Acknowledging a growing priest shortage in the Belleville Diocese, Bishop Edward K. Braxton has released a letter that says parishes may begin having "Sunday Celebrations" led by a deacon or layperson instead of a Mass celebrated by a priest.
The Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest rite can be used in emergency situations.
The rite may include reception of Holy Communion, which fulfills the Sunday obligation for parishioners. However, the Eucharistic Prayer, including the consecration at a regular Mass, is not part of this rite.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. A communion service does not fulfill the Sunday obligation. If a Mass in unavailable because of a lack of a priest the Sunday obligations is automatically dispensed. Saying otherwise is misleading. I would think for example if there is a parish that is reasonably close that does have a real Mass then going to a Communion service instead would be wrong, especially if the person knew they should go to the Mass instead. In this situation the Bishop is aware of this and it is just lousy reporting by the newspaper.
"According to the directions we have received from the Bishop, this won’t be used that often," said the Rev. Mark Stec, a priest who serves four parishes in Southern Illinois. "The bishop must approve its use every time and its use will be very restricted. It will be used during an emergency situation only."
And then there is:
Ann Harter, a member of St. Luke’s parish in Belleville and a member of the Fellowship of Southern Illinois Laity, believes the restrictions on who can be a priest has created the priest shortage and the need to implement Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest.
"The fact is, there aren’t enough priests and the ones we have are stretched to the limit, but the church won’t open its eyes to the wealth of highly qualified men and women eligible for ordination," Harter said. "The problem is, they will not consider the possibility of priests other than celibate males."
Even if Sunday services at her church were performed by a deacon or layperson instead of a priest, she would still attend, because she believes it’s not the priest who makes the celebration, but the congregation.
Even odds she went to a Catholic school. Such bad theology unfortunately is all too common where so much emphasis was placed on the communal aspects and about zero on the sacramental aspects and the requirement of a priest to be able to offer a sacrifice.
"In my view, the people who are gathered there, ordained or not, are the ones who give the Eucharist its meaning," Harter said. "In my opinion, what makes the Eucharist the Eucharist is that the people gather and share."
Sorry the Eucharist is something more than just a meaning it is a sacramental reality and it is real whether the Mass is celebrated in private by a priest or within the context of the congregation. I wonder if she thinks that the more people there art that it then has more meaning it has. Wow those papal masses must have real meaning in her vocabulary.
Well this was never baptised into the Truth of the Faith. I would venture that some offered it the baptism of desire, but as poorly formed as it was, I doubt speculation has a soul.
“In MY OPINION, what makes the Eucharist the Eucharist is that the people gaaaaaaather and shaaaaaaare.”
Why on earth would anyone want to be a part of such a preschool religion? How silly does this sound? Why even bother?
Mrs. Harter is not eligible for ordination – in fact she isn’t eligible for First Communion – if she thinks that gathering and sharing is what makes the Eucharist. Gathering and sharing make a picnic; the Consecration makes the Eucharist.
Funny. I went to mass in the Belleville diocese this past weekend. The Eucharistic Prayer was about 95% ad lib by the priest. Why does this most recent news not surprise me????
Don’t even get me started on the blue vestments (ok, there WAS a purple stripe on it), plain old glasses for the precious blood….
just too painful a memory.
Oops, I clicked on the wrong comment button. My comment was on the limbo article.
She sounds rather Protestant, ya think? Doctrinal formulations based on opinion? Let’s take a poll…
Does she attend St. Zogby’s First United Church of Gallup?
“In my opinion, what makes the Eucharist the Eucharist is that the people gather and share.”
Well that, and the fact that it’s the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Oh heck, who am I kidding? It is the gathering and sharing that’s important here. Honestly, who is this Christ Person and why does He keep butting in on our communal gathering and sharing? Some People just don’t understand when They’re not wanted.
I am starting to think more and more that 98% of the liturgical abuses encountered are the result of embarrassment about the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist and are attempts to make it fuzzy. One person remarked how she did not care for Eucharistic adoration (about not being able to take it with you, etc.). I didn’t think much of it at the time as I could imagine someone for whom it simply did not appeal. What I did not realize is that this attitude is actually part of a larger plan to obscure the meaning of the sacrament for the sake (I guess) of excessive ecumenicism. That is, No Eucharistic adoration+emphasizing communal aspect over sacrificial aspect+crummy music and liturgy=the Eucharist is not really the body and blood of Our Lord and therefore anyone (man, women, Protestant, Hindu, trained monkey) can do it.
Elinor, may I steal that picnic analogy? It is perfect and I think I’ll have to clobber someone over the head with it the next time she starts gushing about the community…
Why on earth would anyone want to be a part of such a preschool religion? How silly does this sound? Why even bother?
The Church has lost countless souls (and me for a while too) because the only experience they had of it was so “preschool.”
It’s really a terrible shame.
Be my guest, Margaret.
*shakes head* This is too sad. Trying to change the Church is not a right, it’s just stupid. If people wanted the Church to be different, why don’t they JUST GO TO ANOTHER CHURCH? It would solve everything, but no, people are like sheep gone astray and follow their own minds.
Has it dawned on anybody (even among their membership) that the Fellowship of Southern Illinois Laity labors under an apropos acronym? FOSIL is apropos if Ms. Harter’s thinking is represenetive of the group!
Where to begin on this? Really? Since she lives in the See city of Belleville, she will likely never be deprived of an opportunity to attend the Holy Mass! Even if they closed the Cathedral and all the churches there, St. Louis is a short drive! Nevertheless, she seizes this as an opportunity to spout the same tired rhetoric that such goups have been offering for years! The shortage of clergy is predicated on a lack of faith (such as that demonstrated by this group of fossils -er FOSIL) and has little at all to do with the ordination of celibate men! If she wishes, I could introduce Ms. Harter to an Episcopalian minister who is responsible for six (or is it eight) parishes – no kidding – and this is in Western Missouri, not Western Montana! He is a married Man – like many among his colleagues – yet he – like many among his colleagues – must pastor several churches (because, you know, the married and/or partnered men and women of the Episcopalian clergy are in such abundance!)
Pray for our church for a return to the Baltimore Cathechism, pre Vatican II Canon Law and liturgy, and a renewal of holy heterosexual men back to the priesthood.The new teachings of the church, the New Mass and the clergy have do not promote reverence. I listen to a sermon and all one hears is how much Jesus Loves Loves Loves us-but what about sin and expiation and salvation? God is loving, but he is Just and does punish severely for ones sin. Transubstantiation? That went the way of the New Mass as it is borderline protestant, not saying invalid, just Protestant as I have attended protestant services that were more reverent and gave fire and brimstone sermons by priests that at least sounded like a Man and at least in a language I understood with the influx of foreign priests.
Nothing like the crown Jewel of Catholicism the High Mass at a Traditional Chapel, you can almost feel the real presence of Our Lord.
It is easy to be loved by all, as Our Lord said, but as our Lord said:
Gospel according to St John Chapter 15
17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
18 If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.
19 If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things they will do to you for my name’s sake: because they know not him who sent me.
22 If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
23 He that hateth me, hateth my Father also.
John, have you ever actually cracked open the “new” Catechism of the Catholic Church? It is quite good, and frankly provides more in-depth answers that the Baltimore Catechisms I have seen. If our local parishes would start using that as the basis for homiletics and catechetics, it would go a long way…
Personally I like both the new Catechism and the Baltimore and refer to both when putting together classes.
Every homily and every talk to a group of parishioners needs to explain what the Church IS and what it means when She teaches with authority. Over and over and over again. People have no idea and the just need to be told and have it drilled into them.
That’s the problem. If you know that you have to believe what you’re taught and why, all the confusions can be cleared up. If you don’t know that, then nothing anybody says will convince you; it’ll just be the position of those fogies in Rome.
I agree with Scott that both the Baltimore and the CCC are both great. Both very useful.
On the main topic, I do have to say that no one who attends my Traditional Mass parish doubts the necessity of a priest to make the eucharist “meaningful”, nor do they doubt the real Presence of Christ and the sacrificial nature of the Mass.
Might I suggest to this lady that in lieu of her attending her “Sunday celebration” in Belleville that she drive for 10 minutes and attend the St. Francis de Sales Oratory Mass, celebrated by priests from the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest? Low Mass at 8 am, High Mass at 10 am. I think it would blow her mind.
Having been taught BOTH-I would be happy if our youngsters were taught at least ONE of them!
This free will and Jesus is inside of everyone waiting to come out is for the birds
The language used to described these services is interesting to note. In America, we’re accustomed to calling them “Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest.” But I have seen the same thing translated in Vatican documents as “Sunday Celebrations Awaiting the Priest.”
In Los Angeles, it would probably be best to name them “Sunday Celebrations Because of the Absence of a Priest.”
When my two older kids were preparing for reception of their first Holy Communion, our director of graded faith formation stated the Church’s view about the Eucharist as such: “if your child can appreciate that it is “special” bread, then they are ready to receive,” to which I responded, “uh, no. Cinnamon swirl bread is special bread. The Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord.” She replied that she had been teaching the Eucharist this way for years and wasn’t about to change now. I then asked her what other parts of the Catechism I should cut out? Don’t even get me started on the battle to have them receive the sacrament of Reconciliation PRIOR to First Communion. Ugh.
Do the pastor and/or bishop know how this teacher is presenting the Eucharist to her First Communion class? She is completely incorrect with the “special bread” mentality. No wonder polls have found Catholics who think the Eucharistic is just a symbol. I’m surprised that parents haven’t complained before, if she’s
been teaching this watered-down version for years.
You want to know what’s really sad? I came from a Catholic school background. You would think they would go in detail on the mystery of the Eucharist. No. They told us it was “a special meal” and a “celebration”. They briefly, maybe once, told us that the Eucharist was the Body and Blood of Christ. They invite children onto the altar during the Consecration, a place that should be reserved for the angels and saints! Last year was when I TRULY found out who was in that “special meal”.
And the “gather and share” thing. Sounds like what you do at a campfire, or during show and tell when you’re a child. The Eucharist is not “gathering and sharing”, it is the reenactment of Christ’s Passion before us, when our Lord comes to us in the most humble forms of bread and wine.
Oh, I wish people could just realize that the Eucharist is not simply “a special meal” and could contemplate what it really is!