Father Carota makes a good point about traditional parishes: they can be a bit serious and stuffy. Having attended at least five different traditional parishes, we can attest to this fact. Traditional Catholics seem to shy away from fun and frivolity and thus aren’t welcoming to newcomers and others that don’t believe the same way we do. We need to lighten up and live with more joy. This will serve to attract more Novusites to the tradition which will only help the Church and the souls of the faithful. So lets get out there and have some fun! Having fun isn’t a sin!
I have a good friend who is a priest in Italy. Although he is not a traditional priest, there is much to learn from him and the Italian way of life. In his parish, in Lodi Italy, next to the church is a garden that contains an Italian Bar which serves cafe lattes, expresso and other drinks. Also in they have a Bocci Ball court and tables and chairs where people can sit and visit.
Every Sunday afternoon, the parishioners gather to play Bocci Ball, visit and to drink expresso. There is a great sense of love and community that goes beyond the Holy Mass.
I have always strongly believed in importance of Sacred Liturgies and no visiting in church. But I also strongly believe in having a loving community. Many of the saints said that it is not sufficient to not sin to get to heaven, but that we need to honestly love each other.
A week ago we had a baby shower at the parish with food and sports. But it began to rain so hard we had to rush inside. It stormed for over an hour. Some of the braver young men continued to play soccer the whole time in the rain. When they went home, they told their parents that that was the greatest time they had in the whole summer, getting wet and muddy. (We are getting a lot of rain here in Phoenix and I credit it to the Latin Mass and the modesty of the women who go to the Latin Mass.)Yesterday Evenings Soccer Game at St. Catherine’s
Just talked with a farmers wife in Escalon California and she said that a lot of the wells keep going dry in the San Joaquin Valley. It was the farmers and farm workers who kicked me out of my parish because they did not like modesty in church and secondarily, the Latin Mass. When I was at St. Patrick’s, every time I led the parish in prayer for rain, it always rained. Just one week I remember when our prayers were not answered. People noticed it too.
Back to the topic. At that baby shower, a man, who is trying to become traditional, said that he did not see a lot of happiness in us traditional Catholics. Joy and love seemed to be lacking. The children are happy, but the parents just do not seem content.
Then a young husband, who has been involved for many years here at St. Catherine’s, came to talk to me too. He brought up the exact same topic. We talked about how we are trying so hard to stay away from sin, keep our children innocent and to pray in a way that pleases God, yet at the same time, this makes us more serious, more judgmental and closed in on ourselves. He wanted to propose that we try make a greater effort to love each other.
So I really want to encourage all of us traditional Catholics to organize events, sports and potlucks where we can genuinely get to know each other and to love and care for each other. We want to keep the quiet, the reverence in Church at the Latin Mass. But after, we want to reach out to each other and show genuine love and concern for each other. We all need more love, God’s love, family love and holy human love.Yesterdays Volley Ball and Food In the Distance.
‘Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.‘ Galatians 6:10. This says to me that we need to start by being kind to other Catholics.
As many of you know, every Sunday at 6:00 pm, fathers and sons get together with me to play soccer and basket ball. Now the Templarios are playing volley ball and eating together at the same time. It will take some work to put in picnic tables and permanent volley ball poles, but it is all worthwhile. Love, Charity, cost. I think that God was so happy seeing us all play and have a good time together.
We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics who try to be Holy, Reverent and Loving. Tomorrow we have a Missa Cantata for Our Lady’s Birthday, Sept. 8 at 5:30. But we also have a party for her afterwards in the hall to celebrate and help us love all of Mary’s children here at St. Catherine’s Parish. All are invited.