Monday, July 23, 2007

A "lay-led" parish? No.

Some closed parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston have been occupied by determined ex-parishioners for 1,000 days, reports the Boston Globe.

"After 1,000 days, I think we know what we're doing" said Maryellen Rogers , an organizer at St. Frances in Scituate. "He [Cardinal Archbishop O'Malley] could end the vigil, and reopen us as lay-led parishes."

No, he couldn't do that. A parish led by lay people isn't a Catholic parish.

I do feel for these several ways.

First, I think I can understand the pain it must cause when one's parish closes. After all, while my regular parish is in a rather safe position, (it's the Mother Church of the Archdiocese), the chapel I worship at several days a week is indeed in danger of closing, and that would hurt. I admit it.

That said...

I hope I would remember that a parish church isn't what worship is all about. That's the sort of cafeteria stuff that's dangerous. Jesus isn't the exclusive property of Parish A, nor B, nor C.

I also hope that the "Communion Services" mentioned several times in this article aren't illicit.

Finally, I hope that these people—the article doesn't make it clear—realize that their obligation to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays isn't replaced by any "lay led" service they may have concocted.

I do ask that you pray for these folks.