Back from Rome

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Habits do not make us immune to error or arrogance. Neither are Roman collars or spicing our comments with Latin. We are all capable of mistakes. If I am not fair in my comments, I appreciate the honest feedback.  I don’t think I said anything really outrageous when I said I disliked the use of human remains as decorations and lamps for the chapel. It did, and still gives me the creeps. I know that it comes from a time in history that had a different focus on death and sought to make a statement. I can appreciate that sentiment, but today I find it “over-the-top”.
The same can be true of the creative liturgies of the 70s where people did some things to make the mass “cool”. When I was a teenager I attended liturgies where we consecrated a bagel and a glass on wine. The liturgist in me would be horrified. But those were the days… and to be quie honest, in those liturgies is when I heard the call of the Lord to life as a friar and ministry as a priest.
Today, most of us can see that much of that was in bad taste, and moving in the wrong direction. Although the intent was justified… helping people connect life and liturgy… a lot of mistakes were made.

Similar mistakes are made when in an effort to retrieve some of the beauty and challenge of our tradition, some people seek to pretend we are still living in the 50s! We can’t go backwards. We can and most hold on to what it most dear in our tradition… which is old, ancient, and yes eternal.  But this still has to be in dialogue with and reflective of current culture and society.

In my last post I included comments by Cardinal Castrillon about his surprise by the reaction of some in the church who are not satisfied with what Pope Benedict has done to allow for more use of the Tridentine Form.  I don’t undestand his surprise.  Many in the church who are supporting the Tridentine Mass are doing so out of a desire to experience the beauty and transcendance which that liturgy which that mass provided in contrast to the somewhat pedestrian experiences sometimes found in our parishes. But others, have a more profound and subversive agenda, which is to change the course of the Church in it’s effort to engage the world, society and culture in dialogue.  My hunch is that Pope Benedict knew full well what he was doing when he allowed for the Tridentine Form.  He is saying to Catholics on the extreme margins of the faith, there is more room for you in the middle… move over to the centre a bit and we can go forward… but the edges are going to be closing in a little… both on the left and on the right!


  1. That’s fine Friar Rick. I believed everybody in this blog are happy the fact that each one is so free to express his/her views. That’s a big achievement in this blog….. That’s my own positive reaction listening to every body. thanksssssss.

  2. Fr. Rick-just something I thought about during your homily on Sunday (which I thopught was insightful) You spoke about migrant Mexican workers in our agriculture industry. An interesting film by the NFB- El Contracto- it tells of the plight of Mexican migrant workers in the agriculture industry. (Tomato) It would seem that even those workers who have gone through the proper channels are often mistreated. As Canadians, we need to take a hard look at the reasons why we feel it is acceptable to treat those from less affluent countries in this manner-is the bottom line a good enough reason to exploit our brothers?

  3. Thanks for that heads-up. I have also heard that the Mexican government has set up consulates in some of the agricultural towns to assist some of the workers from being exploited. I’ll have to check out the film. Thanks again.

  4. Hi City Folk’s

    I don’t know what your sermon was about on Sunday. However I have a feeling that Marx would be proud!.

    Being a country dweller in a rural area where migrant workers are plentiful, and dealing with them in my bakery I think I have some perspective to offer. I didn’t

    These workers are paid well for the work they do. they are paid much more than they would make at home. Some work here for a few months and vacation for the rest of the year. They aren’t hurting, nor are they being paid unjust wages. I would invite you to leave the city and visit a farming community and see for yourselves. If you stop by the bakery I’ll see about getting you a nice loaf of bread.

  5. “I don’t know what your sermon was about on Sunday.” … That says it all! Link back to and you can click on “This Week’s Homily” and get the context for this discussion. You might also look back at Sunday’s readings too.

  6. Creative liturgies of the 70s? Please, Fr. Rick. I’ve experienced them firsthand at Bonaventure. I can report to readers that the 70’s are alive and well and presided over by you. Anyone that thinks guitars and drumsets in the sanctuary and social justice homilies devoid of any mention of sin and salvation are “excesses of the 70’s” just head on over to a Fr. Rick Mass and see it for yourself.

    I apologize for the tone of this post, but I really feel you’re being disingenuous, Friar Rick. Bonaventure wins the Hermaneutics of Rupture Award, hands down in this archdiocese, with St. Joan of Arc a close second. If you really believe that we “can’t go backwards”, then how about firing the Partridge Family up there in the sanctuary and establishing a proper polyphonic choir?

    This is the same obfuscation as Bonaventure’s so-called tabernacle “chapel.” Wishful thinking.

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