Our bishop declared a diocesan school holiday for our patronal feast.
We had a bit more than two-hundred in attendance last night for Mass, a handful of whom were children. Ordinarily on today’s feast, we would offer five Masses: eve 6:30, 6:15, 8:15, 9:30AM and a 6:30PM. That fourth Mass would be packed with our school population but we didn’t schedule it. That fifth Mass, what would have been tonight’s, has been cancelled to encourage folks to go to the cathedral for the closing of the dicoesan jubilee.
I’m of mixed feelings on this decision. Naturally, I welcome a day off I can devote to family time. Friday’s my day off, so instead of my wife and I doing a few things this morning, our daughter is part of the picture. We went to Mass yesterday because of an early morning doctor appointment today and mainly because I was playing for liturgy last night.
The practical effect of Bishop Finn’s decision is that thousands of Catholic school children in northwest Missouri won’t celebrate an hour of this feast worshipping in a church. If we had landed this observance at a less-busy time of year, our parish might have had a prayer of holding a family event on the premises with dinner, Mass, festivities, kid-friendly fare, etc.. If a parish decides to revive the celebration of holy days, I think it will take something like that to bring out the people.
Or give out ashes.
What do you think?