Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bongo drums, guitars, dancing girls and preaching nuns

Tom O'Toole at Friends of Fighting Irish Thomas has posted a remarkable essay by DOR high school student David Fiorito. David makes several points and makes them remarkably well. Chief among them is that the Diocese of Rochester "must love the Eucharist and openly revere Christ’s presence within it," if it wants to see the return of substantial numbers of vocations.

The Eucharist, he says, is "no longer the 'bread of angels.' No, it [is] the bread of the blind and disrespectful."

David, I'm afraid, has something of a test of faith ahead of him. In his own words ...

I am lucky to live in a traditional parish, one that is loyal to the teachings of the pope and the Tradition of the Church. We have had priests (and only priests) that used incense and Gregorian chant commonly during Mass. The only nuns present were merely to make the priests’ jobs easier. However, we are to be “clustered” with another parish that is considerably more left of center. Their typical Mass consists of bongo drums, guitars, dancing girls and preaching nuns. These things, it is feared, will be transmitted to my parish, for it was announced that their “pastor,” Sr. Joan, will be our new pastor as well. When asked about her views on the liturgy, as it ought to be, she replied smiling, “Well, dear, incense and chant have no place in modern liturgy.”

This is definitely worth a read. See the entire text here.


CathParent said...

I hope he doesn't become one of the many that were driven from our diocese in order to become priests, simply because they don't embrace the "modern liturgy" and other progressive ideals.

Mike said...


You may remember this. Four months ago the D&C published "Diocese seeks men of faith," a story by Nicole Lee, one of their staff writers. That story generated dozens of comments (they run about 28 pages, all of which I captured).

Some of the most interesting came from the back-and-forth between a guy calling himself Rochesterian@Heart, a young man discerning a vocation to the priesthood, and a couple of other folks.

At one point Rochesterian @ Heart writes, "In the first case, I can say that the DoR doesn’t reject Orthodox Candidates. Get over the hype, stop demonizing the Bishop, it doesn’t happen. This isn’t because the Diocese is completely open and receptive to all of Orthodox Catholicism and its many vocations, but simply because men such as myself are all too scared to apply."

A little later on he explained himself. "Why should I spend 8-10 years of my life studying to become a Priest, when I know that as soon as I get placed in a Parish, I'll come face to face with either one of the two major types of congregations I've found in the Diocese of Rochester. First, there's the self-righteous 'Conservative' Catholic who wants to inform me that Vatican II was an awful idea, and that by golly, Jesus spoke Latin, and so should we. Logical fallacies abound. Or, I could find myself in the self labeled 'Progressive' camp who would inform me that although they never read the Bible and that they couldn't name a Vatican II document if their life depended on it, they certainly know what Jesus meant, what the Church teaches, and most importantly, why the Church is wrong. Nothing beats getting an M.Div and then being told that 'Father, you’ve got it all wrong, as good Catholics we're really supposed to be Buddhist'.

"My point is the following: It's really discouraging to potential candidates like me that there are two raging sides of a debate in Rochester, a debate that ended long ago in the rest of the Catholic world, and neither of these sides seems willing to actually take the time to listen to what the Church actually says. This debate is even intensified by some of the priests of the Diocese (on both sides of the 'argument') who obstinately refuse to conform themselves to Christ's Body, do the research, and actually present the teaching of the Church to the faithful. There ARE quite a few good Priests in Rochester, but there are also a good number who just stir the pot.

"So, that said, with collegiality like such, why would I ever want to join a warring family where my entire congregation would likely tune me out the second I begin to explain why Vatican II was a good thing, or that any way you slice it, Women can't be Priests? It's just daunting. This doesn’t even make mention of the fact that the majority of the Diocese itself seems to care more about including everything and everyone than actually maintaining Orthodoxy.

If this fellow's discernment process is anywhere typical of that of his peers, he won't be seeking ordination anywhere but DOR, not because of "'modern liturgy' and other progressive ideals," but simple as a means of survival.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I am a PAST member of Saint Anne's Church, (having just recently left) and I did so because of the blatant audacity of the woman newly in charge, Sr. Joan Sobala.

At the "third informational meeting" held before she was officially acting as the administrator, she made 2 statements, in front of a good size representation of the congregation, when asked if some of the previous traditional liturgical practices would remain the same at Saint Anne's. She replied, "I AM what I AM and it IS what it IS".

When asked about wanting to become a priest, she announced quite boldly, "It is no secret that since 1975, I have wanted to become a priest." When asked by a parishoner if she understood that this was against the acceptance of the Catholic Church, she told the parishoner that he was "out of line". This was very confusing to many of us, as we still cannot figure out exactly what or who, it IS she THINKS she IS.

The running joke now is that "Father Joan" and "Sister Tyman" are running this parish.

(Incidentally, in his welcoming address printed in the church bulletin,) Father Tyman, as he mandates being called, (and does not EVER want to be referred to as Father Gary,) stated that one could call him Gary, or Father Tyman, but never Father Gary; reason being that one would never think to call their OWN doctor by his or her first name, preceded by his or her title. I beg to differ, as some of the most famous doctors and clergy are called by "Dr." followed by their first names, such as "Dr. Phil", "Dr. Laura", and of course, Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, Saint Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint Anne and the list goes on.

The final straw was when Sister ("Wanna-be-Father") Joan mandated that a very strategic handicapped parking space located in the front of the church was altered to now read, "Reserved" instead of holding the universal handicapped symbol, as once was. There are many ample parking spaces at Saint Anne's. We are all wondering why Sr. Joan had the RIGHT to "RESERVE" a very necessary parking space that once allowed a handicapped person, to utilize the convenience of parking closer to the church; to now be able to make it HER space, because she refuses to walk a few more feet to get to the church. Is it all because she is "getting off" on the fact that she is, in fact "the boss" as she has so often referred to herself? I may be wrong, but I think there is a violation hiding in there, somewhere. Maybe the Americans with Disabilities Act people should be contacted, and maybe she should be put in her audacious place, once and for all.

Last but not least, on that fateful June 24th day, when there was the very sad but true, "out with the old, in with the new" situation going on, Father Tyman unloaded his personal affects, even before the other two priests were even out of the building. It was 2 in the afternoon, a moving truck was parked in the parking lot and there were Oriental rugs going in, antique furniture, and more things too numerous to mention, that did not resemble the trappings of a priest in residence. What happened to the vow of poverty?

Of course, Sr. Joan did NOT move in, as she is presently living in the RECTORY at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. As any one who knows that church can tell you, there is a very accommodating convent located right on the grounds of the church proper. It is now the situation that no other priest can live in that rectory because of the fact that a woman is living there. Lights and heat and cool air and water for one person living in a whole big rectory? What a waste of money for the DOR. (But of course, closing 13 schools was inevitable.)

My theory is this: there has to be SOMETHING that is being HIDDEN in the Diocese of Rochester. Someone knows SOMETHING, and has threatened to tell it all, if their needs were NOT met. What ELSE could it be, for God's sake! No man in the role of Bishop could ever justify all the lack of judgement that THIS man has shown in the past few months, without having a noose around his neck, waiting for it to be tightened, if he doesn't play the "acceptance" game.