Let us now praise great priests and great parishes!
Enough kvetching. Here’s Rod Dreher on a really great priest and a really great parish:
St. Joan’s is the anti-Blessed Sacrament parish!
Here is the link to Blessed Sacrament’s website:
This is the Dallas parish I wrote you about before, the one with the terrific pastor, Fr. Paul Weinberger. Just you look at the “schedules” section to see how much prayer and confession goes on in that parish. Check out the “Center for Virtue and Learning,” which Fr. Paul conducts all on his own, at no cost to any parishioner (he has a lot of working-class folks in his parish). To my eyes, Blessed Sacrament is a miracle parish. I have never seen anything like it in all my years as a Catholic. I went there this past Saturday to the vigil mass, and it was sublime. Fr. Paul preached on the scandal, and said the problem was our bishops, and too many of our priests, see themselves as CEOs of a diocese or a parish, and not as shepherds and fathers to the flock. After mass, I took him out to dinner. I asked him how he managed to do all this great stuff in the parish. He said he doesn’t have time for meetings, and to serve on “interfaith committees” and suchlike. He just prays and educates, and serves his people that way. The chancery seems willing to leave him alone, and he likes it that way. Honestly, looking at the schedule of things going on at that parish, could you imagine if that were your own? And Mark, I’m telling you, you go to mass there, you can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in a tangible way. Did I tell you that Blessed Sacrament is in a poor part of town? That parish, and its priest, is to me a sign that God has not forgotten his people.
To Rod’s remarks I would add my own in praise of another wonderful Blessed Sacrament parish–my own! I love the very stones of the place and the Dominicans are wonderful wonderful guys. Thanks, Blessed Sacrament–nestled in the University District in Seattle–for being a huge source of spiritual nourishment! The name says it all.
If you readers know of terrific parishes, by all means give the details in the comment section. You may be giving water to a thirsty soul in the desert who thought all there was in town was Fr. Flapdoodle and the pastoral assistant with Raised Consciousness giving her umpteenth homily on “Diana Worship: A Sensitive Reappraisal in Light of Eco-Feminist Paradigms”