Daily Archives:October 6th, 2017

Benedict XVI is right to worry about the liturgy, says moral theologian

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Christmas Eve Mass in St Peter’s Basilica in 2012 (AP)

Alexander Lucie-Smith is a Catholic priest, doctor of moral theology and consulting editor of The Catholic Herald. Below is his reflection posted on The Catholic Herald, 5 Oct 2017.

Benedict XVI, the Pope Emeritus, has written a very short foreword for the Russian edition of his book The Spirit of the Liturgy. It is short but eloquent and full of meaning.

Is Benedict right? Of course he is. He is completely correct to point out that the purpose of the Church is the worship of God, and when the liturgy becomes secondary, then clearly the Church is not functioning as it is intended to, and neither are the people in it. This analysis is simple, but not simplistic. It is, rather, the simple truth.

Consider the life of a typical parish. How much time is spent on the Liturgy? How much effort goes into liturgical preparation? Are the social and educational activities of the parish all geared to the great end of enabling people to take part in the Liturgy? Or is the Liturgy something that feels “tacked on” or even worse, something that almost interferes with the other parish activities? Parish activities are a good thing, but they should only happen for one reason – to build up the Body of Christ, the Body which takes part in the Liturgy.

Again, consider the life of a typical priest. Is he in the sacristy ready for Mass in good time? Or does he rush in at a minute or two before Mass is due to begin, out of breath and distracted? Does he spend far too much of his time dealing with invoices about double glazing, and fielding phone calls from photocopying companies, rather than celebrating the Liturgy, planning the celebration, making sure everything is ready for the celebration, and talking to his parishioners about the importance of the celebration, as well as, of course, perhaps most importantly of all, preparing himself in prayer for the celebration?

Again, are the people of the parish, encouraged by the priest, aware that Liturgy is addressed to God and God alone, rather than to the congregation, and that Liturgy is a language, and that every language makes sense because it has its own grammar? Are priest and people aware that certain practices, rightly called abuses, destroy the meaning of the Liturgy from within? Have they imbibed the teaching of Redemptionis Sacramentum the 2004 instruction from the Congregation for Divine Worship, which lays out what is to be done and what is to be avoided, in order to protect the integrity of the liturgy? One hopes they are, though there is always work to be done in this field, as evidenced by some continuing practices in some parts of the world.

Benedict XVI has done us all a great service, reminding us that in the end, the Church’s chief function is the Liturgy. Get that right, and everything else follows. Get it wrong, and everything falls apart.

SHC parish group leaders updated on renovation works

Group leaders take their allocation of tickets after the updating and briefing, 5 Oct 2017, SHPC.

KOTA KINABALU – Leaders and representatives of 65 parish groups, ministries, committees and communities of Sacred Heart Cathedral here attended an updating-cum-briefing by their parish priest Archbishop John Wong and his assistants on 5 Oct 2017 at the parish centre.

At the meeting, Anthony Lim, parish finance council chairman, updated those present on the progress made on the major renovation works made at the parish centre last year.

In 2016, two major works were done: re-wiring of the parish centre (RM63,250.00) and replacement of the leaking main pipe (RM31,300.00).  General repair work was also done amounting to RM15,357.69.

Earlier this year, the roofing gutters were repaired (RM21,800.00) as well the complete renovation of the male and female toilets on the first floor (RM85,160.00).

It is hoped that renovation of all the rooms, repainting of walls, repair and replacement of air-conditioner units, replacement of carpets and curtains, building of storage cubicles on both sides of F7, and installing of two units of big ceiling industrial fans in the parish hall will be completed before the end of the year.

After the updating, Abp Wong briefed the attendees on the parish participation in the construction of the RM9.6m Catholic Centre.

He explained the need for it and its location.

The prelate told them that all parishes and subparishes in the archdiocese have been allocated an amount according to their means.

For the cathedral parish, the prelate continued, it is RM1 million.

Anita Tunggolou, head of the parish fundraising committee, informed the leaders that the time frame for fundraisers is one year: August 2017 to August 2018.

The committee has decided on three main fundraisers: a)  third collection on first Sundays (started Sept 2017); b) lucky draw on Dec 31 and c) bazaar in June 2018.

For the lucky draw, all the groups have an allocation of tickets (RM20/booklet) within a period of three months for diffusion.  Contact person is Michelle Linggi, treasurer of the fundraising committee.

Pledge cards for individual donors (Catholics and non-Catholics) are also available at the parish office under Johnny Chong.

The groundbreaking event, Lim said, will be at the end of the year (2017). The construction is scheduled to be completed within two years.

This was the second briefing for the parish group leaders.  The first was held on 2 March 2017.

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