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Looking for ideas on how to help our parish.


So we have had decades of lukewarm leadership, focused on not offending anyone.  There has been much comforting of people and basically telling them they are doing great where they are.

Vocations are zero.  Our priest is getting moved (which could be a good thing), and we are getting an Indian priest.

The faithful have pretty much been left to do whatever they want, leaving a confused community.  A while ago when I mentioned the priest in Milwaukee coming out as gay in front of his parish and they all stood and applauded - almost nobody here saw the problem with that.

It's a rural area, and the diocese in general is like this.  We can't drive far enough to escape it.

So we are faced with having to try and build a better situation.  We have a very small group that is probably in to help - but their formation is like what I mentioned above, and most think the Charismatic movement is great, and " falling over and resting in the spirit" is really special (they stopped calling it slain in the spirit at least). However, they are pretty passionate about the Pro Life movement, and do see that supporting a pro-abort candidate is not compatible with Christianity - so we have some good ground to work from too. Very good people really - just poor formation.

Given this as a snapshot - where would you start to build?  I don't know if our new pastor will be of more or less help than the current one.
(06-09-2019, 07:59 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: [ -> ]Looking for ideas on how to help our parish.


So we have had decades of lukewarm leadership, focused on not offending anyone.  There has been much comforting of people and basically telling them they are doing great where they are.

Vocations are zero.  Our priest is getting moved (which could be a good thing), and we are getting an Indian priest.

The faithful have pretty much been left to do whatever they want, leaving a confused community.  A while ago when I mentioned the priest in Milwaukee coming out as gay in front of his parish and they all stood and applauded - almost nobody here saw the problem with that.

It's a rural area, and the diocese in general is like this.  We can't drive far enough to escape it.

So we are faced with having to try and build a better situation.  We have a very small group that is probably in to help - but their formation is like what I mentioned above, and most think the Charismatic movement is great, and " falling over and resting in the spirit" is really special (they stopped calling it slain in the spirit at least).  However, they are pretty passionate about the Pro Life movement, and do see that supporting a pro-abort candidate is not compatible with Christianity - so we have some good ground to work from too.  Very good people really - just poor formation.

Given this as a snapshot - where would you start to build?  I don't know if our new pastor will be of more or less help than the current one.

Maybe once your new priest arrived, you can ask if he can move the tabernacle to a place of honor?  He might do it himself, depending on his orthodoxy.  Imagine a well-catechized priest arriving at a parish where the tabernacle is, as you said in a post on a different thread, "in a closet".  Is there a prayer group at your parish?  You said there is a group of dedicated Catholics, even though many are Charismatics.  If you can set a time each week to pray together, especially if you have adoration, that would be wonderful.  You could pray the rosary or the stations.  They are indulgenced.  You should tell them about that part.  

Sorry, these might not be great ideas.  I go to a trad parish and don't have to deal with this (we have our own problems).
Can I ask - what kind of problems do you have at your Trad parish?

And any ideas are welcome - so thank you!
The biggest problem is no sense of rooted community. The Novus Ordo parish a mile down the road has been established for decades. Everyone who attends lives within a few miles. Meanwhile trads often commute halfway across the city or even farther. It makes it far more difficult to deliver meals to a new mother or plan playdates so our children can have good influences. It's more difficult to get people to help out at the parish because half of them live too far to reasonably travel during the week. 

Also the age demographics are great but come with their own difficulties. Half of the parish is under 18 years of age. Most families have young children and many families have 4+ children. This makes it more difficult for people to be involved, especially as a new parish that is building and landscaping and all of that.

Also a personal pet peeve, but never in my life have i attempted to make friends with women who only were interested in selling me something from an MLM pyramid scheme. Maybe that isn't just a trad thing though.

I don't mean to complain, but nothing, nowhere is perfect. Don't think being in a trad parish will solve all your problems. There will still be issues. That being said, I'm happy I'm not dealing with the issues of a NO parish.
Isn't it sort of funny that the abbreviation for Novus Ordo is NO - as in NO!!! NO this isn't a good thing!
As the priest, so the people, to paraphrase the old saying.

I'm going to answer assuming you go to a NO diocesan parish... correct me if this vital detail is different.

On the supernatural level, the best we can do is to fast, pray, and make sacrifices. To become saints. The mystical tradition is in complete agreement that sanctity is the most powerful, practical force in the world--because it is the force of God's grace working through people. We shouldn't ignore it as idealistic or lofty or abstract. If so, we should examine just how real our principles and Faith are to us.

Depending on your skill set and circumstances, you may be able to contribute something and set an example for others to follow.

Another very good thing--try to get the Latin Mass established at your parish, at least modestly at first. Very good guidelines: https://www.fisheaters.com/tlmsetup.html

Or before that, to encourage a more reverent NO Mass in the direction of the Latin Mass.

Another fantastic resource along these lines is the Unam Sanctam Catholicam website's parish resources: http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/hom...urces.html

If you're musically inclined, look into improving the liturgical music. Lots of resources on Google, especially on the CMAA website: https://musicasacra.com/resource-lists/

Maybe you're not musical, but you can encourage the musicians and direct them to these resources.

Maybe your talents are such that you can contribute a concrete thing. Maybe your skills are more along the lines of encouraging and directing and pulling resources together. This discernment will help determine the best course of action.

Read through some of those pages above and see what may apply to you. For example, on my part, since a number of good friends of mine have just been ordained diocesan priests or will soon be ordained, for my part, encouraging them--literally, filling them with courage and fortitude to persevere--is one of the best things I can do, given my circumstances. When they struggle with doubts or parish conflicts, giving them a second opinion or listening to them helps. The good priests are few and far between and need as much support as we can give them. It is hard to be a stalwart leader in the face of so much destruction, ignorance, and inertia.

Courage!
(06-14-2019, 10:00 PM)piscis Wrote: [ -> ]As the priest, so the people, to paraphrase the old saying.

Paraphrasing Dom J.-B. Chautard's The Soul of the Apostolate:

If the Priest is a Saint, the people will be holy. If the Priest is holy, the people will be pious. If the Priest is pious, the people will fulfil their duties. If the Priest fulfils his duties, the people will be reprobates.

Pray for saintly Priests!