Thursday, April 10, 2008


Our good friend Sir Monocle left this link in the combox of my wife's aunt's funeral post. This is almost a reverse of what happened in my last parish as music director.

'Era of pay, pray and obey is over'
Lobbying with cash: Catholics at Lemont church protesting to bring priest back
By Steve Schmadeke

Last summer, some parishioners at St. Alphonsus Church in Lemont were angry when a new music director dismissed the 60-year-old traditional music choir. (WTF???)

Musically miffed parishioners started a "Pennies from Heaven" campaign, putting just a single cent into their weekly offering envelope.
(Wow! Talk about trying to take their parish back!)

About six months later, the archdiocese intervened, the pastor and music director relented and the choir was brought back for one Mass a month, according to people involved in the campaign.
(Once a month! Whoopie doo!)

"The choir went to war because no one listened to us," said Diane Bronzell, who sings alto in the choir and led the protest campaign. Neither the pastor nor archdiocese returned calls from the Southtown. "They blame us (for speaking out). They said we've sinned. We knew money talks."
(Now, did you ever notice only when one cries foul because the Mass has been sabotaged that suddenly the one crying foul is "arrogant, uncharitable, and sinful?" But it's altogether different when the shoe's on the other foot!)


Meanwhile, at St. Alphonsus, Bronzell said, the traditional choir has shrunk from 40 to 15. She said so many restrictions have been placed on the choir since it was reinstated that she may restart her protest campaign. (Ah yes, just like those trying to place restrictions on the Extraordinary Form despite the liberties Pope Benedict XVI gave us in Summorum Pontificum)

The shame of it is that St. Alphonsus Church is a nice looking church, at least from the picture on the parish website. What the hell is this pastor and music director thinking?

In my last parish, income shrunk since my arrival there (though not to the extent of giving only a penny a week), but it wasn't until two months before I was sacked that I was told that "music was to blame". I didn't disband the choir that my predecessor had. They followed her out the door on their own. But there were enough people pissed off, I guess.

Was it because I play the organ like an organ? Or was it really my introduction of actual Catholic music?



George Tarasuk said...

Thanks for the link. It's a hell of a story isn't it?

Anonymous said...

off topic, but for a priest to participate in any liturgical function while the Pope is in NY, he must own, and wear, a Cassock and Surplice. Also here is a link about the music for the NY papal events that was in my local paper

O yeah, i'll be at the youth rally

Dymphna said...

I don't know. It seems like their devotion to the music was greater than their love of their parish.