Prayers needed for Fr. Raymond.
One of the best priests in our diocese, who is known for celebrating an absolutely beautiful Mass (NO, but facing the tabernacle, with traditional vestments, Latin, Altar boys, chant, incense, etc.) is being sent to the parish in our diocese with absolutely the biggest problems when it comes to liturgical abuses.  Fr. Raymond spent several years overseeing the renovation of his parish building which is one of the oldest in our diocese and also reforming the liturgy.  They do Eucharistic processions, he uses fiddleback vestments, altar rails, communion on the tongue and kneeling, etc. if that helps you understand what kind of priest he is.  We first met him at a conference last year where he gave an excellent talk on the Exultant from the Easter Vigil and during his talk, he slammed Marty Haugen music (that kind of endeared him to me at that point) and talked about he beauty of chant and its necessity in the liturgy. 

Anyway, the parish he is being sent to has some of the following "ministries":
- Go green
- Altar bread bakers
- Eucharistic ministers
- Bread plate holders
- Flower ministers

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  The parish itself is one of the worst examples of modern parish architecture I have seen.  They have no kneelers, they call the Nave the "worship center", etc.  And yes, you read that right above, they actually bake bread for the Mass and use it for consecration.  The parish is in such bad shape that most of what people here would call neo-cats have left and are going to an Eastern Catholic Parish a couple of miles away, just for some sanity in the liturgy. 

I overheard a conversation yesterday at a diocesan function where a couple of priests and deacons were talking about Fr. Raymond going to that parish as "stepping into the lion's den" and another described it as "two trains heading towards each other on the same track". 

All in all, this excellent priest is going to need our prayers in the months and years to come.  He is going to likely be very frustrated himself at the manner in which things are done, but is also likely to receive massive resistance and a large number of complaints about the changes I am almost sure he will start to make upon his arrival. 

Please pray for this priest.  He is one of the good ones. Also, please pray for our diocesan administrator (we are between bishops at the moment) and whomever is appointed as our bishop, that they have the courage to stand firm when the complaints start coming in. 

God bless,
:pray: :pray: :pray:

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