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How to revive a dying parish #396667 07/12/13 08:16 PM
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A friend of mine brought this to my attention earlier today:

Quote
How to revive a dying parish
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

I had this through email so I can't vouch for this 100%. But as Preserved Killick would say, 'Aye aye, sir. Rectory it is.'

I thought you might enjoy this bit of info. St. Anne church in San Diego was scheduled to be closed. A long-established and solid group (200 families) were attending the TLM at the chapel of the local Catholic cemetery since the indult days and the bishop offered the church to us when FSSP promised us a priest. In three years we went from one priest and two Masses a Sunday to 500 families, 3 priests, and six Masses each Sunday. In acknowledgement, the bishop made the parish rectory a canonical house, so priests may go but the parish is here to stay!

Let’s think.

Dying parish, soon to be closed, merged, sold off. Everyone unhappy, lot’s of inconvenience and shame.

Trying something new, which is actually something old.

Reason #8 for Summorum Pontificum.

There was a similar article awhile back about a young priest in Montreal who 'discovered' the 'old Mass' and agreed to celebrate it for those who wanted and wound up with over 400 people every Sunday.

My point is not to speak to the benefits of the Tridentine Mass (it's not the liturgy of my Church and I've never been to one).

My point is that liturgies are sculpted by the Spirit over centuries, and that the Liturgy should be respected and loved, and prayerfully celebrated with great care. I continue to agree with Father Robert Taft who stated clearly that the Church should not reinvent the Liturgy but should simply take what it has received and celebrate it very well.

It's all about worship.

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: Administrator] #396676 07/13/13 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Administrator
A friend of mine brought this to my attention earlier today:

Quote
How to revive a dying parish
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

I had this through email so I can't vouch for this 100%. But as Preserved Killick would say, 'Aye aye, sir. Rectory it is.'

I thought you might enjoy this bit of info. St. Anne church in San Diego was scheduled to be closed. A long-established and solid group (200 families) were attending the TLM at the chapel of the local Catholic cemetery since the indult days and the bishop offered the church to us when FSSP promised us a priest. In three years we went from one priest and two Masses a Sunday to 500 families, 3 priests, and six Masses each Sunday. In acknowledgement, the bishop made the parish rectory a canonical house, so priests may go but the parish is here to stay!

Let’s think.

Dying parish, soon to be closed, merged, sold off. Everyone unhappy, lot’s of inconvenience and shame.

Trying something new, which is actually something old.

Reason #8 for Summorum Pontificum.

There was a similar article awhile back about a young priest in Montreal who 'discovered' the 'old Mass' and agreed to celebrate it for those who wanted and wound up with over 400 people every Sunday.

My point is not to speak to the benefits of the Tridentine Mass (it's not the liturgy of my Church and I've never been to one).

My point is that liturgies are sculpted by the Spirit over centuries, and that the Liturgy should be respected and loved, and prayerfully celebrated with great care. I continue to agree with Father Robert Taft who stated clearly that the Church should not reinvent the Liturgy but should simply take what it has received and celebrate it very well.

It's all about worship.


+1

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: Administrator] #398531 08/28/13 05:13 PM
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I agree 100%. Makes more than enough sense. Kklcz

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: Administrator] #398964 09/08/13 02:41 PM
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People who go to TLM communities usually go for reasons other than traditional worship. They are rejecting liturgical abuses, embracing orthodox theology and catechesis, wanting a community of believers who live the liturgical calendar and share their devotional life, wanting to be challenged with study and spiritual direction, and wanting to be led by a priest who is authentically living that faith.

They most often say that the only place they can find this is in a TLM community. When they're there, many come to appreciate the traditional liturgy. Some put up with its weaknesses because they are grateful for the orthodoxy and lack of abuse. Many say they'd go to a novus ordo community closer to home if it had the kind of community life, orthodoxy, and lack of liturgical abuse the TLM parish has.

It's not all about worship. It's all about authentic witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, which should be reflected in everything we do:

Didache/Catechesis
Koinonia/Fellowship or Community
Diakonia/Service or Stewardship
Kerygma/Evangelization
Liturgia/Liturgy

Liturgy is an important component, but it isn't one that can stand on it's own. Only Christ can do that.

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: CDB1718] #398992 09/09/13 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by CDB1718
Originally Posted by Administrator
It's all about worship.
It's not all about worship. It's all about authentic witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, which should be reflected in everything we do:

Didache/Catechesis
Koinonia/Fellowship or Community
Diakonia/Service or Stewardship
Kerygma/Evangelization
Liturgia/Liturgy

Liturgy is an important component, but it isn't one that can stand on it's own.

CDB,

You offer some good insight here; I would merely wish to add that while while liturgy certainly cannot "stand on its own," it is indeed more than a single component in the life of the Church. Vatican II (SC 10) put it this way: "... the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows."

Based on this, we could diagram your list as follows:
|-->Liturgia/Liturgy----|
| |<---------------------|
| |---->Didache/Catechesis ------------------>|
| |---->Koinonia/Fellowship or Community-->|
| |---->Diakonia/Service or Stewardship---->|
| |---->Kerygma/Evangelization-------------->|
|<-------------------------------------------------|

In other words, our esteemed Administrator isn't exactly wrong to say "it's all about worship," but you're certainly right as well! wink


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: CDB1718] #398996 09/09/13 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CDB1718
It's not all about worship. It's all about authentic witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, which should be reflected in everything we do:

Didache/Catechesis
Koinonia/Fellowship or Community
Diakonia/Service or Stewardship
Kerygma/Evangelization
Liturgia/Liturgy

Liturgy is an important component, but it isn't one that can stand on it's own. Only Christ can do that.

It is all about worship. The whole life of a parish flows from the worship of Christ in the Sunday Divine Liturgy. Without it, there is no Church and none of the items on your list are possible. Without worship, there is only a social club.

At every Divine Liturgy while the Gospel Book is held high we sing: "Come, let us worship and bow before Christ! O Son of God, risen from the dead, save us who sing to You: Alleluia!" We do not say "save us who catechize others", "save us who serve our neighbors", etc. That is because worshiping Christ is the first and foremost thing in our lives, and because worship of Christ is what makes the other things possible.

Doxa always comes before diakonia. Diakonia flows from doxa.

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: Administrator] #399882 10/08/13 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Administrator

There was a similar article awhile back about a young priest in Montreal who 'discovered' the 'old Mass' and agreed to celebrate it for those who wanted and wound up with over 400 people every Sunday.

My point is not to speak to the benefits of the Tridentine Mass (it's not the liturgy of my Church and I've never been to one).

My point is that liturgies are sculpted by the Spirit over centuries, and that the Liturgy should be respected and loved, and prayerfully celebrated with great care. I continue to agree with Father Robert Taft who stated clearly that the Church should not reinvent the Liturgy but should simply take what it has received and celebrate it very well.

It's all about worship.


No it's not.

There is no question the principal reason a Catholic parish exists is from people to avail themselves to the Sacraments of the Church, most specifically the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ to His Father. No question there.

But if other, lessor things are ignored a parish with great liturgy can still crash and burn. In addition to worship, the faithful need to become part of a community. They need to stay clear of the "ticket-stamping" syndrome that impacts so many parishes.

They need to take part in some form of their parish's outreach. They need to take part in catechesis. The are a great many things that make up a healthy parish.

Listen to this 9 minute commentary. It cuts to the core and many don't want to face these problems because doing so is very difficult: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dftZ5K_EA4s

Last edited by Franciscum; 10/08/13 06:33 PM.
Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: Franciscum] #399883 10/08/13 07:22 PM
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Luke 4:8 - And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

Everything flows from the act of worship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is the worship of God that occurs in the Divine Liturgy and other Sacramental Mysteries that feeds and nourishes the faithful. It the celebration of the Sacramental Mysteries that makes the other things possible (i.e., catechism, ministries to those in need, etc.).

If it isn't all about worshiping God then we are not Christians.

It is about worship.

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: Administrator] #399884 10/08/13 07:53 PM
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The Angels don't opt to operate soup kitchens or go to group therapy.

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: Franciscum] #399895 10/09/13 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Franciscum
Originally Posted by Administrator
It's all about worship.
No it's not.

There is no question the principal reason a Catholic parish exists is from people to avail themselves to the Sacraments of the Church, most specifically the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ to His Father. No question there.

But if other, lessor things are ignored a parish with great liturgy can still crash and burn. In addition to worship, the faithful need to become part of a community. They need to stay clear of the "ticket-stamping" syndrome that impacts so many parishes.

They need to take part in some form of their parish's outreach. They need to take part in catechesis. The are a great many things that make up a healthy parish.

Listen to this 9 minute commentary. It cuts to the core and many don't want to face these problems because doing so is very difficult: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dftZ5K_EA4s

Good points, Franciscum, but I think that whether "It's all about worship." is true or not really depends on how it is meant.

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: JDC] #399896 10/09/13 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by JDC
The Angels don't opt to operate soup kitchens or go to group therapy.

Example: The Little Sisters of the Poor begin every day with worship. Worshiping the Lord is their first priority. They know that everything they do throughout the day comes from the Lord. The Liturgy and the Sacraments are their primary form of worship, a worship that in turn makes the other things they do possible.

In a parish there are multiple ministries. But those ministries are made possible by the Lord, Whom we worship. The Sunday Liturgy and the other Mysteries (the worship of God) feeds and makes possible ministry. Without worship as the main focal point of the parish, the parish is not really a Church. It's the Elks Club (useful, but not Church). To treat Liturgy and the other Sacramental Mysteries as just several of many equal components making up a parish rather than the source of life in the parish is to lack understanding.

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: Administrator] #399897 10/09/13 12:14 PM
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Dear and Revered Administrator,

How wonderfully inspiring!

We have an Orthodox soup kitchen and bakery here, St John's Bakery, that was first established by a UGCC pastor but which later joined the Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox jurisdiction.

They have an adjoining parish church of St Silouan the Athonite and also have icons of St Maria Skobtsova of Paris whose example of opening soup kitchens (at the height of the Nazi terror in Paris) they follow.

Their refectory is inside the main doors and the walls are covered with icons. Then there is the door to the chapel. People of all backgrounds are always made to feel welcome. I was there when they celebrated the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos and the entire floor out to the front steps was covered in rose petals, people were wishing each other "Happy Feast Day!" etc.

In addition to the regular round of worship that punctuates their day, the parish priest has three periods when he goes to the church and recites 100 Jesus Prayers on his prayer rope - with others joining in. A wonderful way to teach/train people in the use of the Jesus Prayer.

The parish/bakery is a haven of stability in the Love of God in our city.

And they still have a large, framed portrait of the UGCC parish priest, the Rt Rev. Fr. Tataryn of St Demetrius Parish, hanging above the outside door of the chapel.

Worship at its best!

Thank you for sharing that, sir!

Alex

Re: How to revive a dying parish [Re: Administrator] #399911 10/10/13 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Administrator
Example: The Little Sisters of the Poor begin every day with worship. Worshiping the Lord is their first priority. They know that everything they do throughout the day comes from the Lord.


Without question. Our Lord gave us two laws greater than all the rest and was quite clear about which is the greatest.


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