Tuesday, July 29

Catholic college beat:

Florida grants Ave Maria license to grant degrees.

Southern Catholic College, due to open in Georgia in 2005, has raised $12 million

Can we say, "demographic shift?"

Group threatens to split with Church over parish disbanding and demolitions.

BTW, this happened all the time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with Eastern European Catholics who threatened - and sometimes did - align themelves with Orthodox churches when they couldn't get their own national parish.

Interesting. This week, I've already received two requests for copies of my "loaves and fishes" column of last year in which I demythologize the demythologizers who present the story as the "Miracle of Sharing." Why? Well, because of last Sunday's Gospel reading, that's why - and the homilies they heard in the aftermath.

A reader scolds, (and oh, how my readers love to scold me!)

I will tell you that I thought when you said yesterday that Father Perricone came from the ivory tower and the EWTN fortress, I was surprised at what seemed to be kind of a dig from you toward a holy and good priest. It seemed out of character for you, and a bit snippy. That MIGHT have set the tone for the discussion that followed in the thread.

Well..sorry, but what I intended to convey was this:

It's just a fact, one that's learned by everyone who ever leaves the confines of a circumstance in which they can preach to the choir to one in which they have to preach to the unconverted. It happens to teachers fresh out of education school. It happens to almost all priests fresh out of seminary, no matter what their ideology. It can happen to new pastors going from one kind of parish to another - say, if you lived in some parts of Florida, from a parish that's young and family-oriented and ethnically diverse to one that's populated mostly by white retirees. It's called the rude awakening, and it's the beginning of the process of learning how to apply what you've learned or experienced or believein a way that can actually be accepted by your listeners.

It is one thing to teach, write and speak about the glories of the Latin Mass to those who agree with you.
It's another thing to put such beliefs into practice into a parish in which the range of parishioners' views goes from indifferent to unaware with a few adamently opposed or adamently supportive on either end.

Further, I think what this joggles in my head is the reality that when we are engaged in activities with the like-minded, we forget that not everyone agrees with us. Sometimes I get the sense from intra-conservative (or WHATEVER)Catholic conversations that they believe that the whole entire Catholic universe is yearning for a return to the Latin Mass. News flash: it may not be. Even further, even most of whom who would like to see more prayerfulness in liturgy are, after 40 years, quite comfortable with the vernacular and would be puzzled, if not alienated by the suggestion that the only way to reverence is through Latin. It's the same with those on the "other" side - those who gather in parish or diocesan meeting rooms, believing that all Catholic women are yearning for liberation from patriarchal oppression. Well, as they find out when they try to run programs on the subject, er..no. Especially when they compare their turnout to the crowd that's gathered down the street to hear the latest on the latest Marian apparition.

We live, we learn, and it always helps to balance our learning and our convictions with constant involvement in the real world - and not just of the like-minded, either.


Has anyone ever read an old novel about John Henry Newman entitled Shadow and Image?

If so, let me know what you thought of it. If you can remember.

Thanks to Eve Tushnet for letting me know that Maggie Gallagher has a blog dedicated to debate about gay marriage. It's excellent, intelligent and fair.

Here's the link.

Well, now

It is interesting that a slight dispute in a New Jersey parish should generate such heat, but if it does, it must mean something.

First, let me restate my sense of this - from the beginning of this (what? yesterday morning?), it seemed clear to me that various people in this parish prepared themselves to be hostile to Perricone. I've seen it many times: a reflexive reaction against anyone associated with EWTN, Steubenville, apologetics, or Perricone's interest and apostolate. "Oh, those Steubenville people like that sort of thing" is something I often heard in parish and diocesan ministry, and it wasn't a compliment.

So, I have no doubt that this protest did not emerge organically from the parish - I've never in my life heard of a parish, unhappy with a new priest, erupting in protest a month after he arrived. It says to me that either: 1)this had been cooking since his appointment was announced or 2)his actions were experienced as particularly abrupt and insensitive. Could it be a little of both?

And despite confident claims to the NYTimes' obvious deception in this case, please note that in the article, Fr. Perricone doesn't deny some of the problematic changes, nor does his evident confidante, commentor #80, I believe, in the thread below. The problem with the article then, appears to be that it takes the protesters' word for granted without questioning them or seeking out any other voices in the parish, who might support (or be indifferent to) Fr. Perricone's changes.

But why the heat here? What is this bringing out in us? Is it bringing out anything good?

Conflict over a Mother Teresa film festival scheduled for November in India

"You were right, honey. We should have eloped."

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