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Question Title Posted By Question Date
Problems with parish priest Teresa Monday, April 18, 2011


I have been having problems with the parish priest at the church here. First of all, he allows the lectors to read the meditations for the readings prior to reading the actual readings. Secondly, I was an Extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and I was giving out Holy Communion and he noticed that I was, according to him not doing this correctly. He took me aside after Mass in front of everyone and told me I was doing it wrong. I said that is the way I was taught.

This has caused me a major problem with my faith. I left the EM's after that and have not been back to Mass since then.

Thirdly, he is also adding words to the Eucharistic prayer. Instead of saying Jesus Christ, he always adds "the" to it. He also does not read directly from the Missal. I do not feel it is a pride issue per se.

The biggest issue is that we have only one Catholic Church here. What should I do? I want to go back to Church and be reconciled with God, but this has caused me a great deal of hurt and pain. Any advice would be most helpful.

Question Answered by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OMSM(r)

Dear Teresa:

I am sorry to hear about the irregularities at your parish and the person affronts you have experienced, but this has nothing whatsoever to do with your faith. Your faith is in God, not a priest. This priest's irregularities and rudeness is not God's fault so why are you punishing God by not attending Mass? The Mass is our Lord's, not the priest's.

You must go back to the Mass. Receive the Sacrament of Confession to confess your inappropriate missing of Mass, and then receive the Eucharist.

Even if the parish is so messed up that you cannot participate in any parish activities or serve in any capacity, you can, and you must attend to Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation and receive the Sacrament of Confession when needed.

As long as the Mass is valid, Jesus is there. Why leave Jesus alone with people who abuse Him in the Mass?

Instead go to Mass to meet your Lord as He has commanded you to do. Offer up your suffering of enduring an irregular Mass for the salvation of souls, and even for the priest to come to his senses and by loyal to the Church.

Most importantly, you must return to Mass or you risk the loss of your own soul. Having your feelings hurt is not a justification to stop going to Mass, nor is it an excuse to lose your faith.

Jesus Christ is your Lord, not the priest. Our Lord commands us to receive Him in the Eucharist. In fact, He tells us that we cannot have life unless we do:

(John 6:53-54)  So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

So, Teresa, unless you wish to risk your soul to hell, you need to mortify your hurt feelings, and accept the suffering of witnessing an irregular Mass, and get yourself back to Mass immediately.

I understand what you are going through. I have been through a similar situation. But, since the parish was the only one around I had to mortify my ego and pride, and my objections to irregularities, and participate in the Sacraments at that parish anyway. I did not attend any thing else, but I attended Mass and the Sacrament of Confession. I was not about to allow this priest to keep me from my Lord because he did not like me. I do not need to be liked by anyone. Rather, I need the love and salvation offered by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

St. Francis de Sales said, "A ounce of mortification is worth more than a thousand pounds of honor."

Thus, Teresa, rejoice that you are having these experiences. It gives you a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your faith by resigning yourself to God and mortifying your ego and feelings. This is a wonderful learning experience.

It is also a wonderful and privileged opportunity to suffer for our Lord, to join our suffering with His, to offer up our suffering for the salvation of souls. What a privilege!

Thus, the suffering of having to endure irregularities in Mass is a great opportunity to accept the privilege of suffering and offering that suffering to our Lord and to our Blessed Mother to apply the graces that come from that to whomever they feel needs it.

Bottomline: Do not despair, grumble, lose heart, or be tricked by the devil to falter in faith or to avoid Mass. Get to Mass and do it this Easter weekend and never avoid the Mass again for improper reasons.

Since this is Easter weekend, you will not likely have an opportunity for the Sacrament of Confession. Thus, at Easter Mass just remain in your pew. But, next week, be sure to confess your absence at however many Masses you have failed to attend. You do not have to explain why you missed them, just confess that you did.

By the way, many people have experiences like yours. You are not alone in this. Just keep your eyes on Jesus, and not one the nonsense around you. When doing this, you can walk on water (Matthew 14:28-31).

God Bless,
Bro. Ignatius Mary


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