Thursday, December 7, 2023


 This is an RCIA “teaching Mass” which I celebrated on March 6, 2009 for St. Joseph Church, Macon, RCIA class. 

Oh, to be young again. 

Keep in mind, this Mass was before the new and glorious English translation of the Mass which we received in 2011!

I cringe a bit today watching this but I think it is helpful as a teaching devise and no more a liturgical abuse than some of the horrible liturgical abuses many Catholics experience every day.



Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

We have done a "teaching mass" twice here. I wrote a detailed script for the priest and lector to use and it has worked out very well.

All the "stage directions" are written in for both, and, if you follow the script, it flows nicely. Folks have been very appreciative of the information and explanations given in the lector's text.

You do need a very "with it" lector who can follow carefully the action of the mass and, on cue, start and stop as directed in the notes.

Yvonne said...

I would say they are not necessary for the following reasons:

- Specifically for RCIA classes, wouldn't it be better to offer an explanation outside of Mass so that the class can ask questions as you go along?

- We are at Holy Mass to worship God. I don't think we need more distractions from this, considering how "people oriented" the Mass is already.

- If the congregation is in need of clarification of certain aspects of the Mass, wouldn't the homily be a good place for doing this instead? This might make a good series for the parish.

It does bother me that Catholics (not potential converts) these days need an explanation of the Mass, given how accessible the new Mass is supposed to be to everyone. I think we spend too much time trying to "understand" with the head and not enough time trying to "understand" with the heart.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Amen! Yvonne, especially the last sentence!

Unknown said...


Your comment reminds me of one (weak) argument for versus populum celebrations of Mass--that now "we can see the transubstantiation." No, we can't! It explicitly is something that we can't see except by faith!


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

99.9% of Catholics have never attended an RCIA class.

Worship of God can take place within a Teaching Mass. Helping people understand the "why" of what we do at mass, both in terms of historical development and the purpose, can enhance subsequent worship.

A homily cannot address adequately the history and purpose of the mass, except in very broad generalities. In the teaching mass we use, we begin with why we gather, why we use holy water as we enter, why we genuflect... It concludes with a description of our being sent - The mass is ended, go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life.

Fr Martin Fox said...

What I would ask is, why try to overlay anything like a complete catechesis about the Mass, on an actual offering of Mass?

Why not, instead, do the following:

1) Do a series of homilies that provide catechesis on the Mass; this can happen over many weeks, even months if you really wanted to, and

2) Have a "show and tell" presentation about the Mass, with the priest and others going through as much as time allows, from the preparation for Mass, all the parts of the Mass, and after the conclusion.

This latter is not a Mass, but the presentation could be from the pulpit and from the altar.

The advantages of the latter is that it can include questions, and there's no interruption of an actual offering of the Mass. If it involves a couple of hours, it can be broken into two or three presentations.

Yes, I realize lots of people will only come at Mass-time; that's the reason for option 1.
And all this can be further augmented by materials offered via the bulletin, handouts, books, and videos, in the back of church or online.

Again, my question is, why must anything more than a catechetical homily be added into an actual Mass? What great benefit accrues that can't be gained by what I just proposed?

Carter said...

Depending on how you interpret CHAPTER 8, session 22 of the council of Trent, it certainly seems like the Council Fathers thought instructing the faithful during the Mass was beneficial:

Wherefore, the ancient rite of each Church, approved by the holy Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches, being everywhere retained, that the sheep of Christ may not suffer hunger, or [19] the holy council commands pastors and all who have the that they, either themselves or through others, explain frequently during the celebration of the mass some of the things read during the mass, and that among other things they explain some mystery of this most holy sacrifice, especially on Sundays and festival days.[20]

Unknown said...


That sounds a lot like the homilies described by Fr. Fox.


rcg said...

It is common in TLM to read the variable parts of the Mass in English just before the homily and for the homily to focus on the message of the variable parts. Explanations of the season, etc are also practically universal. The links to the Catechism are provided for clarity. All in about 15 minutes.

The “show and tell” suggestion of Fr Fox is great. The FSSP has a series on YouTube that walks through the Mass pretty good and is intended to tutor servers.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Why not...

Replacing a homily, or a series of homilies, with a liturgical catechesis is not, I think, the best use of the opportunity. I have found that the real power that can come through a homily flows from the Scriptures of the day and their chosen place in the liturgical cycle. While much of the mass is founded in the Scriptures, there is a great deal of explanatory detail that is not scriptural.

As Fr. MARTIN Fox mentions, most regular mass attendees wold not return again for a separate presentation or presentations on the mass. The regular times seem most opportune in order to have the greatest impact.

TJM said...

Father K Orwell,

Do you ever give a homily on why voting for the Party of Moloch imperils your immortal soul?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - Since what you propose is not the authoritative teaching of Holy Mother Church, the answer is "No."

I find is is always and without exception better to teach what the Church teaches, rather than following what folks like you THINK the Church teaches.

Remember, Trump lost to Biden fair and square.

TJM said...

Father K Orwell,

You could also do a sermon to cover the sins of Hunter:

Hunter Biden has been federally indicted on new felony tax-related charges. The indictment said he spent millions on drugs, luxury hotels, prostitutes, exotic cars and luxury clothing while defrauding the government and evading taxes

Don't worry, they will indict Trump Jr for jaywalking!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - Trump will be indicted for jaywalking only if there is reason to do so.

He will be fined heavily for committing fraud in New York, and, if past such cases are an indication, be banned from doing business in that state.

He will be, I suspect, indicted in Georgia for racketeering in attempting to interfere with that state's election. (As we learned on December 6th, en Republicans who posed as fake electors for former President Donald Trump in Wisconsin and filed paperwork falsely saying he had won the battleground state have settled a civil lawsuit and admitted their actions were part of an effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory, attorneys who filed the case announced Wednesday. Under the agreement, the fake electors acknowledged that Biden won the state, withdrew their filings and agreed not to serve as presidential electors in 2024 or any other election where Trump is on the ballot. The 10 fake electors agreed to send a statement to the government offices that received the Electoral College votes saying that their actions were “part of an attempt to improperly overturn the 2020 presidential election results.” AP News 6 December 2023

Trump was indicted for obstruction and willful retention of national defense information when he scurried away from the White house, being too petty to attend the swearing in on his legitimately elected successor, President Joe Biden.

If Hunter Biden is found guilty, he should receive appropriate punishment.

As should Trump.

TJM said...

The loans were repaid in full, no one was defrauded, expert testimony supports President Trump, and the corrupt prosecutor ran for office saying she would get him, and you still support corruption and intrinsic evil

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - Didn't you say you were a lawyer?

The fraud lawsuit has NOTHING to do with the repayment of the loan. NOTHING.

The FRAUD comes in when, for tax purposes, Trump valued a property at, say, $5 million. Then, for purposes of obtaining a loan, he valued the same property at the same time for, say, $15 million.

"Siding with New York's attorney general in a lawsuit accusing Trump of grossly overvaluing his assets, Judge Arthur Engoron found that Trump consistently exaggerated Mar-a-Lago's worth. He noted that one Trump estimate of the club's value was 2,300% times the Palm Beach County tax appraiser's valuations, which ranged from $18 million to $37 million." 9 October 2023

And the fact that he committed fraud has already been decided. "A New York judge ruled in the state attorney general's $250 million lawsuit against Donald Trump and his company Tuesday that the former president committed repeated acts of fraud for years." 26 Sept 2023.

This portion of the trial is to determine penalties.

And Trump lost to President Joe Biden

TJM said...

And the pervert judge (look him up) is wrong and so are you. Experts have debunked the Soros bought and paid for AG’s valuation theories. A priest who votes for the Party of Moloch is the fraud here.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

The "pervert" judge posts pictures of himself on his alumni newsletter, showing off his workout progress. In those pics he is wearing pretty much what, I suspect, good Father ALLAN McDonald wears on his trips to the beach at Hilton Head.

The pervert label is just another headline written to hoodwink those who think the last election was stolen and that all the charges against Trump are being financed by George Soros.

Look it up.

TJM said...

I see the real fraudster has weighed in. He still can't deal with Hillary's big fraud on the American people, the Russian Dossier. If anyone belongs in jail she does, but a guy who votes for abortion (the modern Dem Party's raison d'etre) will never get it. The charges against President Trump are baseless, brought by Soros DAs and AGs and constitute real election interference, something Banana Republics engage in but the "priest" with no moral compass does not recognize that. When you move to New York, maybe you can "work out" with the Judge!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - You are MAGA through and through, aren't you?

EVERY lawsuit brought charging election fraud was thrown out or dismissed. But YOU know there was cheating. 26 Republican governors certified their states elections, and in six of them Biden won. But, oooohhh nooooo, you say, it was all dishonest.

TRUMP was found guilty of liable for sexual abuse of Jean Carroll who Trump mocked and dismissed for years. But YOU know that it was all a set-up.

TRUMP'S fake electors in Wisconsin plead guilty to election interference and "...acknowledged that Biden won the state, withdrew their filings and agreed not to serve as presidential electors in 2024 or any other election where Trump is on the ballot.The 10 fake electors agreed to send a statement to the government offices that received the Electoral College votes saying that their actions were “part of an attempt to improperly overturn the 2020 presidential election results.”

Six FAKE electors in Nevada were indicted 6 days ago, sixteen fake electors are under investigation in Michigan, and three in Georgia where Trump attorney and advisor, "Kenneth Chesebro pleaded guilty in October to one felony count of conspiracy to commit filing false documents." AND in Georgia Rudy Giuliani had been found LIABLE for defaming poll workers and his jury trial could cost him $15 million.

But YOU know that all this, too, was all of this is "baseless" and a set-up by some Deep State Soros Ghost. Utterly amazing.

TJM said...

Fr K you are evil incarnate. Voting for the Party of Moloch, Transgenderism and Homosexuality. You come here to harass a normal Catholic priest. Enjoy Hell. Rudy Guiliani was the last decent mayor of NY. You are not fit to tie his sandlestraps. You are McCarrick!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - Biden beat Trump. There was no widespread election fraud.

You've built a castle in the air and have moved in. Enjoy your other Trump cult neighbors.

TJM said...

Father K Orwell,

Your very own Jimmy Carter was the victim of election fraud, went to Court and won! That would be considered a crime in Georgia today! FYT, YOUR Party actively supports voter fraud, fighting against voter IDs, etc., the very things Carter fought for! You are such a tool of the Party of Moloch.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - The Daily Signal states "The only reason Carter ended up in office when he did is because he claimed publicly that he had won and went to court to fight to overturn the election. Apparently, that’s considered a criminal act in Georgia today and can get you charged with violating the state’s racketeering law."

No, that was not the "only" reason.

And, no, it is not a crime in Georgia to go to court to dispute election results. That was done here in Georgia when TRUMP LOST in the Empire State of the South to President BIDEN. Those who went to court have not been charged with a crime.

Those who used illegal means to overturn the last presidential election in Georgia are the ones facing charges - as they should.