Monday, July 4, 2011

"New" Southbridge Parish

On Saturday, the newly-named Blessed John Paul II Parish in Southbridge, Mass., at the southwestern corner of the Worcester diocese, celebrated its inaguaral Mass. They will use 3 church buildings, with Notre Dame being the main church building.

As you can see to the right, Notre Dame looks like a glorified, humungous parish church.

Now, in this photo from the choir loft, the church building looks huge, it is indeed. There is an altar rail, and a few side chapels. But, I find this quote from the Telegram & Gazette article about the altar:

The church's bells rang throughout a brief ceremony when the new parish pastor, Rev. Peter Joyce, said, "Welcome home," and called the congregation forward to kiss the alter [sic]. (par.) "To us as Catholics the altar is the most sacred part of any church. Whatever we put on that altar, we give to heaven and from the gifts that we give, God gives us back his very self. I asked our people that they claim this altar as our family table..."(emphasis added).
Stop! This is heresy. Ordinary people cannot kiss the altar. The altar is the Holy of Holies. It cannot be touched by a layman, but only a priest. Did a layman receive Holy Orders? The answer is NO!

As you can also see in picture #2 above (all photos from the Telegram & Gazette), the clergy are standing behind the altar-table. The tabernacle is in a side chapel. There is no reredos. The article says this church was consecrated in 1916, so there had to be once a high altar a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away. Now, you see a lot of spaghetti straps, a man wearing a hat, and no head coverings for women. Typical Novus Ordo parish.

Now, last but not least, the one wearing the diagonal stole is the transistional deacon friend who will be ordained to the priesthood if he completes his studies next year. He is spending the summer there. I hope they don't make fun of him for being orthodox.

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