Sunday, October 14, 2012

Church: in my area, from nine parishes down to three

Today’s Mass: Omnia quæ fecisti nobis, Domine.

The great pullback continues (Archdiocese of Vienna: from 660 to 150 parishes; Diocese of Perigueux, France: 555 to 32!), interestingly announced after the stuff about the Year of Faith celebrating the anniversary of the start of Vatican II. Again, how’s that 50 years of ‘renewal’ working out for you? Post hoc ergo propter hoc: hell, yeah! The mainline’s dying but so’s the other old mainstay of Northeastern American white culture, the church. (Mexicans prop up our numbers nationwide.) The church has used up its capital earned before the council, on top of the depression and the gay-priest scandal. My parish is in a corner of far northwest Philadelphia mostly ghetto after white flight ages ago (so hardly any Catholics still live there), almost all default-Irish parishes (not a Puerto Rican part of town) plus an ethnic national parish; my church, a territorial (Irish) parish, is in what used to be a well-off area (one of my jobs, for parishioners, is based in a mansion just down the road; I occasionally work on site). The friars under Fr James took it over last decade and high-churched it, making it a showplace of Pope Benedict’s sounder church, with a weekly traditional Mass ever since the Pope freed up our Mass. (We’re a mix of black and white locals, relatively young trads who travel in, like me and, better, young trad families, and old stalwarts who kept the memory of the old Mass all those lean years under Popes Paul and John Paul.) So anyway the pastor says all the priests of the other eight area parishes grouped with us say to keep ours as one of the three remaining. We’ll see.

Hope we don’t get renamed Our Lady of Hope and Change or something.

Photo: St Donato’s, the Italian national parish. Great building outside (love the bell tower); probably generic Novus in English inside, which thanks to the reigning Pope has recently changed from conscience problem to only annoying. I like our 1890s faux-Gothic exposition chapel of a church but would love to keep this Italian Romanesque basilica. Put a baldacchino over the high altar, have the traditional Mass and we’re good.


  1. Ah yes, the scandals ... the fruits of Vatican II. I wonder how many are still with us?

  2. I hope that the Mercedarians plan to stay there for a while - their presence gives Lourdes some additional security as it's one fewer parish that the Archdiocese needs to be worry about staffing, so they can be left alone.

  3. I expect that they have no plans on leaving, they're currently trying to get canonical dispensations so that one of their brothers can be soon ordained to be the curate at Lourdes.


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