Isn’t it Shocking, How People Dress for Mass?

It's a subject we can't get enough of. Deacon Greg's piece on the issue, from several years ago, always gets resurrected in summer, like a case of hay-fever.As that's true, it's not surprising that I'm still getting email and social media reaction to last week's response to Bishop Tobin's self-admitted 'rant' about the “hirsute flabmeisters” who populate Mass along with their children.Amid the commentary, someone put a blogpiece before my eyes that I thought really was the definitive dis … [Read more...]

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Dear Bishop Tobin: Ranting Right Back Atcha!

"Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. -- Jeremiah 23:1Look, I totally get what Bishop Tobin was going for here, and I think it is valid to remind people that an hour at Holy Mass is distinct from strolling the midway on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore; that it warrants something better of us than water bottles and Bermuda shorts.But this is a destructive and unpastoral piece of writing. It's really difficult to square … [Read more...]

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Bad Pastors Cheat the Faithful of Sacraments and Wonder

Given the burlap banners, the lack of kneelers (because heaven forbid we kneel before Christ in worship and adoration, particularly after Communion) the ridiculously pretentious (and dubiously licit) whole-wheat pitas and everything else Katrina Fernandez describes here, I would already be pre-disposed toward wanting to avoid the parish from which her grandmother was laid to rest, but this bit is really unconscionable, unpastoral, and in need of attention:Not only did he consecrate a wheat … [Read more...]

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Why do YOU skip Mass? UPDATED

Lisa Hendey posts on an interesting study on why Catholics skip mass.I've written over at First Things about a brother of mine who goes to Mass every day of the week, but never on a Sunday; the noise and the over-busyness of Sunday liturgies is beyond what his fragile nerves can endure, and rather than spend an hour being uncharitable, impatient or panicked, he just avoids mass on Sunday, and trusts that between God and his pastor, he'll get by with a stretch in Purgatory.On the rare … [Read more...]

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When Mass Rubs the Nerves Raw

My First Things piece this week confesses that I sometimes seek out a music-less mass at an early hour, just to escape the rambunctious irreverence that sometimes makes Sunday mass an opportunity to practice the virtue of patience...and endurance:Perhaps it is different where you worship, but in my parish—and I would count mine as one of the “quieter” and “more reverent” in our area—that sort of preparation is nearly impossible. The choir and musicians are noisily setting up, talking and lau … [Read more...]

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God is Not Done with You

Deacon Greg's homily for this weekend is especially good, and powerfully useful, I think:In the gospel, when the men who want to follow Jesus ask him where he is staying, he doesn’t give them a direct answer.“Come,” he says, “and you will see.”On one level, he’s inviting them to follow him.  But more importantly: he is also inviting them to see. To have their eyes opened.  The Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world – and who will soon give sight to the blind! — is invi … [Read more...]

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“But you’re even nice to the dishwasher…”

A Bronx mugger steps out of an idea, into wonder:Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife."He wants my money, so I just gave him … [Read more...]

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Reactions Found in Translation – UPDATED

So, the new English translation of the mass was introduced yesterday for, as the saying goes, better or worse. How did it go for you?As I suspected would be the case the ordinary folks in the pews saw all of this as much less dramatic and onerous than some seemed to want it to be; despite the hand-wringing and drama queening from some quarters (why assume that people are incapable of adapting and re-learning? We do it all the time!) it all went pretty smoothly at my parish, and everyone … [Read more...]

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St Francis of Assisi and Authenticity – UPDATED

He's one of the biggies, so he gets a lot of coverage on his feastday. The Internets have been hopping and bopping on St. Francis all day.I've always thought of Francsicans as jolly folk; my cousin is a Capuchin, and he's a very joyful priest, and my Secular Franciscan friends are all joyful, too!For some fun and fantastic Franciscan lore check out Fr. James Martin at America, who celebrates the release of his latest book, Between Heaven and Mirth with some jolly stuff:This notion of the … [Read more...]

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Pondering Today's Mass Readings

"The Workers in the Vineyard" by Kazakhstan Artist Nelly BubeThe Gospel reading is one of my favorite of Jesus' parables, taken from Mt 20:1-16a:Jesus told his disciples this parable:"The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o'clock, the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, 'You too go into my … [Read more...]

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