Sunday, June 7, 2009

State of the Mass Report

6/7/2009: St Nicholas, Wilkes-Barre.

I should have known as I entered St. Nick's, when I was greeted by a "communion babe" handing out bulletins, I was in for a rough morning. Then when I glanced through the bulletin, I noticed a reference to the "Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier". God is all those things to be sure, but that particular misnomer is used today in certain circles wishing to remove the masculine from God. He is not the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That shows us he is a man, and certain folks can't stand the fact that God could ever be a man. Go figure. They prefer an "earth mother" type who wears a wreath of fresh flowers on her head and skips lazily through the flowery fields Marty Haugen dreams about.

Well to continue, as I knelt in prayer before the start of Mass I noticed not many people were in attendance at what was once a grand Church, before the Vatican II people stripped her of her high altar, moving the Eucharist to the side, replaced by the "presider's chairs".

Then something caught my eye, a young girl in a mini skirt and heels made her way down the aisle towards the piano. She was to be our cantor. I would think one of the priests in residence would take the initiative and speak with the parishioners about the modesty of dress in the hotter months of the year. Especially at Holy Mass.

I felt as I do when I take my yearly vacation to Rehoboth Beach, the whole thing felt very laissez faire, people just strolling in at every conceivable point once Mass had begun. Some people came in during the Gospel, and most looked as though they were headed straight for the picnic table or beach afterwards.

Today being the Feast of the Holy Trinity, I expected a nice sermon about the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We would receive an explanation I thought perhaps, about the Blessed Trinity, something not often touched upon in the modern era of the Church. And it certainly wasn't going to be brought up at St. Nick's either, I learned.

Instead we heard about how people strive to belong to something. Monsignor Rauscher mentioned sports teams, a talking frog, and getting along with other people. All important topics to be sure, but lacking any true Catholic sensibilities, as do most sermons in this Diocese.

During the Prayer of the Faithful, there were no prayers with any substance, but they did make sure to pray that the United States would lead the fight against "Global Climate Change", and they asked God to make sure our children enjoyed their summer.

No really. That's what they prayed for.

And one of my pet peeves is the use of the golden communion bowls instead of the beautiful ciboriums real priests use. Of course, they had the golden communion bowl. *sigh*

The highlight of the Mass was the "20 foot dash" of the communion babes to see who could get to the altar first. That was entertaining.

The only liturgical dance in sight today was my 18 month old who was bopping her head to "How Great Thou Art".

All in all, it wasn't a total disaster, but if this is the typical state of the Mass in the diocese, it is no wonder people are leaving.

But I don't think people are really leaving for a lack of orthodoxy, that's not a ceoncern for them. The Church has become for most people a true mystery. They don't know what she teaches, and when they discover the Church doesn't believe what they do, they go. Or they stay and try to change things from the inside, doing much damage because for some reason priests seem powerless to stop them.

As for Saint Nick's?

I certainly hope that the incoming "Hispanic Ministry" can bring some true Catholicism over there. Theyseem to need a booster shot.


Anonymous said...

Dude, stop going to those awful Novus Ordo places. For real. You have access to St Michael's FSSP in Scranton or Child Jesus SSPX in Pittston. Why do you torture yourself and expose yourself to such sacrilege. It's not gonna get any better. The whole Novus Ordo needs to be throw out the window.


The Rockin' Traddy said...


You know, I find it more and more difficult to locate good priests and acceptable Masses that are done 100% by the book.

I am hoping that the Bishop next will go after these errant priests and correct them in both their incorrect theology and lackluster liturgical stylings.

But for some reason I am doubting he will. It seems almost as if these things are passed over as long as there are priests to fill the posts available, never mind if the priest in question denies or questions his own priesthood.

I know of a priest in particular who regularly goes to a certain restaurant to eat and flirts with a certain male who works there.

And this guy is supposed to give absolution to the faithful who come to his 1/2 hour weekly confession time.

Things do not seem to be getting any better, but worse. And quickly too.

Thanks for stopping by.

Christian said...

Try getting to St. Stanislaus , Sacred Heart, or Holy Rosary after July 1st. We have two priests -- the Pastor will drive you nuts, but the Priest in Residence Fr. Dave Betts (and will be after July, I heard from the horse's mouth) is about as Orthodox as they come for a Novus Ordo Mass in D. of Scranton. Some things are out of his control, such as Music selections (but when they still pull off one mentioning YHWH, he corrects them and the congregation right then and there.) Good, good priest, future Bishop Material. The trick is figuring out which Mass he will celebrate. As a rule though he does get the 8am Daily Mass on a regular basis, if you'ld like to try.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Whoa up, cowboy! Sacred Heart? I went to confession there once, the priest never asked me to say the Act of Contrition, he paraphrased the absolution, and I had to ask him what my penance was. I was told not to do it again.

I'm still not sure if that confession counted...

Anonymous said...

I've found that most priests in Scranton are quite orthodox, thank you. Maybe it depends where one goes.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

What is your definition of "orthodox"?

Anonymous said...

Follow the teachings of the church as well as our traditions. Vatican II is accepted, but interpreted as in LINE with tradition. I have not noticed too much of the "spirit of Vatican II."

Then again, I will concede that sometimes things are not mentioned, but I have never heard any doctrine DENIED as I have in other places.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to leave a name again. That was:

Scranton Catholic

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Scranton Catholic, at Sacred Heart a priest once told me when I asked about "mortal" sin: "let's try to get away from considering sins 'mortal".

That tells me he is specifically denying something that the Church teaches. And the way this priest conduct the sacrament of confession also tells me he has no respect for it.

If as Christian states there is a new priest there that follows Church teaching, thank God. He is taking care of his flock.

By the way Christian, what is YHWH?

Christian said...

Traddy, I DID say the Pastor would drive you crazy. I'm talking about a 40 year old super tall young Priest in residence, and the trick is to catch HIM. After Holy Thursday Mass, the Parish has Eucharistic Adoration for about four hours. At the SAME time, there is a party thrown in the Rectory for the various people who are active in the parish. This past Holy Thursday, Father Betts stayed in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament for the Entire duration while the rest of the Parish

As Far as YHWH -- are you pulling my leg? The Sacred Tetragrammaton.

Christian said...

Try going to Holy Trinity in Swoyersville -- Father Cirba is a young-ish priest who from my limited experience is also trying to do things right.