Friday, June 19, 2009

The backyard Mass, Sr. Joan and The Shack

Is your parish church too far away for you to get to daily Mass? Well, if you live out Fairport way that might not be a problem this summer. All you might have to do is walk across the street to your neighbor's house.

From the St. John of Rochester bulletin ...

Parish Home Masses: will begin next week (June 30) in neighborhoods throughout the parish each Tuesday evening. Please see the one nearest to you and plan to attend. We will celebrate Mass together and then enjoy one another’s company. Those attending are asked call the host family, bring a snack to pass and a lawn chair (if we are able to be outside).

Further details appear elsewhere in the bulletin.

Hosting Family provides the backyard/home, coffee & soft drinks. Neighbors will bring lawn chairs and cookies to share. Find a neighborhood Mass in your area and join Fr. Peter [Clifford] for the celebration of Mass. Please RSVP to the host.

If Mass by the backyard pool isn't for you then SJoR wants you to consider spending an evening with a prophetess instead.

JOAN CHITTISTER, OSB is a most sought after commentator on the concerns of people near and far. Her broad range of books are often reviewed as prophetic! She challenges complacent spirituality with stories that compel our thinking and praying. She has received accolades as a speaker who draws people to retreats and conferences all over the world. Her books win fans from many perspectives because they are both readable and profound.

We are truly blessed that she will speak on “Prophets Are Needed Today” at Church of the Assumption, 20 East Ave., Fairport at 7:00 PM, Wednesday, June 24. Her books will be available for purchase—and she will autograph! No need to call ahead for reservations. (Free will donations will be gratefully accepted)

Finally, if really loopy theology is your thing, SJoR would like you to be aware of your chance to meet William P. Young, author of The Shack. For those unfamiliar with the book, one reviewer sees it as something of a failed allegory, in that it distorts to one degree or another the deep truths that are supposed to be at the heart of that genre, while another calls it "Oprah-fiction for the emergent Christian which offers the ultimate 'God is my buddy' head trip."

The summer is off to a great start and our friends at SJoR don't want us to miss a minute of it.

Update: The first comment below reminds us that SJoR is one of the DOR parishes featuring lay preaching, a practice outlawed by Rome but allowed by Bishop Clark.

I checked out the most recent mp3 (available here) and heard the priest or deacon preach for exactly 70 seconds and then invite Pastoral Associate Barbara Hesenius to continue with her "reflection." Ms. Hesenius held forth for almost 11 minutes, in places amplifying significantly on her prepared text (see here) and finishing up with a version of name-it-and-claim-it theology that I can only describe as a new experience for me (11:37 into the recording).



58 comments:

Anonymous said...

A laywoman gives the homily on occasion at this parish as part of the usual DoR dialogue homily. Check their Web site under the Gospels and homilies section. Specifically, check the mp3 recording of the most recent homily. The priest or deacon for for a minute and a half, and the laywoman spoke for over twelve minutes.

Can anyone say Liturgical Abuse?

Anonymous said...

St. John of Rochester is a holy nightmare!!!! Frankly, I'm not sure I have ever come across a pastor quite like Father Clifford -- and no that is not a compliment. After a year under his misguided leadership, I packed up my family and picked a new parish. Let me say this, however, Father Phillips and Father Hogan are truly lovely and probably suffering greatly under this present pastor. Pray for them...

RochChaCha said...

The 'preaching' or 'reflecting' of Barb has increased significantly under Father Clifford's leadership at SJR. When Father Boyle was the pastor, Barb would 'reflect' once in a while and now it seems like it is becoming a much more frequent event.

Not sure what the real reason for all these backyard masses is. To me it sounds like a great introduction on why Catholics do not need to attend Sunday mass at church. Heck, if mass can be offered in your backyard, then why not just get into the habit of watching a televangelist from the comfort of your couch on Sunday morning. Rather than lugging everyone to church on Sunday, you can eat pancakes, sip coffee and enjoy the comformts of your home.

Anonymous said...

*bangs head against the wall*

Everything they're doing is wrong! Wrong wrong wrong! You can't allow laypeople to preach the homily, you can't hold Masses outdoors at people's houses without any particularly strong need to do so, you can't be inviting heretics to give talks. This is so disgusting, every bit of it.

Nerina said...

Lay preaching is a common abuse happening at many DOR churches. At my church we have lay preaching every second Sunday we are told "Sister X will be participating in the ministry of preaching."

I've written to my priest and the Bishop only to receive a form letter about how Rome has given special permission for this practice (I believe many in our diocese have received an exact response when they've addressed this issue to the Bishop). We are told, by Bishop Clark, that "so many of laity appreciate the talents and experiences of our lay preachers and are able to open the Word of God in a new way."

OLV is about the only abuse-free zone in our diocese and I understand that St. Stan's has a TLM every Sunday at 1:30PM. I'd be curious to know if anyone here has attended this Mass and what he or she thought of it. Dr. K?

By the way, in the letter I wrote to the Bishop, I had almost 50 signatures. I didn't make one difference to the priest or to the Bishop that so many people object to the practice of lay preaching. I imagine there are many others who object to the practice, but aren't will to go public and I know for a fact that many parishioners have left our church because of it.

Nerina said...

Sorry for the many typos in my previous post. Typing while trying to keep a 2 year old off the keyboard is a challenge :).

Mike said...

Nerina,

Little ones are a long time in my past. I do, however, share a house with 3 cats and when any one of them wants attention she doesn't think twice about parking herself right on the keyboard.

I haven't been to OLV (yet) but I did get to last Sunday's High Mass at St. Stan's. Fr. Bonsignore, the servers (all 10 of them!) the choir and the organist all did an amazing job.

I hope to get to a Low Mass there soon.

Dr. K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
In the choir loft said...

Nerina,

Thank you for letting me explain a little about the Tridentine Mass.

I have been going to the Tridentine Mass since 1993 at St. Stanislaus. Mass is at 1:30 p.m. @ St. Stan's (security is provided, in case you wondered). Parking is provided in the lot in back of church or, across Hudson Ave. in the lot on Northeast St. Bathroom facilities are in the back of church.

You will never hear a lay-person preach. It was absolutely forbidden in the pre-1962 rite of Holy Mass.(Actually a lay-person preaching was never even thought of back then, save maybe the few really hardcore progressives).

People come from as far away as Hornell, Arkport, Avon, Springwater, Newark, Elmira, Ontario to attend Mass. While the time is not ideal for some, it turns out to be good for people who want to sleep-in in on Sunday morning and still have a good share of the afternoon free.

The form of the Mass is quite different. The priest along with the people all face God. The laity offers their prayers through the priest who is then offering them to God. The Low Mass is very quiet and takes about 45 minutes. You kneel at the altar rail for HOly Communion and the Leonine prayers are said after Mass. Usually Father hears confession after Mass. There is a wonderful, orthodox "book table" in the back (narthex) of church.

I'm there every Sunday handing out bulletin and making sure if any problems/concerns develop, they are handled in good order.

I would be glad to show you how to use the red missal (we provide these). The Tridentine Latin Mass is part of your heritage as a Catholic and it would be wonderful if you could take advantage of it.

Please introduce yourself to me and, as we say, "see you at the communion rail" or "see you in the confession line"...haahhahahahaa.

Oremus pro invicem,
Jim

PS I also go to OLV. This is a very, very fine and orthodox place to attend Mass. They, too, have security. The church holds maybe 250, so get there early for a seat. It gets pretty crowded.

All the best, Nerina, and I hope to see you soon!!!

Ben Anderson said...

We need to get to an earlier mass than the 10 at OLV tomorrow. I see Stanislaus has a 9. From looking at the map, it seems to be in a bad neighborhood. Is it safe to attend mass there?

Anonymous said...

You'll be fine attending Mass there.

Mike said...

Dr. K. (or anyone),

Where's the best place to park in the OLV area?

In the choir loft said...

Mike,

The best place to park is in the lot on the east side of the church, or across the street on the south side.
See you there,
Jim

In the choir loft said...

I see that Sister Joan Sobala (formerly Sister Kostka) won't have Rudy deVos, organist extraordinaire at St. Anne's to kick around anymore.

Sister Jay never liked his style of music.

Rudy just got hired as music director and organist at the cathedral in Oakland, CA. See link:
http://musicasacra.com/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=1592&page=1#Item_25

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Wow!

Dr. K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Genjlcgettys said...

OLV is a very secure parish. They have security (and a security system) that really makes the protesta . . . err, riff raff run the other way.

By the way, anyone who suggests than Joan Chittester is prophetic needs to be examined. First by a doctor, then by the College of Cardinals.

Nerina said...

Jim, Dr. K. and Mike,

Thank you all for your complete and encouraging responses.

I feel strongly that I need to attend a TLM. I've been to OLV a few times, and I agree that the atmosphere is reverent. I never have to worry that I'll hear anything that goes against church teaching and with five kids listening, that's a huge plus.

I've noticed that Fr. Antinarelli seems...battle worn? He certainly doesn't come across as a "warm and fuzzy" priest, and for me that's okay. But my kids really need someone who is more approachable. They really like our priest at our local church, who is a nice guy, but he certainly allows many questionable liturgical practices and encourages the blurring between the lay and ministerial priesthood. (Don't even get me started on the choir and the power that the choir director seems to possess.)

I worry that my kids won't have any sense of Catholic identity (something Fr. Z. talks about)if I don't get them to experience the mystery of the Mass. Because at our church, there isn't much mystery. It seems like the liturgy committee is constantly trying to reinvent the Mass because they have methodically stripped it of its reverence and sacredness. So now they think liturgical dance or carrying the Gospel in a baby blanket at Christmas will somehow convey the sacredness of the Mass.

I could go on and on, but I think the answer is staring me in the face. I think I'll try the High Mass first, by myself, and then take the rest of the family.

Jim, I'll look for you and introduce myself. Thanks again. Thank you, God, for these great blogs!

Trad Tom said...

Why, in the name of all that is holy, would ANYONE invite Ms Chittister to speak in a Roman Catholic venue. She may be thought of as "prophetic" by a handful of people, but the more apt "tic" word is HERETIC. What is wrong with the Diocese of Rochester???

In the choir loft said...

Nerina,

The next High Mass won't be until early fall. Choirs break for the summer. Vacations, you know. I"m glad you're interested for yourself and your kids too. The TLM is the patrimony for all Catholics of all ages in all places and at all times. That's what it is often referred to as "The Mass of the Ages".

Yes, please do introduce yourself when you come. If possible, I would like to answer any questions that you may have. ANY question is fair game.

Oremus pro invicem (Latin for "let us pray for one another"). See you at the communion rail, Nerina and all.

Anonymous said...

Trad Tom - Another 'tic' word that comes to mind is pathetic. Sister Chittester is a member of the Erie Benedictines in PA. Here is their link

http://www.eriebenedictines.org/

hemlock68 said...

The Latin Mass in Rochester (at St Stan.) is just beautiful!! The Priest( Bonsignore)is so reverend. Not every Priest has the gift of a beautiful voice. he does!! The chants are beautiful. The choir is magnificent!! The altar servers are mature young men with such grace. Our Pope would surley be impressed. Father Antinareli use to say Mass there about once a month. I heard he is coming back maybe once a month. OLV is also very beautiful. He puts some Latin in it. On Sundays I often go to both.

Anonymous said...

BEN you said you might try the 9am mass at St Stan Check before you go what Mass is being said. They have English Polish and Latin. If it is TLM you want it is just at 1:30pm at the present time.

Ben Anderson said...

anon 11:39 - masstimes.org marked the mass times with correct language, so we made it to the right one. 9AM is NO in english. I wrote a quick snippet about it on my blog:
http://www.fallaciesandfashions.com/2009/06/st-stanislaus-is-beautiful.html

Anonymous said...

Fr. John Loncle has been assigned to one of the Fairport parishes. Church of the Assumption.

Let us pray that he not be negatively influenced by the priest with whom he is serving as apprentice.

The diocese is trying to brainwash our young priests into becoming liberals, they need our prayers.

In the choir loft said...

Anon 9:59 I agree. Many of our young seminarians have a good, strong, orthodox faith. They don't know not to like orthodoxy, as the liberals would wish. Their backgrounds include colleges and universities such as Steubenville, Christendom, St. Thomas Aquinas. When the bishop reviews their files and see this colleges, I wonder what goes through the bishop's mind. If Bishop Clark is ultra-liberal why would he agree to accept candidates for the priesthood who graduate from ultra-orthodox colleges? Don't get me wrong, I'm elated but still confused about it. Can anyone clear me up on this.

Anonymous said...

". If Bishop Clark is ultra-liberal why would he agree to accept candidates for the priesthood who graduate from ultra-orthodox colleges?"

Maybe they pass the litmus test. I.e- "Do you think women should be ordained?" or "How do you feel about the possibility of married priests?", etc.

Kind of like the test over at Cleansing Fire: http://cleansingfiredor.blogspot.com/2009/06/lay-administrators-wanted-in-diocese-of.html

Or maybe Bishop Clark realizes that if he doesn't at least allow the moderates to become priests, he'll have no ordinations at all.

Anonymous said...

St. Michael's @ 4:00 pm is an excellent option. Wonderful music, fine homilies given either by the deacon administrator or the retired priests that help him @ St. Michael's. Exquisite interior architecture... worth a visit.

RochChaCha said...

We had a sacrament minister by the name of Father Hayman yesterday at SJR. Father Clifford was there and did the gospel/homily but Father Hayman from Fairports Church of the Resurrection was there to assist. One can only assume that since Father Phillips likely will remain at the Mother House while he is still frail, and Father Hogan is rehabbing from his recent surgery, we will need the additional support of the sacramental minister.

I have to assume that this is connected to the 'can't say more than 3 masses' per weekend rule that I have heard exists in the DOR. I told my spouse that the presence of a Sacramental Minister yesterday for the first time ever is a sign of what is to come. I suspect one day we will have Barb Hesenius as the Pastoral Associate doing most of the preaching and then just calling in a Sacramental Minister to play backup and do the consecration of the Eucharist.

Anyone know what the real church law is about the 3 masses per weekend that seems to be a DOR practice. I did not make sense yesterday that the Pastor (Fr. Clifford) who was at the Mass would not be allowed to offer the Mass and would need to call in for backup. Why would Rome ever put limits on how many times a priest can offer up the sacrafice of the Mass.

Mike said...

RochChaCha,

Offhand, I cannot cite Canon Law or another Church rule limiting a priest to 3 Masses of Sunday obligation per weekend, but the following comment that appeared on Rich Leonardi's blog highlights a very practical reason for such a limitation.

"Our parish priest once had two funerals, two weddings and three regular Sunday masses to celebrate. That was seven masses for one man, and five homilies to prepare. Can we please try to give our priests a break?"

Lee Strong said...

RaChaCha - the Code of Canon Law:

Can. 905 §1. A priest is not permitted to celebrate the Eucharist more than once a day except in cases where the law permits him to celebrate or concelebrate more than once on the same day.
§2. If there is a shortage of priests, the local ordinary can allow priests to celebrate twice a day for a just cause, or if pastoral necessity requires it, even three times on Sundays and holy days of obligation.

Anonymous said...

The law is up to 3 times per Sunday. This does NOT include Saturday vigil Masses, which the DoR counts against the cap for some reason.

In the choir loft said...

Maybe you all might be interested in this video and maybe not. It is a Solemn High Pontifical Mass celebrated at St. Jean Baptiste in NYC by Bishop Ferdinand Rifan. Now you wouldn't often see a Mass with this much ceremony, except for Pontifical. Locally we just don't have the priests to do even a Solemn High Mass. We did have a Solemn High once when one of our Latin Mass Community members was ordained a priest and he said his first Mass at jSt. Stan's.

I'd be interested in anybody's reaction to the video. This is part of our heritage as Roman Catholics.

http://drvccatholic.blogspot.com/2009/06/video-of-pontifical-high-mass.html

All the best!

hemlock68 said...

Please tell me I am wrong!! I was listening to the 6pm news (RNEWS)
They are interviewing Bishop Clark.His 30 year anniversary coming up. What I heard him say was it has been a challenge and the closing of 25 schools has gone relatively well. I AM WRONG AREN'T I? IS THAT REALLY WHAT HE SAID? If anyone is interested they are running it every hour. They are going to continue all week long with his "looking back"

Dr. K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

In the choir loft,

One needs to witness such a Mass to understand what could inspire Mozart to compose his Requiem or Beethoven his Missa Solemnis.

It's hard to see how the NO, no matter how reverently done, could have the same effect.

Anonymous said...

You're exactly right, Mike. Its night and day. Not that the N.O. can't be prayerful, but we can do so much better to worship our Lord. That's why there is a TLM.

Doesn't our Lord deserve the best?

In the choir loft said...

I know it's late, but in case you are interested a friend's father died and the Requiem High Mass is tomorrow at St. Stan's at 11:30. This is the Mass where they use black vestments. Again, I know it's late notice. The theological thrust is entirely different from the Mass of Resurrection where the priest wears white vestments. If any remembers the Dies Irae, it will be sung tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Somebody please get a video camera and at least record a portion of a Mass at St. Stanislaus.

One of our great bloggers could put it on the Internet, for the rest of the diocese to see and hear.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon above, we need to get the message out there about the TLM. What better way than for people to witness it with their own eyes? By people recording the abuses of Joan Sobala and Nancy DeRycke, awareness was raised. Why wouldn't the same use of media help to raise awareness about our TLM?

Somebody please do it!

InDoR said...

I have relatives that are hosting one of the home masses. I know that other issues may be problematic, but I have participated in masses held at people's homes or in an outdoor setting before, with very solid orthodox priests presiding. Is there a legal issue here?

On the other side and FWIW: I can give second-hand witness that Fr. Clifford is very much opposed to the Divine Mercy and the canonization of St. Faustina.

Nerina said...

Opposition to Divine Mercy must be a DOR thing. Our priest gave a stinging rebuke to a liturgy committee member when she asked why our church didn't observe it. To quote: "It is a devotion of a dead pope, and we won't be celebrating it."

Mary Kay said...

I wondered why I hadn't heard mention of Divine Mercy from either dissident or orthodox parish, but I didn't realize there was so much antagonism toward it.

Anonymous said...

Was it replaced by "Bishop Clark Sunday" by any chance? I'm guessing it was at St. Pius X.

RochChaCha said...

InDoR,

Why would there be such resistance to the Divine Mercy? What was said or done that demonstrates Father Cliffords opposition to the Divine Mercy or the canonization of St. Faustina?

I still don't see the value in the home masses. To me, I just don't see why we would hold Mass outside of a church and in some nice Fairport backyard amidst an inground pool or perhaps a few trampolines, soccer nets, etc. If Father Clifford wanted to hold a special mass on Tuesday nights, why not hold a Tuesday night mass right at the parish for the unborn, or for the sick? All this cutesy backyard and lemonade stuff seems irreverant to me. Maybe I am just missing the bigger picture here.

In the choir loft said...

The Latin Mass Community at St. Stanislaus observed Divine Mercy Sunday. It followed the Extraordinary Form of Mass (Tridentine). We will do it again next year too. Sooooo...y'all come now!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure it is a violation of the law to celebrate Mass outdoors on a table without some pressing need to do so.

As for the TLM, I'll be there in a week or two. You're making my mouth drool with all the reverence talk, I gotta come by :-)

In the choir loft said...

Anon 10:04 -- Please do come for Mass. Depending on the priest, confessions are heard either before or after Mass. If you have never been to the TLM, it can be quite a shock. The Low Mass is very quiet and some people are shocked by this. While it is an atmosphere of quiet in the church, people are praying so they are very actively participating in the Mass.

We have parking either behind the church or across Hudson Avenue, on Northeast in the lot. Security is provided; handicapped accessible and restrooms available too. You even get to kneel down the receive Holy Communion. Instead of a constantly moving line, you get to kneel at the altar rail and pray or meditate on receiving Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. When receiving Holy Communion, you say nothing, the priest says the prayer over you and then gives you Communion on the tongue (no pyxs, please). After Mass, we pray the Leonine prayers and then the organ postlude. We try to keep an atmosphere of devotion and not commotion in Church. Many people congregate outside or in the narthex and talk.

Please introduce yourself. It would be great to meet you.

Oremus pro invicem!

Mike said...

InDor,

The Church's Code of Canon Law requires Masses to be celebrated in a sacred place (i.e., a church), except in cases of necessity. The pertinent section is 932:

Can. 932 ß1 The eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in a sacred place, unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise; in which case the celebration must be in a fitting place.
ß2 The eucharistic Sacrifice must be carried out at an altar that is dedicated or blessed. Outside a sacred place an appropriate table may be used, but always with an altar cloth and a corporal.


It would be pretty difficult, I would think, to argue that backyard Masses are both "necessary" and conducted in a "fitting place."

RochChaCha said...

Mike,

Thanks for providing the update. I do not see where these masses are of 'necessity'. Just a feel good moment for the parish.

InDoR said...

Thanks Mike. I'm still reserving some hope for the reverence of these masses--my relatives are pretty solid and I don't want this to blow up in their faces.

RochChaCha: when a request was made to Fr. Clifford for a special celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday this year, he had harsh words for both Sr. Faustina and JPII's motives in her canonization. He softened a bit but would not allow the feast to be celebrated as such at SJoR.

Anonymous said...

"When a request was made to Fr. Clifford for a special celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday this year, he had harsh words for both Sr. Faustina and JPII's motives in her canonization."

This sounds just like the Father Clifford I've come to know and loathe. Please excuse my boldness but his arrogance (IMHO) is unbearable at times. If you need a better glimpse into his character try to rustle up the bulletin that contains his reflections on President Obama's visit to Notre Dame. Trust me -- it's an eye opener.

Anonymous said...

Is Sr. Joan Chittister going to bring the nachos to these backyard Masses?

Mike said...

InDor,

It would be difficult to fault your relatives - or anyone else - for offering to host these Masses. Only a few people even know Canon Law exists and only a small subset of that group have any idea of all its provisions.

Priests, on the other hand, take a course in Canon Law as part of their seminary formation. Fr. Clifford knows - or, at the least, should know - that he is violating Canon Law. He is the culpable party here.

Anonymous said...

"Fr. Clifford knows - or, at the least, should know - that he is violating Canon Law."

I wrote to him informing him about the law on lay preaching, and received no response.

He knows what he's doing is wrong, and he's hoping all criticism dies down so he can keep on doing it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.stjohnfairport.org/bulletins/bulletin.pdf

One can download the bulletin from here and see that the first page explains that the purpose of the home masses is to "give local communities a chance to gather, perhaps get to know one another, enjoy an evening together."

Nothing's sacred anymore is it? Is Father Clifford's approach to make as many friends within the parish?

Anonymous said...

Let us be thankful for liturgical abuses, renegade priests (and priestesses), backyard masses, the removal of the Blessed Sacrament to out-of-the-way places, and everything else happening in the DOR. For each of these things will (I pray) lead Rome, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to send us a strong, faith-filled shepherd to restore Catholicism to our diocese, beginning in 2012.