Once more will he fill your mouth with laughter and you lips with rejoicing.
Hurrah for Bishop Nickless !
For years I have protested the post Vatican II degrading of the spiritual value of the Eucharist during a busy Mass. Every Catholic bishop and many priests have been exposed to Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics with my chapters, “Communion, ho-hum” and “The New Mass, a la Show Biz.” My response from Catholic leaders was as effective as a whisper to the deaf. Seven Episcopal ministers sent praise and not a peep from these Catholic leaders. I assume they either think I’m a fool or they just don’t give a damn. I fear the latter is true.
Now, like a white knight on a magnificent stallion, Bishop R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City, has come to the rescue of our Church in crisis. His “Pastoral Letter on the Future of the Church in the Diocese of Sioux City” should be spoon fed to every Church leader in America. It will be appreciated and acknowledged as one of the most effective Church writings of this century. The following are excerpts from this magnificent document
We need serious reflection and evaluation on the current state and direction, challenges and opportunities for faith and ministry in our Lord Jesus Christ in our Diocese.
(After Vatican II) sometimes we set out to convert the world, but we were converted by it. We have sometimes lost sight of who we are and what we believe, and therefore have little to offer the world that so desperately needs the Gospel.
“The ‘hermeneutic of discontinuity’…has wrecked havoc on the Church, systematically dismantling the Catholic Faith to please the world, watering down what is distinctively Catholic, and ironically becoming completely irrelevant and impotent for the mission of the Church in the world. The Church that seeks simply what works or is “useful” in the end become useless.
We must renew our reverence, love, admiration and devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament
It is imperative that we recover this wonder, awe, reverence and love for the liturgy and the Eucharist.
The Council’s goal in reforming liturgy was, of course, to facilitate the “fully active and conscious participation” of the faithful…Yet active participation does not preclude the active passivity of silence, stillness and listening: indeed, it demands it.
Conscious participation calls for the entire community to be properly instructed in the mysteries of the liturgy, lest the experience of workshop degenerate into a form of ritualism.
I exhort all communities of the diocese to explore ways of making the Eucharist more central in our lives through periods of Exposition, Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and Eucharist Processions.
Devotion to the Blessed Mother, such an important part of our tradition and spirituality, also leads to a deeper appreciation and love of the Blessed Sacrament.
The first two pastoral priorities, renewal in Eucharistic Spirituality and Catechesis will foster faithful family that is the foundation of the Church ad the society.
Thank you, God, for this splendid Church leader!
Early this fall, Father Timothy Keeney introduced his unique “Bluegrass Mass” at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Bristol, VA. He wrote Bluegrass songs for the congregation to sing for the entrance, including the Gloria, Sanctus, alleluia, Memorial Acclamation, the Amen, and especial singing during communion. He said, “You really need to do this. The people here need something Catholic that is part of the experience that goes on in our town. Everyone seemed to have big smiles on their faces as they left church.”
A reporter stated that during the service, the congregation tapped feet in time with the music. And a jolly time was had by all.
“An Emmaus Walk with Teresian Wisdom” by Sr. Mary C. Carroll, SSSF, in the fall issue of Spiritual Life. Sister May Carroll is Associate Director of Pastoral Formation at Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales Corner, Wisconsin.
Joyful Catholic Quiz
(The first to send the right answers will receive a gift copy of
Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics)
1. How did Saint Luke die?
2. At the Vatican, Saint Peter’s Basilica:
(a) was built soon after Saint Peter’s death,
(b) was order to be built by Emperor Constantine
in 324 A.D.,
(c) was built in the 16thCentury as a replacement of the original structure.
3. Who was the saint who was married, had seven children, established the order of Visitation nuns and established eighty-five monasteries before her death in 1641?
Instead of wearing a religious metal around his neck saying, “I am a Catholic. In case of an accident, call a priest”, a priest has one made saying, “I am a Catholic priest. In case of an accident, call a doctor.”
Just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian no more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
Answer by five-year-old Gregory: “I only know names of two angels. Hark and Harold.”
My Favorite Priest
Brother Edward Adams, FSC, MA, ML
There is a joyful Catholic named Brother Ed Adams. He is always engaging people with joy in every environment he enters. He greets people with joy at church, in the library, at the malls, at the post office, at the car service center—in short, wherever he goes.
People often ask him, “Why are you so joyful?”
His reply is, “I’m so glad you asked. I am joyful because Jesus is in my heart, and I see him in every person I meet.”
(Submitted by John Ceccotti, Bethesda, MD)
Brother Ed is a De La Salle Christian Brother, who was a high school teacher and administrator for 23 years. With a past of distinguished service in many branches of Catholic Faith, he is now Director of Inter-faith Activities at the Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum and a board director of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, DC