Wednesday, July 8, 2020


 Bishop-elect Parkes' brother, Bishop Parkes of St.Petersburg is "friendly" toward the EF Community. A better descriptive is "pastoral" and I hope our new bishop will be pastoral to this community too, and open minded as well. It would be great if he would celebrate an EF Confirmation, or wedding, or funeral. It would be mind blowing for him and us!

From the Pastor: The Bishop Came to Epiphany! Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida
Bulletin article, February 11
It happened! Our new Bishop, Gregory Parkes, came to Epiphany parish last week!
This was no ordinary visit from our Ordinary, though. This was the beginning of a new era.  Bishop Parkesbestowed the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Traditional Latin Rite. It was a first for him and the first time that the venerable Old Rite of Confirmation was bestowed by the Bishop in this Diocese in 50 years or so.
Three Catholic communities joined together for this ceremony, which was a beautiful act of unity, a show of true Catholicity, as the priests of St. Joseph Vietnamese Mission and Immaculate Conception Haitian Mission sent their confirmandi to join with those from Epiphany. The three “native” languages spoken by the families who gathered, English, Creole and Vietnamese, were blended together as if by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, by the official language of the Church, that is, Latin. Oh, for the day when we will all be united at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by this sacred language once again!

Bishop Parkes & Team
Bishop Gregory Parkes at Epiphany of Our Lord, Tampa, Florida.  Photo by Cynthia Ferreira Crank.

Seven priests, including the Bishop’s MC, were part of the ceremony, plus the Bishop. I don’t think we have had so many clergy in the church since I have been here. Though they will never read this, I certainly want to thank them all for being here.
The altar boys and MC from our parish did an outstanding job. Thank you, gentlemen. We had no rehearsal for this, as there was no time for the Bishop or his MC to come scope out the place beforehand even to get the lay of the land (or, better, to size up the sanctuary) to see how everyone would fit, where the Bishop’s faldstool (his chair) would be placed, or anything like that. Only one priest present had even witnessed a Traditional Rite Confirmation.
Trying to visualize everything only by reading the rubrics is not nearly the same as personally experiencing the ceremony. Of course, we knew that nobody in the congregation knew what we were supposed to be doing, either, so as long as we projected confidence nobody would be the wiser no matter what happened. The schola was able to… well, you all know our schola. You know that they filled the church with heavenly–even angelic–voices. Thank you all for pulling it off with such seeming ease.
Then, after the ceremony was done, the Epiphany Council of Catholic Women, who had swarmed the social hall in the afternoon setting up for a Confirmation party, had a surprise for each of the just-confirmed youngsters from each parish. Not only did they supply cake and drinks, balloons and decorations, but they also had a gift bag for each newly anointed Saint-in-the-making. Thank you, wonderful ladies, for all the work and resources you put into this.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka


Pierre said...

Good homework! There are not a lot of tradition hating priests/bishops in the younger clergy

Anonymous said...

From that Epiphany parish website...

"Catechism of St. Pius X, with discussion, in the Social Hall
Social time, kept manly by scotch and cigars."

Oh, goody.

"He (the pastor) has absolutely no outstanding talents or abilities but is rather a mediocre parish priest whose goal is to save the souls of his parishioners through a reverent celebration of the Mass and other sacraments."

Not very encouraging...

Pierre said...

Anonymous at 6:53,

Sounds like an outstanding parish priest to me because he has the right goal.

Anonymous said...

By his own admission, he's not outstanding, but mediocre.

Saint Antonio Salieri, pray for him!

"I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint”.

(Salieri's closing line in "Amadeus.")

Anonymous said...


Well there is a mediocre priest who posts here all of the time under his name and various aliases.

The priest from Epiphany sounds self-deprecating. Try it some time.

Anonymous said...

In the old days (before Vatican 2), was confirmation administered before one received first Holy Communion? I think that was traditional route in the Episcopal Church (before their 1970s revisions), where you had to be baptized and confirmed before receiving communion.

SDP said...

Mediocrity is overrated.

TJM said...

Prior to the Council, Confirmation followed First Holy Communion

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, confirmation followed First Communion. The age, though, varied from diocese to diocese. I was confirmed prior to Vatican II in the 4th grade. There were no evening Masses and a three hour fast would have been too long for children, thus the bishop came and celebrated the Confirmation as a prelude to Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

I was confirmed in second grade. My younger siblings were confirmed, following the Council, in 6th grade. My children were confirmed as high school freshmen

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the answers on confirmation. I have a portrait, so to say (small pictures or painting basically) showing the 7 sacraments at my home and in one is a picture of a bishop confirming a child, but in this instance the bishop is wearing a cope, not a chasuble. It would be highly unlikely a bishop would be wearing a cope if he was to confirm someone at a Mass. Thus my deduction (but backed up by y'all) that confirmation preceded reception of first Holy Communion. In the Anglican tradition, sometimes a bishop wears a cope for the liturgy of the word and then puts on a chasuble for the liturgy of the Eucharist, perhaps symbolic of the two mains parts of the Mass. I guess there must have been some logic about changing the order of reception of Holy Communion versus confirmation, but I leave it to any of y'all who know more than I do on that!

Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

The traditional order is Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eaucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, Matrimony.

Confirmation has been called "a sacrament in search of a theology."

By separating it from the other two sacraments of initiation, we've created a vacuum which, as it is said, nature abhors.

As a result we've tried to make Confirmation things it is not. It is not 1) becoming an adult, 2) choosing to believe, 3) making us 'soliers for Christ', 4) a parallel to Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or the worst, 5) a carrot to dangle in front of teenagers and their parents to keep the kinds in religious education.

If the ancient order - Baptism then Confirmation (Chrismation) then Holy Eucharist - is restored, and if the ancient understanding of each sacrament as an essential part of initiation into Christ and the Church is renewed, we'll be better off.

The personal recollection: my mother was confirmed in second grade a week after her first communion, I was confirmed in 5th grade, and, when I was ordained in 1985, I think most of the time the sacrament was celebrated with kids who were 16 or 17.