Monday, March 3, 2008


on those parishes not conforming to liturgical rubrics

Here's a feature article on St. Stephen Church in Minneapolis. I'm sure the same will apply to St. Joan of Arc Church soon enough. (RSCT to Gerald)

For 40 years, St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Minneapolis has been a font of Christian compassion, service to the suffering and help to the poor.
Those good works will continue. But many of the good people who contributed their time, talents and resources to the $3 million-a-year social outreach of a historic, 119-year-old inner-city parish will not.
They will be without their worship home at St. Stephen's.Exiles in their own parish, 100 or more members of the St. Stephen's community plan to march this morning from the church to a new home five blocks away, where they hope to continue the informal and spiritually arousing service that drew them to St. Stephen's in the first place.
You know the kind of service: with guitars, lay people giving homilies, dancing in the aisles with people who have mental and physical disabilities, gay couples openly participating in worship, along with ex-priests, ex-nuns and sundry other spiritual wanderers.
It's all so 1960s. The new church is more like the 1860s.
The 9 a.m. English-language prayer service, believed to have begun in 1968, has been shut down by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which has moved in recent years to bring all of its 219 parishes into conformity.
"They all have to play with the same playbook," says Dennis McGrath, spokesman for the archdiocese. "They've had plenty of warnings to get their act together."
The "playbook" is the GIRM -- "General Instructions of the Roman Missal" -- which spells out the rubrics for worship services. After the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council in the early 1960s, the orthodoxies loosened and churches, especially ones in needy neighborhoods like St. Stephen's, put more emphasis on carrying out the message of the Gospels than following the rubrics.
The 9 a.m. service in the school gym (there's also a 9 a.m. Spanish-language mass in the church sanctuary) became a place where all were welcomed, the wording of prayers was changed to make them inclusive ("Our Father and Mother, Who Art in Heaven," for example), women had leadership roles in services, and simple ceramics were used instead of chalices of precious metal, as called for in the rubrics.
The parish is getting a new pastor next month (it has had only part-time clergy), and McGrath says the archdiocese wanted to get things "straightened out" before the Rev. Joseph Williams arrives.
But similar changes are taking place across the archdiocese, which is getting new, conservative leadership from Co-adjutor Archbishop John Nienstedt, who will shortly succeed Archbishop Harry Flynn....
"It's incredibly sad," says Mary Condon Peters of Golden Valley, who has belonged to St. Stephen's for 16 years and served on its parish council. "All these years, there was room in the big old Catholic tent for all of us. And now there isn't. And they gave us three weeks' notice."
....The last service was held last Sunday. About 200 people attended, many crying throughout the service, which ended with a tear-stained but joyful singing of "We Are Marching in the Light of God."
Today, they will march again. This time, to Park Avenue.After gathering at the usual time at the school gym, many parishioners who considered the 9 a.m. prayer service the center of a rich faith experience will say a last prayer on the steps and then head five blocks east, exiles in the desert, to 2120 Park Av., where they plan to continue the Sunday prayer meetings that brought them together.

Oh boo hoo! That's what happens when you sit in defiance all this time. It catches up to you. Like I said, I'm sure St. Joan's will be next. They're still using guest speakers and what not.

Upcoming Speakers
More details on this next week's speaker can be read at this link.
Sunday, February 17thNeal HagbergLent: “What is Expected? Listen and Ponder”
Sunday, February 24thTBD"What is Expected?: Listen & Testify.”
Sunday, March 2ndJoan RiebelLent: “What is Expected? Listen and See”
Sunday, March 9thTBD"What is Expected?: Listen & Live."
Sunday, March 16thPalm SundayDramatic Presentation of Passion
Sunday, March 23rdFr. Jim Debruycker/Fr. Jim CassidyEaster Sunday


I like the new co-adjutor St. Paul-Minneapolis has so far. :)

1 comment:

Motherhen said...

who considered the 9 a.m. prayer service the center of a rich faith experience

so a prayer service is the center of their faith? How Protestant. What about Christ in the Eucharist being the center of their rich faith experience. Gag