Many would say I am snob or that I need to get over the idea that I will never find a parish like St. John the Baptist Cathedral (Charleston, SC) or St. Patrick’s Church (Columbus, OH). There are a hole-in-one type of Catholic Church in the United States. At this point I would whole-heartily agree with someone, because this diocese I am living in right now makes me glad I became Catholic in Columbus, OH.
As I mentioned in a previous update my husband and I will need to parish hop for a while. After the Cathedral in Albany, we hopped over to St. Mary’s in Waterford, NY, and then finally we think we found our parish in Troy, NY: St. Joseph’s Church.
Saint Joseph’s Church is run by the Carmelite Priests. While I am much more comfortable with the reverence of the Mass there is that twinge of wondering about the Congregation, but alas I can handle that part. (It is more of dealing with the kneeling and not kneeling and music selections, you know little things that are more preference not liturgical abuses.)
Another thing that I like about this parish is during the Sunday Noon Mass they actually have the Tridentine Latin Mass. So, this parish is more like Holy Family (Columbus, OH) but in only in slight way.
And why Saint Joseph’s Church is becoming the one we will go to is after the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary where I had to go to the closest parish to my home. I do not want to go back there.
Saint Peter’s Catholic Church looks from the outside a decent parish, nice brick work building. But when looking closer you notice a few things. First, what would be the entrance of the parish (as you can tell by the design) is completely (well except two doors that you cannot even open from the outside) cemented over. It was then that I got worried.
Trying to give way of logical doubt I went to their ‘entrance’ in the back part of the parish and when I entered, oh I cried. The parish was gutted out, plastered with white-wash over the beautiful brick and then…oh I do not know how to explain it other than they wanted modern they got ugly. (See the image on the left.) For me I instantly said ‘where is the basketball hoops’. I wanted to run back out and not go back in, but I knew I had an obligation for this one day. I sat in the back row of benches, I will not call these things pews. The look of this parish was clashing with the outer beauty of the building and the stain-glass windows. Of course, many of you would say just get over right, well it was not just the building. It was the worst Mass I have went to other than the Cathedral in Albany.
As I mentioned before I went to this parish on the Solemnity of Assumption of Mary, the few days where Catholics have to go to Mass no matter what day it falls on. (Unless you are exempted like my husband because of the military or etc.) So, other than I wanted to say you have an organ use it (they were the piano type) I was distraught with the priest. When it came time for the homily, you would think the priest would mention why we are to come to this special Mass. No, this is what happened instead: (I am rewriting what I wrote to a friend of mine)
Alright I know there are some priest who cannot give a good homily worth anything, but this one said (and I might not be saying everything in the exact wording) that he remembered a priest who was celebrating mass not to long ago on this day and said ‘this is a holy day of opportunity’ he (the celebrant for today’s mass) went on about how he remembered about how people would come to confession for missing the HDO (Holy Day Obligation) and he wanted to say ‘what did you miss really’ and then he says I believe I am saying exactly what he said, ‘I am glad to say we have gotten rid of that old God and with this new God things are different’ for he mentioned before this quote how people felt there was a huge stick that would be ready to hit you if you missed it. The priest did not even mention why this is a HDO.
Our God has been the same one! Oh I wanted to leave even before the Eucharist Prayer, which in fact he actual was twisting and changing words. He just the priest who was the celebrant at that Mass in the Cathedral both proved no reverence over the Eucharist which is the heart of our faith. (Mind you I was getting ticked off because I could not find the Tabernacle.)
Before the Eucharist Prayer since this is like a Sunday Mass we are to say the creed, (normally a daily mass you do not) but he does the opposite and says:
‘we are going to give you a break of saying that and go straight into praying for particular intentions.’
(he actually emphasized that)
My friend who I spoke to about this was impressed I stayed through the whole Mass. For I told her I saw people just leaving before the Eucharist Prayer began.
I was distraught over this and worried was my friend right that the two parishes (or really any parish in the diocese in Columbus) were special cases. Was I to endure holding on when I watched these parishes butcher the Sacred Mass. I wrote to a friend who is a Friar about what is going on and ease my mind by letting me know that diocese (the one I am in) has been considered the wacky one who has been doing many liturgical abuses since the 1970s. I took a sigh of relief that it was not just me and my husband.
I am praying for this diocese and hope that as I am living here for a short time I find a parish who one respects the teachings of the Church, is reverent to the Sacred Mass and has not gutted a beautiful parish for the sake of modern. When I think of all those people who built those parishes how much hard work they put into the beauty of just to see what one generation (or maybe two to three) have done I cry.
So, if I am considered a snob, so be it. I pray for more patience as I live in this diocese.