Today being Priesthood Sunday I would like to once again thank the
wonderful and holy priests that I have known. I have written
before about my pastor Antonio Leon and Father Keene. We have
a new assistant pastor that I am also quite impressed with.
Fr. Ed Murphy gives wonderful homilies and is not afraid to
bring up the topics of abortion and contraception. In the
short time he has been at my parish he has started a Courage Chapter
and a Tuesday night class in apologetics. We have been quite
blessed with good and holy priests at my parish including Fr. Powers
who ran the RCIA class I attended before moving to another parish.
In another parish I sometimes attend they now have a new pastor who
took over this month. He is originally from Poland and is an
organist with a degree in music. I heard that he wanted to
have the organ in the parish fixed since it hasn’t been used in years.
The previous Pastor, Fr. Sullivan I must admit use to drive me crazy.
This parish use to have a convenient evening daily Mass until they got
rid of it so I heard a lot of Fr. Sullivan. He could
certainly be described as a man of the left, but for the most part he
kept these leanings out of the homilies. What use to so annoy
me is that he would deliver his homilies by leaving the sanctuary and
coming out a good distance into the pews. While giving the homily he
would swing his robe belt constantly in a circle which was quite
distracting. Once on Ash Wednesday he described how he forgot
about the fast and had cooked up a pot of chili with meat for a class
he was giving that night. He then said he cooked some more
chili and would label them liberal chili and conservative chili.
On the Sunday after Josef Ratzinger was elected Pope he gave
a rambling homily that fully showed all of his progressive leanings.
He described his election like being in a car wreck –
something you just had to accept and to get use to. He then
rambled about divorce and remarriage and homosexual marriage.
Now you might be wondering what a rant against a priest in a post about
Priesthood Sunday is doing here. Like I said Fr. Sullivan use
to drive me crazy with his constant irreverence, but he also had quite
some good things to say in his homilies and there are quite a few
things from his homilies I still remember that were quite good.
Some time ago I also started to pray for him as I try to do
for the priests of the parishes I attend. A couple of months
ago I was surprised to find how my attitude had changed towards Fr.
Sullivan. Before seeing him with his idiosyncrasies and casual
treatment of the Mass could cause me to get rather heated inside, but
instead I started to become more aware of the positive things that he
did and the negative ones made less of an impression on me or I could
more easily ignore. He is now retired after 80 years of
service to the Church with several of them as a missionary in Korea.
You are indeed blessed to have Fr. Ed Murphy at your parish. If you see him, please let him know that he is missed in Gainesville.
Wow, 80 years of service! They sure ordained them young in those days =)
The habit of wandering out in front or even into the congregation during the homily was something that became popular in the ’70’s.
Nowadays, when I instruct seminarians about the rudiments of liturgy the first thing I do is make them repeat: “The liturgy is NOT about me!”
AMEN! It takes me about three seconds into the Mass to determine what generation a priest belongs to…I’ve noticed, for example, that those trained in the 80’s are obsessed with “being friendly” from the get-go. Lots of informal gabber. Those trained in the 70’s seem to be embarrassed by the liturgy. They don’t trust the words or the gestures and seem obsessed with making everything New Again. I wonder what my generation (2000’s) will be known for!
Fr. Philip, OP
P.S. Why do priests trained in the 80’s do all of these theatrical gestures at the consecration, e.g., showing the host to the congregation as if the prayers were directed to the people and not God?
Isn’t it wonderful how our Lord blesses us when we pray? To be able to see others in a new light, to see more of there good and less of their failings is an amazing good.
One of our “senior” priests used to make me crazy, especially with his questionable exegesis. I was told by my confessor to pray for him. I noticed in one homily, that he expressed a great love and devotion to the Blessed Mother, so I began to pray, “Dear Mother, he loves you so much, help him to say nothing that will endanger anyone’s faith today.”
Our Lady worked with that little prayer — to change my heart — now, I realize that, not only does he love Our Lady, but he genuinely loves the people he serves, the Holy Father, and Our Eucharistic Lord. I can put up with his historical-critical rewriting of Scripture (though it still makes me wince sometimes) and his “spirit of Vatican II”.
Isn’t it wonderful how our Lord blesses us when we pray? To be able to see others in a new light
I know I need to do more of this kind of thing, but I’m always afraid I’ll make myself sound like the Pharisee from yesterday’s gospel reading.
Even more like him, I mean.
I hope your generation will be remembered as unashamed preacheres, great confessors, with faces that are hard to remember because they were always facing ad orientum and obscurred by clouds of incense.
I hope your generation will be remembered as unashamed preachers, great confessors, with faces that are hard to remember because they were always facing ad orientum and obscurred by clouds of incense.
God willing if I am to become a priest, ALL my Masses will be done Ad Orientum