Monday, March 26, 2018

ARE THE POST VATICAN II LITURGICAL REFORMS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CURRENT EXCLUSIVITY AMONG SOME PARISH CONGREGATIONS?


This comment was posted on my "Inclusive/Exclusive" post below:

Anonymous P. S. Buck said...
Dear Confused: You are too young - maybe - to recall that "inclusive" Catholic churches did not welcome African-Americans. If they did, the non-whites were relegated to back rows or to upstairs "bleacher" seating.

Or, an entirely separate parish was established so the "inclusive" white Catholics would not have to worship with their brothers and sisters in the Lord in any form.

Maybe you have not served in a parish with a recently arrived Latino population. "They," it is not infrequently heard, "want to take over everything."

The gay man or the lesbian woman is shunned, but everybody knows that Mr. S has been living in an adulterous "marriage" for years, but, because he is wealthy and his family well-situated in the community, his sins are overlooked while the gay man or woman is ostracized.
Prior to the post Vatican II liturgical reforms which have "Balkanized" and "congregationalized" our Catholic parishes as if on steroids, we now have more exclusivity in our parishes today than we ever had and this in a world that is shrinking becasue of immigration and the new medias! How odd that the "spirit" of Vatican II would work against the inclusive universality of the Catholic Liturgy prior to Vatican II!
What do I mean? Think of how the Catholic Church's liturgy today is fragmented by all the babel of various vernaculars today and how difficult it is to accurately translate some of these vernaculars into an accurate translation of the original Latin. 
Now, Catholics demand that their language be used in the Mass, their particular style of music and their version of what is appropriate for dress at Sunday Mass for liturgical ministers in particular. 
Many priests today are stretched beyond psychological capacity as well as intellectual abilities to deal with the cacophony of languages in their parish to which they must bow in one way or another with a multi-language Mass or fragmenting the parish with various language Masses each Sunday. 
English speakers don't want Spanish Masses or multilingual Masses and neither do those who speak Spanish or whatever language other than English is spoken in parishes in the USA Today.
The Latin Mass, especially its sung version or High form, would have solved so many problems we have in our diocese and other dioceses in our country. You could have everyone attending one huge Mass. 
Let's say that my parish has English, Spanish, Chinese, German, French, Russian and Georgian language groups. ALL WOULD BE WELCOME. The welcoming pastor, though, would promote lay Missals where participants had their language translated from the Latin. 
Today's technology allows for someone to translate into the various languages the priest's homily, no matter the language he uses simply by using a listening devise for their language. 
So in my church which can seat up to 1,300 people, I would only need one Sunday Mass entirely in Latin except for my homily which I have various bi-lingual people from each language group simultaneously translate my homily heard only by those with the current language listening devise!
And Gregorian Chant and the other chants allowed for Latin would be used. So no one would demand Spanish music, or Gospel music, or contemporary music or Broadway sounding music set to religious words in God knows what language at Mass!
The Latin Liturgy is more inclusive than what we have today. That is for sure!

45 comments:

Macon Bacon said...

In Macon, if you were feeling energetic, you could walk from St. Joseph's, the grandiose cathedral-like home to the city's doctors and lawyers, to St. Peter Claver, humble & non-descript, on the edge of one of the city's bad neighborhoods, which was created as a separate parish for black Catholics. The implied message was, "Stay where you are, don't come up the hill to our church." Nowadays, both churches are a mix of black, white, Hispanic and Asian (although, at a typical Mass, you will see more African Americans at tiny Peter Claver than big old St. Joseph's. I am glad the Church has largely moved past its older pre-Vat. 2 prejudices although there's still a long way to go.

Anonymous said...

"Many priests today are stretched beyond psychological capacity as well as intellectual abilities to deal with the cacophony of languages in their parish..."

Hardly. I have celebrated the sacraments in English and Spanish. The latter is, among most languages, considered easy to learn.

"...except for my homily which I have various bi-lingual people from each language group simultaneously translate my homily heard only by those with the current language listening devise!"

So, it's perfectly acceptable to place this burden of cacophony on the laity, but the poor, poor intellectually challenged priest has to be protected from such unconscionable abuse? Clericalism, anyone?

"The Latin Liturgy is more inclusive than what we have today." With less than one one-hundredth of people in the congregation having more than a minimal understanding of Latin, the rest are excluded. Oh, that's OK. They can just read along.....

Victor said...

Could not agree with you more. I really wonder why there was so so much pressure from the bishops around the world on Paul VI to have fully vernacular (and therefore in violation of Trent's anathema) Masses in their dioceses considering that with transportation and communications bringing humanity closer together, even local society was becoming more culturally diverse then. Were they living completely detached from their local churches? Even the GIRM (41) suggests Latin as the language of Mass when you have culturally diverse congregations. Indeed, today, when is a congregation not culturally diverse?
This has some historical precedence with Charlemagne, by the way, who saw this problem as one that was affecting the unity of his kingdom. He ended up imposing the Roman Mass in Latin everywhere for the sake of unity. But the V2 reformers had nothing but spite for the Carolingian liturgical reforms.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Macon Bacon, St. Peter Claver and all of the traditionally black parishes and schools in our diocese have suffered the most since integration. Either the schools and parishes were amalgated into white parishes and schools by closing their parishes to achieve forced integration or whites moved in to ease their guilty consciences about being in an all white parish, i.e. St. Peter Claver's integration by St. Joseph parishioners.

The white eventually took over. Today it is the Hisanics and the original mission of St. Peter Claver has suffered and no longer are African Americans interested in joining a white or Hispanic parish. And to say that in the black Catholic community there is frustration and resentment is an understatement.

TJM said...

I smell the scent of "eau de Kavanaugh" in the remark at 9:02. Yes, balkanizing the faithful by language groups really stresses the Church's universality. St John XXIII would not agree with you, see Veterum Sapientia

Anonymous said...

Using the vernacular is not a violation of Trent's anathema.

Liturgical legislation, including Trent's anathema, cannot, by it nature, by binding forever. No liturgical legislation can.


Anonymous said...

Regarding Trent and Latin:

"What does that line (the anathema) say? If we turn it around a little, we can paraphrase it to say that Latin is legitimate. The liturgy can rightly and properly continue to be celebrated in Latin. This is surely not the same thing as saying that a vernacular liturgy, or use of the vernacular in the liturgy, is wrong. In fact, one could, out of context, press the statement to indicate that vernacular is the norm. The context, as we shall see, does not quite allow that interpretation; but in any case the council never decreed that the liturgy had to be celebrated in Latin, although that position is often attributed to it."

John Nolan said...

'St John XXIII would not agree with you.' Nor, it seems from recent comments, would Pope Francis.

Anonymous at 9:02 is so Kavanaugh-esque as to suggest a clone. I am not in the least bit interested in segregation, past and present, in the USA. What does concern me is that most 21st century Catholics who still bother to attend Mass are subjected to a so-called liturgy which bears little resemblance to what their forbears experienced for at least a millennium and a half.

PF made the point that the widespread use of the vernacular has had a positive impact in that if congregations sing or pray the same texts in Latin, they will have no problems with comprehension.

Sadly, Kavanaugh and his ilk still cling to the idea that only one person in a hundred can chant a Latin Sanctus and understand it.

As a result, their Masses feature no Gregorian chant, or indeed any liturgical music composed before 1964, or, for that matter, any of the decent liturgical music composed in the last half-century, since serious composers tend to set texts in a language that does not change every twenty years.

I can understand why Fr K. will not share his Easter Sunday music programme with the rest of us. If he believed in its intrinsic quality and suitability, why not trumpet it from the rooftops?

Victor said...

We have had this discussion before. I said FULLY vernacular, although I should have said FULLY in the vulgar tongues, as opposed to those languages made sacred by their use on the Cross. Here is what Trent has to say about that:

CANON IX.--If any one saith, that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or, that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only; or, that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice, for that it is contrary to the institution of Christ; anathema sit.

At that time the discussion turned to whether this was disciplinary or doctrinal. If it is disciplinary, then so is Sacrosanctum Concilium, and can be changed at will at any time by the proper authority.

ByzRC said...

The Church has beaten this dead horse over and over again. One camp revels in the "diversity" and, perceived "vibrancy" while the other does not appreciate the "Tower of Babel" that has been created as a means to fulfilling one's obligation. Having attended bilingual masses, English/Spanish, part of the congregation is always lost during one part of the mass or another. Then, some non-Spanish speaking congregants invariably are more concerned with making patronizing gestures and engaging their neighbors to show their support. NOTE: I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING against The Mass being celebrated in Spanish; but, with my example, culture and socio-political statements became a distraction relative to the worship of Christ.

The Palm Sunday Mass at the Vatican is emblematic of the problem. At the headquarters of the Universal Church, a universal language was not relied upon. Even one reading in Italian and the other in English, which has become a universal language, with the common parts being recited in Latin would be an improvement.

So, where does this leave us? As noted in the article, priests are stretched trying to accommodate the various languages within a particular diocese. As I understand it, seminaries are trying to "encourage" seminarians to become proficient in Spanish. Re-engaging the common language of the Church would go far to solving this problem. Remember that prior to the founding of the State of Israel, Hebrew was a dying language.

We have ourselves to blame here.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Sadly, Kavanaugh and his ilk still cling to the idea that only one person in a hundred can chant a Latin Sanctus and understand it."

Nope. Never said or suggested that. Most anyone can chant a Latin Sanctus and understand it.

I know several prayers in a few languages and understand their meaning. But that's not the point.

The point is that there is no significant advantage to using Latin as our language of worship.

For some who, like Lot's wife, want to face the past and remain lifeless and immobile, Latin is the be-all and end-all of worship.

For others, being transformed by full, conscious, and active (not "actual," active) participation is more realistically achieved through worship in a language that is immediately understandable to the worshippers.

John Nolan said...

Regarding Charlemagne, he did not impose a Mass in Latin. Latin had been the liturgical language of the western Church for four hundred years at least. The Celtic Church had a Latin liturgy, although it was not the vernacular of the people. By the time of the Norman conquest, the English language was sufficiently developed to have coped with the abstract concepts required in theology; yet it was never a liturgical language.

Trent did indeed consider the liturgical use of modern vernaculars, but in the end ruled against it as a general principle, as of course did Vatican II. At the beginning of 1964 we had a Latin Mass; three and a half years later (in my parish at least) there was no Latin at all, and the music, vestments and orientation were all changed.

Some liked it. I suspect that the majority did not. But we shall never know, since it was (like all revolutions) imposed from above and the laity (not to mention the clergy) were not consulted - in fact the experts made it clear that our opinions were of no consequence.

Looking back, I find the whole thing despicable, and this unfortunately colours my attitude to the Novus Ordo Mass, which Bouyer (one of its authors) later described as an 'abortion'. Fifty years on, and thanks to Benedict XVI, I can avoid it most of the time. Last year I only attended one vernacular Mass, and it was in German (with most of the singing in Latin).

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Frmjk writes: For others, being transformed by full, conscious, and active (not "actual," active) participation is more realistically achieved through worship in a language that is immediately understandable to the worshippers.

Me thinks Frmjk is a NEO Pelagian. When full, conscious and active/actual participation becomes the god that transforms, well need I say more about the so-called theology and spirituality that is actually old fashioned Palegianism, NEO, pseudo or otherwise! Sheesh!

Victor said...

Mr Nolan:
Recall though, that the state of Latin (as well as learning in general) in the empire was getting pretty bad, already evolving into the Romance languages, which is why I mentioned Roman liturgical (hierarchical) Latin. Charlemagne restored classical Latin as part of Carolingian learning, so I meant it in that sense.

Victor said...

Fr McD:
Yes, this business of active participation being the prime directive for any liturgical renewal is what the Liturgical Movement had been preaching for years, and is outright Pelagianism. There was no consideration for beauty, sacredness, or other non-intellectual ways for allowing the reception of God's grace in the liturgy. It is fortunate that Sacrosanctum Concilium is merely a disciplinary document, because it became obsolete almost as soon as it was promulgated, and is in urgent need of modification.

TJM said...

Kavanaugh confirms that he is violating the mandates of Sacrosanctum Concilium, just another Cafeteria Catholic.

John Nolan said...

The 1974 ICEL prayers may have been 'immediately understandable', but their baby-language redaction did not make the texts (which they purported to translate) at all understandable.

The Mass is essentially a mystery, and there can be no 'immediate understanding'.

Henry said...

Fr. Kavanaugh: "For others, being transformed by full, conscious, and active (not "actual," active) participation is more realistically achieved through worship in a language that is immediately understandable to the worshippers."

It strikes me as presumptuous of you to comment on the efficacy of an experience that you've not shared, and therefore have no knowledge of. (Once again, I'm reminded of the father's advice to the far boy headed to town for a Saturday night, "Just keep your mouth shut, so nobody will find out how ignorant you are.")

You can have no idea of how or whether anyone can participate fully, consciously, and actively in a Mass celebrated in Latin. I know people who say they attend Latin Mass precisely because--despite their lack of extensive familiarity with Latin--it engages them much more actively and deeply than a typical vernacular Novus Ordo Mass. Somehow, their credibility on their own experience speaks louder than your uninformed speculation about it.

Joseph Johnson said...

I was always told that the past phenomena of segregated parishes was due to the church complying with state law--not something the church desired to do.

I know for a fact that my home parish received at least one African-American young male convert in 1946 and I could show the pictures to prove it. The man is deceased now but I knew him all during my growing up years (and his children, who were close to my age and attended Catholic school here) in the 1960's and 70's.

Anonymous said...

In the pre-Vatican II Church there were plenty of dark places in the church. They are the quiet spaces Thomas Merton talked about in one of his books. The focus then was on the sanctuary and the Mass that was being said. The focus was-not on the church community, or the pastoral counsel, or the extraordinary ministers, or the lectors, or the band, or even the priest. Today a lot of places they don't even like to use the word church, they prefer community. They are not fond of that word priest either, they become presiders or celebrants. There is reason to prefer the old Mass, even if one isn't the biggest fan of a 100% Latin Liturgy.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Henry asserts: "You can have no idea of how or whether anyone can participate fully, consciously, and actively in a Mass celebrated in Latin."

Yes, I do. I have been present when mass is celebrated in a language I do not understand at all (Vietnamese) and at masses celebrated in languages I have some limited understanding of (French).

I am unable to participate in those masses when the language is unknown to me. Yes, John Nolan, I could memorize the Vietnamese or the French, but parroting memorized prayers is not full, conscious, and active participation.

I have had much greater success with Spanish and actually pray those prayers without doing translations in my head as I pray or listen along.

Joseph Johnson said...

To follow up on my last comment, the young convert's first name was William. The pictures show him with a group of younger white children when they all received their First Communion in 1946 at St. Joseph, Waycross, Georgia. These are in the parish "archives." One is displayed on the wall at the parish. These pictures include the only pictures that I have ever seen of a pre-Conciliar Latin Mass at our parish (the same 1946 Mass where Mr. William received his First Communion).

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh onMarch 26, 2018 at 12:44 PM said...
"The point is that there is no significant advantage to using Latin as our language of worship...."

"For others, being transformed by full, conscious, and active (not "actual," active) participation is more realistically achieved through worship in a language that is immediately understandable to the worshippers."

Proof? Evidence? Studies that confirm this?

God bless.
Bee

Victor said...

Fr K.:
What exactly do you mean by "participate"? Does participate only mean understanding the language of the Mass? Are you saying that to gain God's grace you must participate in the prayers of the Mass? What about one's own prayers? Indeed, which is more important, praying to God in understandable official prayers at Mass, or contemplating God in ones heart with the hope of a communion with Him through His Grace at a Mass whose language one does not understand? The former is the New Mass, the latter the old rite.

Anonymous said...

Victor asserts: "Indeed, which is more important, praying to God in understandable official prayers at Mass, or contemplating God in ones heart with the hope of a communion with Him through His Grace at a Mass whose language one does not understand?"

I think you present a false dichotomy.

Praying to God in understandable prayers does not preclude contemplating God in one's heart with the hope of communion with Him through His grace.

Macon Bacon said...

Father McDonald, the fact that "the original mission of St. Peter Claver has suffered" is a good thing, because the original mission was to keep black Catholics segregated in a second-class church (mind you, I don't believe a church is second-class because it's not large & ornate; I'm just thinking of the perceptions that surely ruled at the time, and to some extent still rule today.)
The Church no longer has "the Italian parish," "the Irish parish," "the Polish parish" that used to predominate in America's older inner cities. Catholic life is different from what it was 100-150 years ago as those immigrant groups intermarried and grew together.
The same will happen to African-American parishes, I pray. We belong together.

Henry said...

Fr. Kavanaugh,

And every time the farm boy opened his mouth, he made his ignorance more obvious to everyone else.

One who has little understanding of Catholic liturgy and worship does himself a favor by keeping this ignorance to himself.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

St. Peter Claver today is segregated. Its Spanish Mass is at 1 or 2 pm. It's three other Masses caters to the white community and the black community that remains but is aging.

In fact St. Peter Claver and Holy Spirit could easily be closed and amalgamated into St. Joseph Church, especially the St. Peter Claver School.

How, might I ask, would you integrate the Spanish Mass into the Anglo/African American English speakers Masses without segregating the Hispanics to their own Mass (and thus own parish within a parish?)

There were many more converts to Catholicism in the Black community of Macon when they had their own parish and school and this was in the pre-Vatican II Church with its Latin liturgy.

Is political correctness and forced integration the answer to universal Catholicism? I think not.

rcg said...

Victor beat me to the comment. Old Mass was/is a setting for our own prayers, the innumerable prayers of the faithful. It helps me immesurably to ‘understand’ the Mass and Latin yet still I am expexted to bring my own prayers and contemplations. And what good does it do for me to ‘pray along’ when I cannot perform the office and function of priest? I contribute my contrition, hopes, and blessings accompanied by my own petitions. Our parish has photos of early priests that roamed the Midwest converting native tribes. Most were the French and were basically alone. The understanding of Latin certainly started at nil and the priests learned the native language. But the Mass was very similar if not identical to other missions worldwide so that the lesson taught was also practically identical. The New Mass has Balkanised our Church and made the Holy familiar and unrespected.

TJM said...

Bee,

Good for you! Giving Kavanaugh a taste of his own medicine. Bravo!

Victor said...

Anonymous 6:29:
The dichotomy I present goes to the heart of the liturgical so called "reforms" of the last century in which the laity are meant to participate with the priest in offering the Sacrifice, as if they concelebrate with him, therefore needing to follow and understand what the priest is praying to God. The poor kids who have to be tortured with the constant rattle of words words words coming from the sanctuary. The new Mass is about words, yet God speaks to the hearts of people without words in silence, as the old Mass essentially recognised in offering space for wordless contemplation of God.

Henry said...

Victor,

I agree wholeheartedly with the spirit and tone of what you say, but at the same time we ought not forget the words of St. Pius X:

"Don't pray at Holy Mass, but pray the Holy Mass. The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If You wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way you have prayed Holy Mass."

It's certainly not the only way to unite oneself with the silent words of the priest (in the Offertory and Canon), but for me the best way is to follow silently in English the priest's Latin words (even though by now I’m quite familiar with the Latin). In this way I can make these prayers my own, realizing of course the distinction between my personal and private petitions and the priest's mediatory prayers in persona Christi.

It's precisely this intense and deeply spiritual engagement in the sacred action of the Mass that I've never been able to duplicate at a vernacular Novus Ordo Mass. Despite many years of determined effort at weekday OF Masses. Even by lugging my 3450-page CTS Latin-English OF hand missal to Mass and following in Latin the English words of the priest in an effort to unite myself with them. But largely to no avail. The unrelenting and merciless drone of the priest's voice simply drives prayer from the mind. And, looking in distraction at the 30-yard stares that prevail during the Eucharistic Prayer at a vernacular Mass, it appears that most are lulled into an inactive and non-participatory couch-potato mode that differs little from watching TV.

rcg said...

And another thing: whatever your problems in Macon y’all need to solve yourselves without projecting your needs on the rest of the Church. Now, truth be told, I own the same issue of race in America as you. What is obvious, however, is that forced integration is at least as harmful as forced segregation. This is true for schools, neighborhoods, restarants, churches, and work. It distorts the society and, in the context of this blog, the Liturgy.

Michael Kavanaugh said...

Victor asserts, "The dichotomy I present..."

But, Victor, it is a false dichotomy.

There is no reason why praying to God in understandable prayers must preclude contemplating God in one's heart with the hope of communion with Him through His grace.

Victor asserts, "The new Mass is about words, yet God speaks to the hearts of people without words in silence,..."

The "new" Mass is not "about words." Be that as it may, God used somewhere around 900,000 words to speak to the hearts of His people in Sacred Scripture. Methinks you downplay the necessity and value of words.

Victor said...

Henry:
That quote attributed to Pius X is spurious, something the Liturgical Movement people would come up with. I have even seen that first sentence as "Sing the Mass."

Here is what Pius XII said in Mediator Dei:
108. Many of the faithful are unable to use the Roman missal even though it is written in the vernacular; nor are all capable of understanding correctly the liturgical rites and formulas. So varied and diverse are men's talents and characters that it is impossible for all to be moved and attracted to the same extent by community prayers, hymns and liturgical services. Moreover, the needs and inclinations of all are not the same, nor are they always constant in the same individual. Who, then, would say, on account of such a prejudice, that all these Christians cannot participate in the Mass nor share its fruits? On the contrary, they can adopt some other method which proves easier for certain people; for instance, they can lovingly meditate on the mysteries of Jesus Christ or perform other exercises of piety or recite prayers which, though they differ from the sacred rites, are still essentially in harmony with them.

The liturgical reformers living in their ivory towers simply ignored this, and I pity the poor children who have to attend a vernacular Novus Ordo Mass that constantly shoots adult words at them.

Fr K.:
There are two opposed liturgical theologies at work here, one that is based on individual piety and producing what is derogatorily called "clericalism," and the other an assembly-based liturgy where the laity as a community participate in the clamourous Mass with the priest.

TJM said...

As typically celebrated, the "new" Mass is about boredom, ennui. No wonder Mass attendance continues to drop, particularly among the young.

Anonymous said...

Father M. speaking of Macon, data released last week by the US Census Bureau shows that, for likely the first time ever, Houston County has surpassed Bibb in population (Houston now the largest county along I-75 between metro Atlanta and Gainesville, Florida). I don't doubt the "two other parishes" in Macon could be consolidated with St. Josephs---given Macon's minimal growth the last 50 years, and continued exodus to Houston, Monroe, Jones and other counties, it is not likely Bibb County will ever see a surge of Catholics, much less anyone else.

But it would seem odd (with church consolidation) to only have 1 Catholic church in a county of 150,000 or so people.

July 1, 2017 estimates:
Houston (Warner Robins/Perry)----153,479 people
Bibb (Macon)---------------------152,862 people

Comparison with 1970 census:
Houston---about 63,000 people
Bibb------about 143,000 people

And I wonder in Richmond County/Augusta---with continued growth in Columbia County, will be it be "shutdown time:" someday maybe for a parish in Richmond County, like St. Josephs on the increasingly black and Protestant southside of Augusta? The closing of Sacred Heart at Greene and 13th (1971) comes to mind.......







Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

One of the things that alarmed me about Macon in my 12 years there was the steady decline in growth in Macon and the exodus of so many from Bibb County to Monroe County north of Macon and Houston County south of Macon. From the time I came to the time I left Macon, 10,000 whites had departed Macon primarily due the horrible public school system there which also stunted industrial growth or white collar jobs from coming to Macon.

St. Joseph saw a correlation of a drop in membership. When I got there in 2004 on the books (and bloated) we had 2,400 families. Today there are about 1,200 families--but a more accurate number. Both Sacred Heart and St. Patrick's in Houston Country have seen major growth. St. Patrick's in 2004 had about 70 families, today it has almost 600 families.

There is no need for St. Peter Claver Church or school. It should be closed and the Hispanic Ministry merged into Holy Spirit Church which is in a part of town that was thought to be the growth area in the 1970's but is not in major decline, but the Hispanics are closer to it. It could be their parish.

St. Peter Claver could easily be absorbed by St. Jospeh's and priest personnel distributed better than it is now.

Augusta, both Richmond County and Columbia county and Aiken County in South Carolina are in boom mode with Cyber Security which will make it truly second only to Atlanta in population. It will become the Raleigh triangle of Georgia in the next 10 years.

St. Joseph could easily be moved, not closed further south in Richmond County past Fort Gordon on US 1.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I should have written Holy Spirit which is in a part of town that was thought to be the growth area in the 1970's but is NOW in major decline.

Macon's major Mall was there but is on life support now, Olive Garden and O'Charlies have closed and Target in that part of town has closed. All this in the past 10 years.

John Nolan said...

You can't really compare a Mass celebrated in Vietnamese (or Swahili) to one celebrated in Latin, since one is a vernacular Mass using a translation that may or may not be accurate, whereas the other is a Mass in the universal language of the Western Church, and the authenticity of the texts used is guaranteed. I have to say I find it sad that a priest of the Latin Rite should brazenly make such an ignorant comparison, but no doubt he will pop up with his usual 'I didn't actually say that, yer honour.'

Next Sunday Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in St Peter's Square. Most of it will be in Latin, including the sung Gospel. There must be a significant advantage in his so doing, otherwise he would use Italian, which would be 'immediately understood' by a large proportion of those present. Furthermore, most of the foreign pilgrims will never have encountered a liturgy other than in their own tongue.

Might there be a significant advantage in terms of unity when pilgrims of divers races and tongues join together in singing the Credo and Pater Noster?

Personal prayers, even when recited from memory, are usually said in the vernacular. When I pray the Salve Regina, the Memorare or the En Ego, I do so in English. However, when I sing the Salve, I do so in Latin. The same goes for Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina Caelorum and Regina Caeli (there are no sung vernacular versions of any of these).

The official public worship of the Church (the liturgy) is distinct from private prayer, or even prayer recited together, for example the Rosary or the Angelus (which incidentally the Pope always proclaims in Latin).

The distinctive feature of the vernacular Novus Ordo is its wordiness, although it contains far fewer words than the Old Rite. From beginning to end the congregation is subjected to an endless stream of words. Even when readings are delegated to others, the 'presider' sits in his chair like some Buddha, eyeballing the assembly as if to ensure that they are paying attention. I am not alone in deriving little spiritual edification from such a spectacle, and will go out of my way to avoid it.

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald:

I've read your description of St. Peter Claver & Holy Spirit & St. Joseph's.

It sounds like nothing has changed, all three churches remain open and nobody's been forced to do anything.

So I'm not sure what is the "political correctness and forced integration" that you refer to.

Are you arguing that the Church should be allowed to maintain all-white & all-black churches? Please say what you mean.


Henry said...

Victor: "That quote attributed to Pius X is spurious"

Possibly so, as one only sees it, e.g., printed in 1962 missals as a quote without attribution to a specific magisterial document of Pius X. I personally suspect it's derived from a sermon or informal statement of Pius X, non-magisteral but weightier than a Motel 6 papal rant.

At any rate, it's good advice, and the apparently derivative "Don't sing at Mass, sing THE Mass" is even better. But of course Pius XII in Mediator Dei 108 states the plain truth that "there's different strokes for different folks".

Henry said...

“Don’t sing at Mass, sing THE Mass.” (That is, sing the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, but no non-liturgical songs and ditties.)

A line I’m particularly fond of, having used it to great advantage in successfully repelling the parish music director when she attempted to horn in on our first parish TLM over a decade ago.

Anonymous said...

But the census data does not show much good news for Richmond County (Augusta)---up little more than a thousand between 2010-2017 (from 200,549 to 201,800). In contrast, Columbia County has added about 28,000 people, going from 124,053 to 151,579. Between 2000-2010, Richmond County added less than a thousand people. I suspect a lot of the growth from cybersecurity at Fort Gordon will be in Columbia County with its superior school system; Richmond seems entangled in racial tension which of course boils over into the public school system. Maybe some growth will even go into rural McDuffie County (Thomson), which is the easternmost county of the Atlanta Archdiocese along I-20 (perhaps shifting someday to the Savannah Diocese, as Columbia County did about 40 years ago).

I would not be surprised to see decline at St. Marys on the Hill over time as more growth shifts to Columbia, to their relatively new church (I think St. Teresa of Avila?)


Augusta (the city, not metro area) already is second to Atlanta (the city, not the metro area), though Richmond County is second to Chatham (Savannah) among counties outside the 29-county metro Atlanta area.

I agree with your views on Macon--like Atlanta, Augusta and Columbus, increasingly divided by an affluent northside and less affluent southside


TJM said...

Henry,

That's a great story. Was she going to use "Gather us In" in lieu if the Introit?