Sunday, August 22, 2010

8-15 Mass of Reunion and Inauguration

The last Liturgy that Saint Peter's had in their original building was on Easter. Thereafter the bishop took possession. The parish, though suppressed, was not extinguished. It was still pleading in Rome. It continued to meet in small groups. On Sundays they read the morning office, and later, the Liturgy of the Word.

They formed a charitable trust, the Community of Saint Peter, and rented space in a former electric car factory from the early part of last century. After renovation and approval of construction, they finally held a Mass. This was no surprise. Over three hundred came, the space was standing room only a half hour before entrance. The atmosphere was light, and people were in joyful anticipation. And it was fulfilled.

A handbell quartet chimed in the return of the paschal candle that had exited the old church on Resurrection Sunday. Beforehand, and during, a small classical ensemble and choir played and sang.

Some of the old church was there: an icon of Jesus, a crucifix, and the sconce candles of consecration. Yes, the wall candles that signify that the building is forever to be a temple of God, as long as stone stands upon stone.

Pieces of glacier granite from Nova Scotia were given to all those in attendance. The chips came from the rock that is now the holy water stoup. Peter was the rock Jesus built his church upon, he is also the parish's patron. The souvenir is symbolic, in a faith that is ripe with symbols.

Afterwards, a reception was held where food and companions were enjoyed. The parish cohered and is evident in the world. The local daily deigned to cover the event.

This was not pleasing to Richard Lennon. He, the ordinary, had forbidden them to celebrate. He had even alluded to ex-communication.

By Tuesday, his spokesman, Bob Tayek, commented that the bishop wanted to talk, and financial health of a parish was not a requirement, but 2500 people were. It appears to the public, that a happy, active, solvent parish was irrelevant. What was needed was the current protestant megachurch model.

Trustees of the Community and their pastor, Fr. Robert Marrone did not receive an invitation, formally. They also would be in no mood to be lectured at disapprovingly, and hear rubbish about "pastoral care across the diocese".

The parish held a Mass, their first Mass after several months of interruption and suspension. It is the function of a priest to say Mass. The Mass is central to Catholic worship. They were repeatedly told, "a parish is not a building", so they met where they could.This is normal activity. Mass can be held anywhere.

Lennon sees this as disobedience and defiance, but he would carpet bomb a mosquito. It was no surprise. The parish always intended to meet again.

Lennon wrote an essay for his paper, Universe Bulletin, it was also to be inserted in each parish's bulletin. The version distributed was the third version written. It was disjointed, and full of quotations. His definitions and interpretations are peculiar to him. Any non-dictated, non-approved action is defined as disunity by Lennon. This matter of unauthorised Masses was the most "urgent" in the diocese. All must comply.
He says he wishes to talk; no, he wishes to dictate and order. The trustees of Peter's invited him to visit. They insist on a third party to be present if a discussion is held. On the 22nd Mass was celebrated again by the parish community of St. Peter's. They also added one member to the faith, a child was baptised.

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