Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CreamCity: Going Deeper: Low Mass Attendance

Guess the date of this photo...
What is the Way? What is the Truth? What is the Life?

What does it look like, smell like, sound like? These are the questions to which the heart seeks a definitive answer.

Where is the witness to the Mystery that once freed nations from bondage? Where is the Cornerstone that built a Church to withstand the sagacity of time? My, how far we have come! How far have we fallen from the foundation that built a Church on betrayal and fear, transformed into Love, Beauty, Truth, and Life. By the will of God, Jesus chose the lesser, the downtrodden, the shamed, to be witness to His Truth and to build His Church.

The Catholic Church, and much of Christianity, is experiencing Lent once again. Lent, a period of conversion fulfilled through prayer, fasting, and alms giving, ought to bring a believer closer to God, to deepen the relationship one has with Christ, whose one and only purpose was to bring about salvation for a broken and sinful mankind. Christ is the New Covenant. Man no longer needs to sacrifice his own; God sacrificed His Only Begotten Son so we didn’t have to.

In a recent article from the Milwaukee Catholic Herald published on February 11, 2016, we are subjected to a breakdown of ideas that were offered up from the recent Archdiocesan Synod which, in part, was called to determine the causes of and solutions for low Mass attendance across the Archdiocese.
continue at Cream City Catholic

There's lots of ways to justify less Mass times.... I hear it talked about often, priests that want less Mass times.  It is comical that cramming people into pews somehow solves the problem of low Mass attendance....  I literally laughed out loud thinking about it.  If a movie is tanking at the box office, only show it once a day, since it will appear like the theater is packed and the movie is very popular, despite the fact successful movies fill the theaters for reasons other than the fact that the theater is not full.

For ordinary form parishes, there simply must be a "JPII parish" if we can call it that, in high population areas.  Among other things, one where liturgy matters.  It doesn't necessarily have to be the Traditional Latin Mass, just a parish where the priest at least understands the TLM so he can understand the modern form.  There's going to be no convincing the smile police that reverent liturgies produce Catholics who keep coming to Mass throughout their life.  But the powers that be will tell one they are wrong with a smile on their face, and that's the sign of a True Believer.

11 comments:

  1. Good points. The Milwaukee Catholic Herald piece is really deficient. What serious discussion on liturgy leaves out the Eucharist? Milwaukee is a classic example of the blind leading the blind. Those organizing archdiocesan efforts to re-evangelize are themselves clearly not properly formed in the Church's traditions and doctrines. The fog of Weakland's ecclesiology still fills the air. There's also a stunning lack of reference to any Church documents on liturgy in the article. Very sad.

    How do you build on sand?

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  2. And all these Weakland-ites keep avoiding the elephant in the room and keep talking in platitudes, especially regarding music. To illustrate:

    "When we say good quality music, we’re not talking about a specific genre"

    Well, maybe we should be! Maybe we should finally purge this sacro-pop / easy listening / inclusive language nonsense that fills our churches and weakens our faith! The Church constantly reminds us that Gregorian chant, polyphony, and the organ are the preferred "genres" or music that ought to be utilized at Mass. Why, oh, why can't we tell it like it is and stop worrying about hurting some guitarist's feelings? Sing real, serious Catholic music. Play the organ. It'll help remind people that they're in church and not in an airplane terminal or grocery store.

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  3. Firt of all, the picture above is great! But yes real problems still exist in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Archbishop Listecki always talks about how wonderful the Synod was and the editor of the newspaper is talking about reducing the Mass schedule. They obviously do not realize how hard it is for some people who work on the weekends to find a Mass they can attend. And forget about trying to get to confession. Those times are almost nonexistent. Doesen't the archbishop, the priests know this is the "Year of Mercy?"

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  4. “Direct our primary attention and strategic efforts to the weekend so that the music, message, and ministries form a high-impact, integrated evangelizing message of Good News, especially to the lost and seekers.”

    Here's the Entrance Hymn.

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  5. Fr. John Laurance, SJ, was the chair of the liturgy section. I corresponded with him on some of the proposals several months ago. He was pretty good at quoting a lot of NT and OT verses which had NOTHING TO DO with the topic at hand.

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    1. *Snark Alert*

      Ooh, good idea, putting a Jesuit in charge of the liturgy section. They are famous for their excellent liturgical sense...right? Right? Ugh.

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  6. “Direct our primary attention and strategic efforts to the weekend..." What is so special about the weekend?

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    1. Saying "the weekend" instead of "Sunday Mass" is an instance of what Catholic Herald editor Brian Olszewski called "SSL – Synod as a Second Language".

      It's another example showing why I say our Archdiocese of Milwaukee is opposed to communication as a matter of policy.

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  7. I think what we need to do, as traditional-minded Catholics, is work overtime to promote our own parishes in which tradition is upheld. The truth is, outside of a small circle, no one is really paying attention to the Synod. Joe Catholic working at the factory could care less. So as informed lay Catholics, we have a great opportunity to export the traditional liturgy to a culture that is thirsting for it. Invite friends and write articles that offer a personal testimony on how the beauty of the liturgy touches the soul. People are open to being formed and enlightened as long as we're humble, kind and joyful. Let's use social media to target our local communities. Inform Catholics (who've been so poorly served by the archdiocese for 40 years) on the Church's true teaching on liturgy, Benedict's writings, etc. Form reading groups with friends and invite people in.

    And, of course, pray hard for a conversion of hearts.

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