Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stealing from a brother priest!

Last evening and today, I visited San Antonio Parish in San Antonio, Florida, just down the road from Saint Leo Abbey. Last night, the priest in residence, Father Emmanuel, persuaded me to be the celebrant -- but he preached. This morning, Father Palka, the pastor, did it all; I was the con celebrant. That is a great way for a priest to pray the Mass, so long as the Mass I'd offered reverently, which this was.

At the end of Mass, Father surprised me when he said more or less the following: 

Fr. Fox dutifully presented his letter from his bishop,attesting that he's really a priest, but I knew who he was, he's famous! (Uh oh...) then Father mentioned my blog, and encouraged people to go visit it! So I had to rush to get something posted!

I told him after Mass that I'd be stealing two things from him: 

First, his homily, in which developed the following point: that if someone says (regarding the first reading) that it is impossible for Jonah to have been swallowed by a big fish, because nature won't allow it, then that person ceases to be Catholic in his thinking. Note well: Father did not say one must interpret the Book of Jonah only that way; but he insisted that rule out super-nature ever overriding nature is to deny miracles, and eventually, everything of the Faith collapses. He's 100% right, of course!

Second, the parish has a very sensible arrangement for distributing Holy Communion. They have lined up several kneelers, and people come forward on one side, and line very much as they used to prior to Vatican II. Except--no one has to kneel. Many do, while many stand. Also, many receive in the hand, while many others receive in the age-old way, on the tongue. Meanwhile, on the other side, people line up in a fashion more familiar in most parishes.

Why do I like this so much better? Several reasons. First, it is much easier to give people communion this way with less chance of the host being dropped. Many times, people barely stop moving in a communion line; that makes dropping the host more likely. Second, many are unsteady, and this gives them something to hold onto. Third, this gives folks a chance to settle and be recollected before receiving the Lord, which is crucial. Fourth, it accommodates those who wish to kneel. Fifth and finally, I think it actually goes quicker, but I can't prove that. (Maybe it's a miracle? Hmmm...)

After last nights Mass, I joined a group for dinner, which was fun. I learned a lot about goats from one of the folks! I hope to visit with these lovely folks again before I go.

Now my breakfast is here, so...posting!

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