Monday, August 21, 2006

Making Progress at Old St. Patrick's

A couple of nice articles on the restoration of Kansas City's Old St. Patrick Oratory have appeared over the last couple of weeks (from the Kansas City Star, no less!). With the support of a good Bishop, they're continuing to gain momentum.

The current article by Elaine Garrison is HERE. The previous article, by Helen Gray, HERE, is not quite as good, but still much better than the tripe one usually sees in the Star.

Perhaps somebody should send a copy of this article to the Archbishop across the state line in Kansas? The ironic thing is that the Old St. Paddy's community is somewhere between one-third and one-half the size of the Kansas congregation at the St. Rose Philippine Duschene Community at Blessed Sacrament, and until recently the Missourians suffered under greater restrictions and interference than did the Kansas folks. But suddenly, while Apb. Naumann is presiding over a great retreat in Wyandotte County, and the Latin folks in Kansas are getting kicked around again (they were just forced to move their Mass times again, to odd hours, the second change in a year), Bp. Finn's star is rising, his flock is getting focused, and the Missouri traditionalists are on their way to acheiving something great: a real parish home, and the restoration of an historic church in a reawakening part of the city to boot! Abp. Naumann needs to see, first hand, what can be done when Latin Massers are freed from the machinations and limitations of chancery officials.

And while we're at it, maybe Ms. Garrison should be running the religion page at the Star? Under Tammeus's guidance, it dropped from regular coverage and a once-a-week section of irrelevancies and nonsense to a once-a-week page of irrelevancies and nonsense with a midweek interfaith column by some guy who seems to believe in everything (which of course, is the same as believing in nothing). Fact filled, positive, and well-crafted writing like Garrison's might actually get people to read the religion page, and might get religious news readership and advertising up to the point a full section would once again be justified.


Dust I Am said...

Things are going great guns with the rebuilding of old St. Patrick's church to house the Oratory for the Latin Mass. They could use a few more donations to get an organ and pay the bill for moving the beautiful marble altar (from a closed church in the East).

With regard to the new Latin Mass times in Kansas, I've heard the times will be especially difficult for the many families with young children. Beginning September 17, the two Sunday Masses will be offered when the babies are still sleeping in the very early morning, and when mid-day meals and naps occur. Quite a few angry young mothers, I think.

Jimmy the Hand said...

I agree.

We have family in the KCMO area, and when in town, we would make the trek to the FSSP chapel in KCK. The 10:45 slot was barely do-able. Pushing the High Mass to 11:00 will seriously conflict with the feeding of the natives. Sliding the Low Mass back to 6:30 is almost a slap in the face.

TLMers are geographically all over the place. Parishoners with children (especially small ones) will have a very difficult time attending the 6:00 a.m. Mass so that they can have dinner at Grandma's before 2:00 p.m.

While visiting family this last Christmas, we attended Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows, and will continue to do so because of the KCK Mass times. The KCK news is sad, as we have made some friends there.

May God bless all of the benefactors of Old St. Patrick's.

Mike G. said...

A man at work (former Catholic) saw Elaine Garrison's article and was surprised that the Latin Mass was still being offered anywhere. His question to me was "Why isn't the Church excommunicating them like it did the women who got 'ordained'?" I informed him that the Latin Mass community is fully in accord with the Church while the wannabe priestesses were not. I also told him that while I am not a regular attendee of the Latin Mass, I did visit several years ago and saw lots of kids and young families, not the geriatric crowd pining for the old days as you might expect. (They can be found in huge numbers at the Saturday vigil services instead). He was intrigued and seemed to be a little puzzled, but in a good way.

Curmudgeon said...

Thanks Mike. So far have we fallen in our catechesis that people can't make such distinctions on their own. FYI, there are more children than adults in our congregation at St. Rose Philippine Duschene. I don't know about Old St. Pat's or about the folks at St. Vincents, the SSPX-run irregular parish, but I bet they're about the same.

Anonymous said...

Surely every Traditional Catholic is delighted about the events unfolding across the state line, and saddened over the state of things on the Kansas side. One would think that all Catholics would want a church on every corner and rejoice over the restoration of the historic buildings that sit idle or underused. But it appears as if the powers that be in our own Archdiocese are not of that fabric. Well, these powers would probably be in favor of Spanish-speaking parishes on quite a few corners (BTW, the politically-correct race is on to see how quickly as many Spanish-speaking Masses as possible can be set in motion). But a Latin Mass (shudder)? We can't have that, now, can we?

Is it not interesting that if the Church had stuck with the Mass of all time, there would be no need for the Spanish-speaking masses?

Surely Archbishop has seen the article about old St. Patricks's, and certainly he knows what is happening in the Latin Mass Community as a result of Bishop Finn's arrival. My question is, does he care about the people in his own Archdiocese? I am also wondering if Archbishop Keleher has any influence; he is, after all, the Archbishop who allowed the Latin Massers in Maple Hill to build their own building and school, and he went there and blessed the building.

Oh, well, let us rejoice and be glad that LM is prospering across the state line, and perhaps this will show the powers that be on the Kansas side what is possible. But ... well, perhaps the powers that be on the Kansas side know what is possible, and that is the problem.

Curmudgeon said...

Well put, anon!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to share this because I got a real kick out of it:

Last week in was in KCK talking with someone who obviously lived in Missouri. She was complaining about their diocese’s new bishop and how he was, “taking them backwards, big time.” How he was a member of Opus Dei…I think one of the quotes went something like, “He’s Opus Dei. That much we know.” She also complained and sounded really sad that Bishop Finn wasted no time in getting rid of some guy who had been teaching classes at her parish for years. (I’m assuming the guy was a heretic and therefore needed to go.)

I thought it was great! I should have shouted, “Praised be Christ the King and His bride the Church!” but I didn’t. I just acted understanding. Oh well, at least I didn’t agree with her.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tim r. souder said...

Just a quick comment: The article
by Ms. Garrison should be sent to
Latin Mass magazine. It makes
sense to give this national
exposure, and also international
exposure if we can help it.

The Phoenix Latin Mass community
is making leaps and bounds too.
This article would be good for
those folks to read, too.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Curmudgeon said...

Got back to the blog to discover that my rule about not naming parish-level names has been violated by a couple of people who otherwise make points worth preserving. I have deleted their original comments and reposted expunged versions here:

An anonymous commenter says:

The change in Mass times in KCK is par for the course. It's a true insult to Father X and the Latin Mass community there. In anticipation of the changes, we visited St. Vincent's in KCMO this weekend for the first time. The Low Mass is at 10:30, which works out great for us. The winds of change are blowing-toward the SSPX and no-compromise Catholicism!

4:51 PM, August 22, 2006

Another anonymous commenter says:

The change in Mass times in KCK is par for the course. It's a true insult to Father X and the Latin Mass community there. In anticipation of the changes, we visited St. Vincent's in KCMO this weekend for the first time. The Low Mass is at 10:30, which works out great for us. The winds of change are blowing-toward the SSPX and no-compromise Catholicism!

4:51 PM, August 22, 2006

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, I pasted the same comment in twice above. Here's the second one:

Yes, anon, the new times are indeed an insult to Fr. X, and to everyone at St. Phillipine (certainly to those who drive more thn an hour to get to Mass). I believe a case can be made that this insult was a planned one. I am wondering if the powers that be here in Kansas are hoping that the Latin Mass people will grow weary of fighting the system, shrug their shoulders in resignation, then go to the NO parishes like good boys and girls. Of course, a big problem for Blessed Sacrament would then be, who is going to pay the bills?

This is really a sad, sad thing. If only the chancery would treat the Latin Mass Community with the same charity that is shown to Muslims, Hindus ... well, you get the idea. But, of course, Muslims are not a threat to the path that the NO church has chosen. Not yet, anyway.

Perhaps it's timefor SSPX to consider acquiring a building on the Kansas side.

Anonymous said...

I was at Blessed Sacrament when a vote was taken to select the times for Holy Mass. The majority of people there selected the new times from two choices, by anonymous ballot. Granted, this is not the ideal situation, but excellent preaching and teaching really makes the inconveniences worthwhile. It is not as if one has some more important Sunday commitment than Holy Mass. Most of my friends at Blessed Sacrament are staying put, offering it up, and not complaining.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the excellent preaching and teaching makes any inconvenience worthwhile, and there is nothing more worthwhile than Holy Mass. The time selected by the people present (I was one) was actually the slightly better of two bad choices. This, however, was not my point. This entire thing is about more than inconvenience: it is about disrupting the cohesion of the people; it is about denying the church's ability to experience a true parish life; it is about preventing the church from growing and establishing a witness.

Many, including me, enjoy attending both Masses. Others, again include me, appreciate the extra time available between Masses for Confession. These things will still be possible, yes, but this time change is much more than an inconvenience, like a sidewalk under construction, or a restroom that is out of commission. This time change is a disruption in the life of the church that could have been, and still can be, avoided. It is not as if there are no other facilities available for St. Phillipine, and it is not as if the Latin Mass Community has not asked to have it own building. That is why this time change is a disruption and not just an inconvenience. It is the lack of real necessity for this change that should make us all ponder just what is going on.

The disruption is due some powers that be who do not want the Latin Mass Community to be successful. These powers want the Latin Mass to go away. If this "inconvenience" is not enough, there will surely be another one a few months down the road.

Curmudgeon said...

I'm with the previous anonymous commenter. (BTW, if you want to be anonymous, that's fine, of course, but pick a pseudonym of some sort. It doesn't have to be clever; it just makes it easier to keep the thread going in longer comment strings).

This would seem to be calculated to disrupt our [quasi]parish life. With lots of other facilities available for Spanish Masses, and with big changes coming at the end of the year with the Church Closing ... er ... Pastoral Planning process, it seems suspicious. If they want another Mass for native spanish speakers, how about they add a third Latin Mass and find someone to preach in Spanish, or even help Fr. X translate his marvelous sermons into Spanish.

Naw, that's crazy. It might cause us to grow more.

But then, Fr. X said at some point that our Lord doesn't close one window without opening another one somewhere. We should be hopeful, (but still a fair bit miffed), about this change.

As for the particular change, it was clearly the best of two undesirable options.

Besotted Chimp said...

OK, my thought is that the worst that can happen for the SRPD folks is also the worst that can happen for the Archdiocese.

I do, like Curmudgeon, believe that the chancery powers that be (not necessarily His Grace) are out to punish us. But they're not stupid. I don't think they'll go for the for the death penalty: disbanding SRPD.

Imagine what might happen if they did?

Fr. X and Fr. Y go on to a new assignment in a friendlier diocese (lucky them; a new adventure!). But the SRPD people don't go with them; they stay right here in the Kansas City area.

1/3 of the folks (75-100 families) might start going to Old St. Pat's. Remember that chancery officials hate it when people cross diocesan lines (I think the blogger linked to Michael Davies' story on Kansas City's Msgr. Vincent Kearney a while back. A lot of the "problem" there was that people were voting with their feet against Abp. Strecker and crossing State Line Drive). That makes Bishop Finn look good, and makes their boss look bad.

Worse, 1/3 of the folks (75-100 families) embittered and disgusted, might go "into schism" (so some say) at St. Vincent's (back to Michael Davies' article: the modernist intervention with Msgr. Kearney was instrumental in getting the SSPX enough momentum to get out of somebody's back room and into that magnificent church building).

And worst of all, 1/3 of the folks (75-100 families) wander back to their various geographic parishes, and suddenly you've got dozens pastors in Johnson County and outlying parts of the Archdiocese getting hounded, week after week, by cranky old-fashioned people who arrive in vanloads, complain about perceived liturgical abuses, slow the communion line down (by taking communion kneeling, on the tongue, only from the priest), grumbling about altar girls and Glory & Praise hymns, writing letters to the Archbishop about what they recognize as weak or heretical religious instruction and homilies, and otherwise driving the Archbishop's remaining priests to drink.

Kinda scary, huh? If you think it's scary, imagine what Fr. Happy and his "lay ministry" staff at St. Suburbia will think!

Frankie the Zookeeper said...

Ha, ha, ha. The drunken primate has a sense of humor! But with the last 1/3 of the families he forgot the bit about the women in long skirts and "headdresses." That's really gonna get buzz going among the tank-top and shorts crowd on Sunday morning.

And don't forget, those pastors will have to schedule more than an hour a week in the confessional.


A Real Conservative said...

Okay. BTW, Curmudgeon, I am that "anonymous" guy who wrote that this time change was much more than an inconvenience. Bottom line is that we know what is going on, and at the very least it seems to be passive aggressive tactics aimed at setting the Latin Mass people up for failure. I really like Besotted Chimp's comments, and I agree that going for the "death penalty" probably will not happen (even though some in the chancery would undoubtedly pull the trigger in a heartbeat). If they do, it will at least show everyone how far they'll go to keep the NO steamroller alive and well. It also gives pause to ponder the "tolerance" we all hear so much about.

What fun Archbishop must be having with all this! Seems like the chancery folks who do not like the Latin Mass saw in the new Archbishop an opportunity to be exploited. The hostility does not seem to have been this blatant previously. But of course I was still a NO Parishioner who walked out of Mass angry or disappointed every Sunday. From what I hear, at least from friends out Topeka way, is that the Latin Mass Commnity out there was left alone, and they prospered (and still are prospering) in their own building and school. Then again, the hostility may have been here all along, but the Maple Hill people were left alone because they were not a clear and present danger to the political climate in the chancery.

One thing that has not been mentioned is the need for focused and frequent prayer for the church ... the entire Church. Indeed, our Lord does not allow a window to be closed without opening another. We must pray for the vision to see that open window, and perhaps the courage to climb through it.

Anonymous said...

I heard yesterday (Sunday) that St. Mary's had been sold to someone who wants to turn it into a wedding chapel. Do you know if this is true?

Curmudgeon said...

Interesting that you would bring St. Mary's up. I was thinking about it just yesterday as I drove through Strawberry Hill to get to Mass (a treat BTW--full Missa Solemnis with deacon and subdeacon, Fr. Y's last Mass before his new assignment).

Anyways, they did just sell of St. Mary's in the last few years. I'd heard the buyers wanted it to be a banquet hall or something. It's now vacant and it has a sign for the "Strawberry Hill Land Trust" on it.

See my post on St. Mary's:

For whatever reason, it was only sold in the last few years. Why? True, it had not been in use for some time. But it couldn't have fetched much of a price, and nothing's happened to the building yet. My conspiratorial mind wonders if it was sold simply so that the chancery rats could avoid the embarrassment of telling the Latin Mass Community that they'd rather have it fall down than have the Mass that sustained the their ancestors for a millenium celebrated in it. Maybe they feared further embarrassment by us thriving and filling a building that the new powers and the new evangelization couldn't sustain.

A Real Conservative said...

The word I got was St. Mary's was purchased for $4,000.00! Granted, this is second-hand, but the source is a former State Representative and is quite credible. This info came from the ice cream social at Christ The King. Sorry about the "anonymous" again, I hit the wrong button.

Curmudgeon said...

Find out who it is that bought it.
I'll write him a check for $8,000 TODAY and he'll double his money.

A Real Conservative said...

I can do that. I'll e-mail you the information, but it may take a few days.

Curmudgeon said...

On second thought. I'd like to see the inside of the building before I write the check, and I have to get Mrs. Curmudgeon's permission. But I AM still interested.

A Real Conservative said...

Understood (I've been married long enough to know that when my wife says, 'Do what you think is best,' what I think is best is to ask again for her opinion). I can still get the info for you.