I Can Help These People

When I visit with people from a parish, or review their website, I ask myself honestly, “Can I help these people?” Obviously, if they need an organist, I can’t help them. If they have a classically-oriented approach, probably not. So all you reform2 lurkers here, rest easy–your favorite heretic will be going elsewhere.

One of my parishioners has been kidding me about John Romeri’s spot in Philly. You could work on the Pope Francis visit, he chides me. Um, no.

On my resume, I list “mission, not maintenance” as a ministry priority. I’ll consider a parish that is looking outward, not in.

thorAll that sets the table for this dream I had last night. I was visiting a parish, with this question in mind, “Can I help these people?”

Mass was in an auditorium, not a church. There was a happy buzz about the place. But all the staff were wearing superhero costumes. And the pastor was dressed as Thor. They had managed to hang him with wires so he appeared to fly for the opening procession rather than walk.

A teenager was having difficulty with the sound and light systems. His hands were full of wireless mics and other equipment, and inside, I debated assisting him with his technology. But none of it looked familiar to me. The lectors were nearly inaudible. And the priest said that since nobody could hear the Gospel reading, he was going to omit it.

But still, while I disagreed with the liturgical choices, I felt good about the place and I thought, “I can help these people.”

Perhaps a dream analyst reading this could draw all sorts of conclusions about my state of mind. Perhaps others would think of it as an apocalyptic vision of the state of modern liturgy. Me, I’m just looking forward to going somewhere new and spread the joy of the Gospel.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to I Can Help These People

  1. Liam says:

    When I was interviewing for my current full-time position 3 years ago, after working a “portfolio” career for 6 years (there was some real anxiety doing that through the Panic and its wake, but it taught me to let go of many of my fears), one interviewer asked me what my plan of attack for the new position I was being hired for. I said I had no plan, that’s not how I work. First, I try to look at things from the perspective of my clients – side by side, not from on high. Then I learn how different ones handle asking for and receiving advice, and over time gather various data points to imagine how we could improve practice, et cet. Some people want magicians. I am not a magician, and don’t pretend to be one.

  2. FrLarry says:

    In your dream, you could have had “Thor” process in to “Awesome God”, which could easily be a hymn to Thor or Zeus based on the words.

    • Todd says:

      Perhaps. But three things: in the dream Thor was a superhero (think Marvel, not Scandinavia) in the context of Wonder Woman and a few others, not a pagan god. And even the Bible contains traces of pagan worship–Psalm 29 comes to mind. As for music in the dream, the system was projecting a plainchant in English and hardly anybody was singing. And last, I was only there for an interview and visit.

      Still, the whole thing was funny. When I find myself in the midst of liturgical tomfoolery in dreams, I’m usually not feeling positive about what’s going on.

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