mind is important, but so is the heart - and that gets forgotten. Even the Spirit Alive program was more intellectual than spiritual.

Where is there growth in this country? Where the population is growing - true - but also where some of the old practices, the traditional devotions, are still observed. Places where the bishop is out there in the streets with the average people.

A case in point: The Padre Pio Chapel in Gates. It's a private chapel, and look what's there. Statues. At least one of Mary that was tossed by a parish because it was too old-fashioned. The diocese should embrace the chapel. Allow more Masses. Have the Bishop stop by to lead a service. That chapel is where a number of more "traditional" people gather to pray. They are not intellectual. They like the "smells and bells."

March with the ecumenical groups, yes. But also the pro-lifers. The Hispanics. The Bishop of Buffalo is joining with Catholic radio and Father Corapi to celebrate August 15: Will the Diocese of Rochester be represented? It should be.

Imagine what the reaction would be if Bishop Clark showed up at St. Stans to celebrate a Tridentine Mass some Sunday!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:55 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

One point. I don't think the issue was with Vatican II - it was with how what it called for was implemented.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:31 PM  
Blogger Interstate Catholic said...

A few quick points.

The Sacred Heart Cathedral priests and Bishop Clark had an opportunity to say the Tridentine Mass when they had taken up residence At St. Stan's a few years ago when the cathedral rectory was being remodeled. To my knowledge they did not.

I agree with Fr. Reese. What exactly gets done at these USCCB meetings that effects the catholic in the pew? When are they going to take on the "real" issues like church attendance and vocations? These meetings look like coporate board meetings, which turn catholics off.

If Bishop Clark believes that church attendance has leveled off, he is sadly mistaken. With church closings accelerating, I think you will see a further drop in attendance.

I wish the DOR videos on youtube were more about teaching, rather than preaching (that includes ALL sides).

1:39 PM  
Blogger In the choir loft said...

As a member of the Latin Mass Community at St. Stan, never once did Bishop Clark or the other priests who lived in the rectory, stop by the Latin Mass. EVER! Not that we expected them to, but it would have been nice had the Bishop stopped to inquire how it was going.

Bishop Clark was forced into allowing the Tridentine Latin Mass. Of his own accord, he would not have allowed it. We have been at St. Stan's for 16 years now and have grown considerably. If only we had a different Mass time, we could increase even further.

Many of our attendees have families, some rather large, and they are looking for a "full-service" parish, including religious instructions, devotions, many want a daily Tridentine Mass. It is difficult to get to use the parish hall at St. Stan's.

Most of our people socialize after Mass by going out to eat, or talking in the narthex, which is also where Una Voce has an extraordinarily good book table with very reasonable prices. Another table has great classic for reduced prices.

We have a very good choir during High Masses and each Sunday the organist, an Eastman student, plays a terrific postlude as the priest leaves the sanctuary and, you know what, after the postlude is played NOBODY claps. To our parishoners, the church is the House of God (Domus Dei) where you pray to the creator of the universe, the Sovereign King, the one to whom you bring all your troubles and joys. It is NOT a concert hall. The postlude is NOT the final piece to end a concert. The postlude should lift you up to God. Many people sit and listen and pray and some, cry.

We have 192 hours in a week, usually hours full of commotion, we need to give back to God 1 or 2 of those hours in attendance at the HOly Sacrifice of the Mass. The four reasons we should go to Mass is Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication (ACTS).

People are quiet because they like to "repose in the Lord". Church should be a place of devotion; not commotion.

Thanks for the stage (no clapping please). Ya'oughta try the TLM. We'd love to have.

Oremus pro invicem.

4:07 PM  
Blogger In the choir loft said...

Here is something you might enjoy from youtube. It has to do with the Church of England.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Choir, you are the man. Every word you have spoken is like coming from God's mouth to my ears.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Mike said...


I had the same problem as you trying to post a comment on Journey to a New Pentacost.

My point would have been that Bishop Clark's assertion that "we saw last year in our own diocese a leveling off" of the decline in weekend Mass attendance flies in the face of the 2008 Average October Attendance number being reported by Buffalo Rd. PPNM liaisons to planning group members.

That number is 80,710, or 3.9% less than 2007's result of 84,000. IOW, there has been no "leveling off" in our rate of decline, at least according to the people who actually collect the data.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the bug in my Wordpress blog. I think I fixed the problem. Can someone test the comments for me?

8:06 PM  
Blogger Interstate Catholic said...

For the record, I try to attend the latin mass at least once a year when my schedule permits it. I haven't been able to stop by the St.Padre Pio Chapel yet, but I will!

I also try to attend the St. Stan's festival which is only a few weeks away (I'll give them a plug). I might actually be able to make that this year.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Interstate Catholic,

The festival at St. Stans. is prety good, in my opinion.

I've been itching to get to the Latin Mass there as well (and I'm going to try to get a few people I know to come with me).

In the choir loft - Is the Latin mass well attended?

9:25 AM  
Blogger In the choir loft said...

thanks for asking about the TLM. We get, on average, about 120 people. In summer, in fluctuates, due to the nicer weather. It would be good to see you and your friends. We try and start the rosary at 1 p.m. and then leave 1:15 to 1:30 for private quiet reflection. Mass is at 1:30. Bathrooms are in the back of church, we have a handicapped elevator and security on-site too.

There is no High Mass during the summer, but we have organ music to fill in. We also have a very reasonably priced book table in the narthex. The table is sponsored by Una Voce and they have a wonderful selection. Along with discounted books too.

Depending on the priest, confessions are heard before or after Mass. Usually after.

The St. Stan's festival is a good time, especially the really tasty homemade Polish food. As my Polish friends call it "heart attack on a plate". Hey, you only eat it once a year, so go for it.

I'm usually in the back of church handing out bulletins and greeting people (quietly, of course). It's better if you sit up front, so you can see what is happening at the altar, at least in a visible sense I mean.

5:15 PM  

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