March 02, 2008

Our Schismatic Brothers and Sisters in South Minneapolis

Ray reprints the story of St. Stephen's in Minneapolis from Nick Coleman of the StarTribune. Once again, I'm glad Ray reads that rag, because I don't.

Many of us have known for a while that St. Stephen's was told they had to start following the General Instruction of the Roman Missal or GIRM. Many of us have known that there has been much anger and gnashing of teeth at St. Stephen's over this seemingly audacious command from the Chancery.

It's tragic that simply asking a parish to comform to the same rubrics that EVERY parish that is CATHOLIC follows is seen as grossly unfair. How fair is it to Catholics to go to a Catholic parish and never know what kind of nonsense they may be walking into? It's maddening that simply REQUESTING a parish follow the prescribed rubrics is soundly ignored and the Chancery is forced to administer the strap because the bratty child refuses to do what it's told.

St. Stephen's has been outside of conformity for at least 20 years. Now, they are upset becuase they only have a couple of weeks to comply. They've gotten away with a lot of stuff for decades, and well they know it, so don't believe for one minute that they've thought all along that they are in communion. They know they aren't. That's what they've been selling.

In many ways, St. Stephen is almost worse then my old haunt a few miles to the south. They do some marvelous homeless outreach at St. Stephen's but I don't see why they can't continue to do that AND conform with the Mass rubrics. Who knows? Maybe by doing so they will teach some of the parishes that perhaps don't focus enough on homeless shelters, but do follow the rubrics, that perhaps they could consider opening a shelter or a soup kitchen too.

I'm sad that some of the parishioners have decided to formally schism themselves by leaving and starting a prayer group at another building. We need to pray for their return. I pray that they would give the true Mass a chance. Try it, you might like it! I wonder how many have ever even seen a Mass properly celebrated? I wonder if they have any idea of the meaning behind the rituals? The TRUE meanings, not the dissident distortions they've been fed. I know I didn't-for a long time. Once I 'got it' I embraced it. Now, I'd never go back to my old life. Never.

Please remember in your prayers, Father Joseph Williams, the new Pastor. He begins on Divine Mercy Sunday (entirely appropriate I think!). There are a few of us considering attending a Mass at St. Stephen on Divine Mercy Sunday to lend Father our support and continue to pray for this parish and our seperated brothers and sisters. If you are interested, send me an email:


Anonymous adoro said...

I love watching the dissidents tantrum like a bunch of spoiled children. At the same time, it makes me want to cry because they are leaving Christ out of love for themselves and their own wills.

Of course, we all do that to different degrees, albeit less dramatically and not in procession.

Attending Mass there on Divine Mercy Sunday is a good idea. I'll be in class that weekend, but will be present in spirit!

I attended St. Stephen's many years ago, having been told by my cousin's friend that it was a "good parish." It was OK at the time, nothing special, not a lot of people at Mass, but there were a few. They had ministry signups that day and I went, but something wouldn't let me get involved in any way. Call it the Holy Spirit...and I thank God that I walked out of that church to bring my thirst soul to a true well of grace and not a pit of destruction.

March 02, 2008 3:40 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I see all of this as a wonderful blessing and oportunity for reconciliation... as for the transition to using the GIRM and following the teaching of the Church in faith and morals, it seems to me our Lord is gently telling them, "All these you should have practiced without neglecting the others." - Matt. 23:23. (Truly, the works of mercy they did not neglect.)

And sending such a good priest to reclaim what was lost is a beautiful sign of God's mercy, the realization of Jesus' words, "How often have I yearned to gather your children as a mother hen gathers her young under her wings." - Matt. 23:37

March 02, 2008 5:43 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Amen, Cathy.

Father Andrew from South Dakota suggests that in lieu of having a visit to St Stephen's on Divine Mercy Sunday that we substitute a Divine Mercy Novena.

I think he may be right. It might not be appropriate for a bunch of orthodox Catholics with smiles show up that day. Many of them will be hurting, pains to their pride, if nothing else.

Cards or letters of support with prayers and Mass intentions for Father Williams would also be in order.

The Chancery should take the lead on physical approaches for the time being.

That's not to say that in April a visit might not be in order.

March 02, 2008 7:56 PM  
Blogger The Ironic Catholic said...

Cathy, I typed this comment in response to Adoro at the Curt Jester-- and see Ray is on it already!-- but I'll repost it here...

Adoro and folks, obviously do what you want, I wouldn't show up at their Divine Mercy Mass. Let the new priest have his first day with the actual parishioners who are remaining and beginning healing wounds without "outsiders" from other parishes. I think outside presence will backfire their conversion in a big way.

I like the Novena idea a lot. I'd join that.

March 03, 2008 9:45 AM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 03, 2008 11:23 AM  
Anonymous adoro said...

The most I can do is the novena...I'll be in class.

And IC, you're right

March 03, 2008 11:29 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Well, I'm still going on DM Sunday. How can I be an outsider? Don't Catholic parishes really belong to all who claim to be Catholic? Sure, I'm not registered there but I frequently visit parishes I'm not registered at.

I always have a big smile on my face-regardless. Ask anyone! Course, I have gas problems too...:-)

I thought about doing the low-key route but for crying out loud what does that mean? Seriously. If I kneel during the Consecration I'm going to stand out there. If I'm praying before or after Mass I'm going to stand out. If I'm not running around talking before Mass, I'll stand out. Whatever. Whether I go on DM Sunday to spy or April or May or August, spying is spying. What's the difference?

I get what you are all trying to say. However, dissidents regularly show up at traditional parishes and "witness"-look at the Sashers. I'm tired of hiding out. Really.

The Novena is great and I will do that too but I think we need to apply the dissident tactics more visibly or else we are doomed. They are accostomed to us just lying down and dying. Trust me on that. I used to bank on it. "Oh, those trads aren't going to do anything visible or aggresive, they will just go pray somewhere and leave us alone"

March 03, 2008 1:10 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Then I want to go with you Cathy - seriously - I think Fr. Williams needs all of the support he can get - I had no idea that parish was so bad.

March 03, 2008 4:49 PM  
Blogger The Ironic Catholic said...

Cathy, the thing is...the orthodox point of view already won. Archbp. Flynn said stop, they are stopping (or leaving), and they have a new pastor who apparently will hew to GIRM.

It's done.

March 03, 2008 9:25 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

I.C.: Respectfully, it's not done. They are not going to just let it lie. I'm 99% sure of that.

If this is a victory: then, why do I feel so sad?

March 04, 2008 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you or anyone commenting on your blog actually ever met, talked with or prayed with someone from St. Stephen's? Just curious.

March 04, 2008 1:00 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

anonymous: Yes, I have.

March 04, 2008 3:54 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Follow the G.I.R.M.? WOW! There's a concept! LOL

March 04, 2008 7:33 PM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

It's too bad that things at St. Stephen's went on for as long as they did. I pray that the parish reconciles quickly and Father Williams has an easy transition. Not an easy situation to walk right in to. May God give him strength and wisdom.

I think a novena is a great idea, but agree that a large organized group might make the regulars of the parish bristle a bit. Hopefully, they will miss the Real Presence at Mass by attending the prayer services (unless their "masses" have been going on without a valid consecration and they don't know what they are missing.) Like you said, I feel sad...people are walking away from something that they might not ever have truly experienced for their own false gods.

March 06, 2008 7:43 AM  
Blogger The young fogey said...

Spockian eyebrow rise: 'Fascinating.'

Et déjà vu.

Reminds me of the relatively recent crackdown on Corpus Christi Church in Rochester, NY, another heterodox and social-gospelling kind of place, when at last they got a semi-orthodox bishop after the pastor had been doing his own thing for 20 years. He, his staff and much of his congregation schismed into another building and into the wild, woolly world of vagante churches, bringing in some dodgy bishop (not under Rome nor in any commonly recognised church) basically as an ordination machine. They did well for a while, a rarity in the vagante world with a real congregation and ministries, but last I heard Fr Callan's cult of personality was on the wane; many of his followers drifted back to mainstream RC. What's scary when you look at Spiritus Christi Church's website (Google it) is... how similar to mainstream liberal RC it is. (The only differences are there are women priests, there are no scheduled times for confession and there are no traditional devotions like the Rosary, novenas or Benediction. They've assimilated completely into mainstream, mainline American society.)

Good point about bringing orthodoxy and charitable work together. Witness the ritualist Anglican slum priests in England 100 years ago, big on doctrine, rubrics and the social gospel!

Nitpick: in this blog by Catholic you mean under Rome; there are churches in that category that use approved rites and instructions other than GIRM! There are those using the 1962 Roman Rite books (the Tridentine or so-called Latin Mass) as well as those using one of the Eastern rites like the Ukrainian Catholic Church (they have dioceses and parishes in the US).

March 07, 2008 11:31 AM  

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