Thursday, January 19th, 2012
19 January 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Games 1 Comment
I just watched an old friend compete on Jeopardy today. My wife called and said I had to get to a tv. So I barged in on the students who live in the peer minister suite. To give you a bit of background, she was in one of my choirs in a parish in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She’s one of the smartest, funniest, and most loyal friends I know. Twice this afternoon I jumped out of
my the students’ chair.
The first was when she drew a “4-N” answer about a church feast that falls on March 25th. If she misses this question, I told my friends, I’d see to her excommunication personally.
Final Jeopardy was “Sports in the Movies,” and the answer dealt with the address the Blues Brothers gave in the movie. I laughed my head off on that one. You live in Chicago and you know what’s on North Addison Avenue. And if you don’t know, you’re a darned Yankee fan.
What a blessed existence, to win at Jeopardy.
I have three students to train as lectors during air time tomorrow. Alas.
19 January 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Ministry  Comments
At the bench, Greg’s commentariat weighs in on this story of a Down’s Syndrome lad being denied First Communion with his classmates. I’ve weighed in there, of course. But I have more questions that are appropriate in a combox post. First, let’s hear from the mum:
I believe it is because of his disability that they won’t accept him. I feel very upset my son is being discriminated against and I feel really let down by the Catholic faith.
They need to have more compassion. What they are doing is so cruel. As a child with Down’s Syndrome he may never have a full understanding of what it is about.
It’s up to the pastor to convince the parents in such situations that he is not a discriminating pelagian. And as for full understanding, sorry Mrs Ellarby: even the pope lacks that.
I’m disturbed the parents do not bring young Mr Ellarby to Sunday Mass regularly. If the parish priest were clear about this requirement and “delayed” First Eucharist to other boys and girls who are in this same non-churchgoing situation, the practice might still be wrong from a sacramental or pastoral view, but at least it would be consistent.
By the way, I don’t get why young Mr Ellarby can do well in a mainstream classroom situation for several hours a day, five days a week, but can’t cope with a one hour Mass. That seems fishy to me.
Mr and Mrs Ellarby have known for years their son was special. I’m sure they have had to advocate for him and his needs in other arenas. The Church is no different. It might seem that the Church is always and everywhere accommodating to everyone, and perhaps if the Ellarbys were Lefebvrist Catholics, they would get a better reception. But I would have been much more assertive from the get-go on this. Given young Mr Ellarby’s condition, a strong case for anointing should have been made, on his behalf and that of his family. Confirmation is also a consideration.
As I mentioned at the Bench, the denial of Communion betrays a whiff of pelagianism, the notion that grace can be earned by intellect, intelligence, and academic achievement (however low the bar is set). This is troubling. And maybe the priest and diocese are getting steamrolled by the petition drive and the bad press, but really: Pope Benedict has shown us all how to mishandle public relations at a high level. These people should be prepared.
If I were the parish priest or parish faith formation director, I would have been visiting the Ellarby home a year or two ago. I would have been exploring ways to mainstream the young lad, given the evidence this was in keeping with the parents’ wishes.
C-minus for the parents, and low marks all around for the Church on this one.
19 January 2012
For a parish with multiple priests, or at a concelebrated Mass, it may make sense for one priest to take time away from pastoral contact with the people. Otherwise, GIRM 163 comes off as a bit too fussy:
163. When the distribution of Communion is over, the Priest himself immediately and completely consumes at the altar any consecrated wine that happens to remain; as for any consecrated hosts that are left, he either consumes them at the altar or carries them to the place designated for the reservation of the Eucharist.
Upon returning to the altar, the Priest collects the fragments, should any remain, and he stands at the altar or at the credence table and purifies the paten or ciborium over the chalice, and after this purifies the chalice, saying quietly the formula Quod ore sumpsimus, Domine (What has passed our lips), and dries the chalice with a purificator. If the vessels are purified at the altar, they are carried to the credence table by a minister. Nevertheless, it is also permitted to leave vessels needing to be purified, especially if there are several, on a corporal, suitably covered, either on the altar or on the credence table, and to purify them immediately after Mass, after the Dismissal of the people.
164. After this, the Priest may return to the chair. A sacred silence may now be observed for some time, or a Psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn may be sung (cf. no. 88).
Either silence or a hymn of praise? What about both?
165. Then, standing at the chair or at the altar, and facing the people with hands joined, the Priest says, Let us pray; then, with hands extended, he recites the Prayer after Communion. A brief period of silence may precede the prayer, unless this has been already observed immediately after Communion. At the end of the prayer the people acclaim, Amen.
This post-Communion prayer is not a “closing prayer,” and when offered at this moment, before announcements and such, is a proper conclusion to the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Neither the Order of Mass nor the GIRM prescribe the people’s posture during this prayer; only the priest is indicated to stand. My suggestion is that this prayer is prayed while people are seated. Brief announcements follow after the prayer, not before it.
19 January 2012
Let’s pick up on yesterday’s point emphasizing the criterion of presenting the whole of the Gospel, then wrap up with throwing inculturation into the balance.
112. Two closely connected dimensions underlie this criterion.
– The integral presentation of the Gospel message, without ignoring certain fundamental elements, or without operating a selectivity with regard to the deposit of faith. (Catechesi Tradendae 30) Catechesis, on the contrary, “must take diligent care faithfully to present the entire treasure of the Christian message”. (General Catechetical Directory 38a) This is accomplished, gradually, by following the example of the divine pedagogy with which God revealed himself progressively and gradually. Integrity must also be accompanied by adaptation. Consequently catechesis starts out with a simple proposition of the integral structure of the Christian message, and proceeds to explain it in a manner adapted to the capacity of those being catechized. Without restricting itself to this initial exposition, it gradually and increasingly proposes the Christian message more amply and with greater explicitness, in accordance with the capacity of those being catechized and with the proper character of catechesis. (General Catechetical Directory 38b) These two levels of the integral exposition of the Gospel message are called: intensive integrity and “extensive integrity”.
– The presentation of the authentic Gospel message, in all of its purity, without reducing its demands for fear of rejection and without imposing heavy burdens which it does not impose, since the yoke of Jesus is light. (Cf. Mt 11:30) The criterion of authenticity is closely connected with that of inculturation since the latter is concerned to “translate” (Evangelii Nuntiandi 63 uses the expressions “transferre” and “translatio”; cf. Redemptoris Missio 53b) the essentials of the Gospel message into a definite cultural language. There is always tension in this necessary task: “Evangelization will lose much of its power and efficacy if it does not take into consideration the people to whom it is addressed.”. however “it may lose its very nature and savour if on the pretext of transposing its content into another language that content is rendered meaningless or is corrupted… (Evangelii Nuntiandi 63c; cf. Catechesi Tradendae 53c and Catechesi Tradendae 31)
113. In the complex relationship between inculturation and the integrity of the Christian message, the criterion to be applied is a Gospel attitude of “a missionary openness to the integral salvation of the world”. (Synod 1985, II, D, 3; cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi 65) This must always unite acceptance of truly human and religious values with the missionary task of proclaiming the whole truth of the Gospel, without falling either into closed inflexibility or into facile accommodations which enfeeble the Gospel and secularize the Church. Gospel authenticity excludes both of these attitudes which are contrary to the true meaning of mission.
How does this sit with you readers? The Gospel is presented in its entirety in a full structure, and the particulars of the message are delivered in a context of inculturation? Does this have an interesting ring given the approach to the new Roman Missal’s translation? Especially in the context of the new evangelization? Discuss if you wish/if you dare.