Search This Blog

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Are You in the Fight? You Should Be...

A priest and I recently had a conversation about the reform of the reform.  He challenged me with this:

You are free to opt for the Extraordinary form, of course; but I have to tell it’s discouraging. Of course I am not faulting you; but those of us who are laboring to get things going the right way need help.
I answered him this way:
I have been in this fight since 1994. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Hitchcock and his wife while at St. Thomas. It was after reading his book, “Recovery of the Sacred” that I decided to get involved. For these 18 years, I’ve been fighting the fight, but honestly, I’m discouraged.

Logic doesn’t apply
Law doesn’t apply
Reason doesn’t apply
(Often times) Faith doesn’t apply

I’ve written to my Ordinary. He says he’s supportive. I’ve written my pastor, he’s not. He refuses to engage the discussion. So, yes, it is discouraging. The hardest part is being one of the labourers who has sweat blood and that blood has fallen on rocky ground. Discouraging is a good word.

A slight bit of background….I am a graduate of The University of St. Thomas with a double degree in Theology and Catholic Studies. I have been trained by my mentor Mons. Richard Schuler (RIP) and our illustrious host to be an effective Master of Ceremonies. I have been summarily dismissed as being a nuisance from my pastor in Northern Iowa. I can guarantee you I have forgotten more about the structure, spirituality, and action of the Mass than the current “liturgist” and DRE at my home parish combined, yet I cannot help. Discouraging, yes. BTW, my knowledge of the liturgical action regarding the OF and EF are equal. I can move between both seamlessly. Moreso than 99% of priests…it’s just that I’m not ordained (that isn’t my vocation).

So, how can I help you? I want to. I want to be in the fight. But, since I can’t…I travel for Mass. I travel an hour and a half so I don’t have to be subjected to presence lights, and children’s liturgies on Sunday’s and music reminiscent of the musical RENT (check out Curtis Stephan’s new settings).

Unlike my writing style, which is very straightforward (thank you Mr. LaBounty, my composition teacher in high school), my personal demeanor is very soft spoken, but firm.

The reality is this…those of us who want to help are shut out. So now what? We resort to blogging and getting our message out that way so that others can pick up the slack where we can’t. So what do we do, because discouraging is the right word….moreso than a priest of your ilk, because you can change it all in the short time….we must simply endure homilies about Protestant ministers and Hindi clerics and Ghandi…..blech. We must simply endure pastel pinks and greens…blech. And we must simply endure being shut out, because we know too much.

Sorry about the rant…it has nothing to do with you, but why shouldn’t I shake the dust from my sandals and head for the TLM exclusively? I’d rather be a nameless face who can gain the greatest grace by assisting at a TLM from the back pew, as opposed to having Fr. Pastor strip graces away layer by layer, through abuse. Harsh….yes. I think it needs to be said.

The question I challenge each one of you to ask is the same one that I asked Father...So, how can I help?  We need to get into the fight.  We need to fight through the discouragement.  Am I discouraged?  Yes.  That is the honest answer.  Why?  Because I know too many people who know enough, but won't engage, because they "don't have the heart...," because they don't want to be "crucified," because they don't think they will "make a difference."  My challenge to them do you know?

Like I said, I've been fighting the fight since 1994.  I've been bloodied.  I've been marginalized.  I've been embraced and later shunned.  I have the battle scars.  Currently, I'm pretty discouraged, but I'm not giving up...I'm recharging.  It is our role to do what is necessary to ensure we can worship properly.  So, let's take the Church back and do what is necessary.


  1. Just found you via Fr. Z's blog. I'm a recent convert (2008)--happened to be born in the great state of Iowa, btw.

    Anyway, you aptly describe what goes on in parishes everywhere. At least we are not alone. I look forward to reading your blog. and

  2. Hi Gretchen! Welcome to the blog. I'd love to have you added to my readership. If you're so inclined add yourself to my google roster! I'll check out your blogs and add them to my roll!

    Happy reading. Fr. Z and I share the same mentor and I've known him for almost 20 years. He's a wonderful priest and a good man. You'll be well served by reading his blog.


  3. Hello, Andy,

    I was raised with the Latin Mass, but only baptized last year. Long story. I have been a follower of Fr. Z for a few years, and although I am in what appears to be an unrepentantly liberal Archdiocese, I continue to pray for the conversion of my parish.

    Great post! Keep up the good work!