Thursday, March 30, 2017

NO TO BELLS AND SMELLS AND YES TO I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND!

Pity the pastor who replaces this pastor who will die in his boots. (my comments after video).

Inside Charlotte's St. Matthew, the largest Catholic Parish in the U.S.


Inside the largest Catholic parish


20 comments:

Gene said...

Looks (and sounds) like the big First Methodist Church right down the street from where I live. I notice a quick kiss blown to doctrine, then right back to good works. This should strengthen any Jansenist's belief in Total Depravity.

Henry said...

"Pity the pastor who replaces him"

Yes, re-Catholicising such a large and (apparently) so thoroughly protestantised parish will indeed be a daunting job.

Anonymous said...

Even aside from disputes over liturgy at such a parish, how can a parish possibly be that big? Is there nothing in canon law addressing parish sizes, like when a new one needs to be formed from an overcrowded one? I am reminded of what a Protestant friend of mine said, he likes that the Catholic Church (usually) creates new parishes when one gets too large, so we don't turn into a "First Baptist of Jesus" with a "cult of personality" parish. Isn't that the basic idea of new dioceses as well, creating new ones out of megasized ones? Could one imagine, say, New York being a one-diocese state, or Texas?

More of an issue up here in the Atlanta diocese---I doubt "parish overcrowding" is an issue in Macon, Columbus, Valdosta or most areas of the state's "other" diocese.

Tom Makin said...

I guess Monsignor says nothing I fundamentally disagree with EXCEPT that he he sees the Catholic Church as "Either this OR That" rather than "This AND That": Either feeding, talking, reaching out OR "smells and bells". It doesn't have to be "This OR That". Father McDonald proved that to me in Macon. He introduced "Wonderful Wednesdays"....a decidedly non-traditional Catholic counter to the Protestant tradition in town of "Wednesday Church". We came together in the church for a very traditional prayer (Benediction if I recall), then adjourned downstairs for dinner and fellowship. This was every Wednesday and it became routine. My family loved it and sadly, when we moved on, never found it again. Father McDonald knew how to make St Josephs "This AND That" and his way of bringing us "church" has been the standard against which I have measured every subsequent parish we have belonged to...whether that's fair or not. When we moved back to Rhode Island in September, after living on Long Island for 8 years, we finally found "This AND That" in our new parish, Our Lady of Mercy in East Greenwich. "Smells, bells and cassocks AND "Gaelic and Garlic Night" to celebrate St Patrick's Day and The Feast of St Joseph. We can and should have both.

TJM said...

very boring, very banal. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

McDonalds has sold 600 billion hamburgers so far, and they sell 6480000 every day. What does it mean? I don't know? Has anyone ever described those burgers as heavenly or divine? I bet the one who makes the best burgers doesn't sell that many. They aren't made quickly or cheaply and they are ment to be savored.

Gene said...

I hate the "smells and bells" slur. It is very akin to the "pelvic issues" slur thrown at traditional Catholics by the unbelieving post Vat II Catholics. I think we should retaliate by referring to OF services as "blab and gab," or "grin and sin."

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

There's no canon law on restricting the size of parishes. Establishing new parishes is a prudential call made by the bishop in consultation with his clergy and the people involved.

Charlotte has been experiencing a population boom due, largely, to banking for the last 20 or so years and this parish is just 8 miles south of the center of that city. When I got to Belmont Abbey College, 20 miles from Charlotte, in 1976, there were exactly 2 tall buildings in the downtown. Currently there are 37 at 20 stories or higher with the 60 floor Bank of America buildings being the tallest. There are currently 5 more under construction.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gene - There's a very wise saying you certainly heard when you were a child that you should revisit and reconsider:

"Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."

If you want "smells and bells" to be a slur, if you take it that way, then it will offend you. But that's your choice.

I prefer to think of "smells and bells" as a compliment. Give it a try.

rcg said...

I was also put off by the "smells and bells" comment since he said that attracts no one. But i also am open to the idea that he is able to connect with so many people. I think this deserves a close look by the bishop to learn from it and to make sure there is nothing going astray, e.g. Personal cult, etc. Catholics have the burden of a dichotomy of works and spirituality. As we grow we understand they are needed in balance, per St Paul, but I think spirituality must precede and power the works. Christ seems to confirm this, too. A priest needs to know how to mix the sweet and the sour.

What is their turn out for confession like?

Gene said...

Anonymous@12:36 I like this one: "Sticks and bones may break my bones, but the .45 I carry will blow your brains out." A bit less philosophical, I admit, but it has a nice ring to it.

John Nolan said...

The church can clearly not accommodate 34,000 people. So we must assume that the vast majority of the parishioners are lapsed.

TJM said...

It appears the good monsignor may be suffering from "Ego amo me!" Although he looks great for his age.

Dialogue said...

Anonymous,

The priest clearly meant the s&b's term in the negative sense.

As for words, they do indeed hurt. The "sticks and stones" nonsense is an excuse for everything from bullying to racism and sexism. You should reconsider using it.

TJM said...

Off topic> I saw where Lisa Murkowski, a fake Catholic and a fake republican, sided with Planned Abortions and refused to vote for a Reublican bill allowing states the freedom to NOT to fund abortion. What will the utterly gutless Catholic hierarchy do about her?

Anonymous said...

Ah, Gene. There's nothing a pitiful, even pathetic, as a "man" who threatens violence when reminded that he has a better self inside. Stay mad, my friend, and see how much it gains you. Prayers for you and yours.

Gene said...

"A better self inside..." Now, just what does that mean?

Anonymous said...

See comment at 12:36 above.

rcg said...

It means a sweet almond flavored nougat center.

Henry said...

"What is their turn out for confession like?"

Their confession schedule:

Saturday - 4:00 to 5:00 pm, Wednesday - 6:30 to 7:15 pm or by request

Thus a grand total of about 10 scheduled hours of confessions in the 6 weeks of Lent. So for all 34,000 parishioners to make their Easter duty during Lent, over 3,000 confessions per hour.

Unless they have hundreds of priests hearing confession, looks like they won't all make it. So it seems a safe bet that there's little or no pulpit emphasis on confession in this parish. "All are welcome", whether or not.