Every parish I have experienced in my nearly 68 years of life had/has active ministries, be it the choir, ushers, women and men’s groups as well as social outreach to the poor. There are also educational ministries, such as schools and religious education.
When the Ancient Order of the Latin Mass was THE Mass, people were integrated into parish life. There were various movements to help those who wanted these such a 3rd Order religious groups, the Legion of Mary and Catholic Action.
There were what were called apostolates (not ministries) that laity could be a part of.
Most parishes today have equivalent ministries but no longer tend to use the word apostolates, which is too bad as apostolate is a more apt name than ministry which implies a certain “clericalization”. I think one could even call those who bring Holy Communion to the home bound or visit hospitals apostolates rather than a ministry, the same with joining choirs, ushers, greeters, lectors and the like.
But what connection do those who attend the Ancient Order of the Latin Mass have today with their parish?
My experience of establishing the older form of the Mass in Macon is that those who were my parishioners were still engaged in the life of the parish. I was moving in time and in an organic way to have the older form of the Mass at a regular Sunday time Mass and each week.
If that had been the case, the majority in attendance would have been parishioners and integrated into parish life as anyone else in the parish, some more, some less.
But when only one parish offers this Mass, the danger is that the many who attend come from other parishes and dioceses who don’t celebrate the older form. They don’t register in the parish where they attend the Ancient TLM.
This past Sunday, I asked those at the Cathedral’s weekly Sunday Ancient TLM to raise their hands if they were tourists or visitors. Of the 200 or so there, about 30 or less raised their hands. The majority there attend the Latin Mass each Sunday.
Of those, since I am not a full time Cathedral priest, I am not sure how many are registered at the Cathedral. But if they are attending each Sunday and live in the Savannah deanery, I think they should be engaged somehow in the parish where they are registered.
That’s the question, how do we keep Catholics who are now marginalized by the pope himself, engaged in the parish life of the Church if the Latin Mass is marginalized to just a few locations.
It is obvious that the Holy Father wasn’t thinking when he issued his nefarious document marginalizing a significant group of Catholics who need to be integrated into the Church and parish life as well as the older order of the Latin Mass.
In this regard, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI knew what His Holiness was doing.