Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A tale of two churches

Here are the places we attended Mass during our visit:

Mary, Queen of the Universe

The Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle

The first Sunday we were so disappointed on our trek to Sanford. I got the time wrong and we would have been a half hour late. We turned around, I pulled up on the Blackberry and we went back to Orlando so we didn't miss Mass all together.
We stumbled across Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine and went to the 6 pm Mass. The Shrine was very contemporary. Much metal and twisting and didn't really have a Catholic feel. The cross was made from glass columns laid together and looked very fragile. There was some tusk thing in the narthex over the baptismal font. My kids panicked when everyone in church had on shorts won't believe this...bathing suits. I couldn't believe my eyes. Yes, I know Orlando is touristy but dang....that just did me in. After communion, the cantor sang Ave Maria(which was nice) then....everyone applauded. My youngest son made an audible "uhhhhh" and I had to explain people aren't supposed to do that during Mass, to which he responded, "then why did they?" At least we got to go to Mass. I was thankful for that. They are providing a place for tourists who might otherwise not go to Mass on vacation. I've got to remember that.

The following Sunday, we had to hang in St. Petersburg for awhile but we made it to the Shrine of St. Jude and it was so nice. They have a 12:30 low Mass and the kids behaved and I could tell they felt at peace. The parish was very welcoming and I didn't feel like a "tourist". Father's homily was precious, as he spoke of one day being able to receive all of the Church's sacraments in the extraordinary rite. He reminded us it won't happen overnight but that we need to pray that our bishops stay true and loyal to the Magisterium. I've realized that I need my family to be where we feel called and not to force what isn't working.
After much prayer and reflection over our vacation, that is just what we will be doing. I know of a parish near us that will be offering the extraordinary rite(actually promoting it) and that may just be our new home. I pray God leads us where we need to be. I will always follow the truth(and an important part of that is Catholic truth). As mentioned in the article ma beck linked, we need to find a priest that leads his parish to Christ. That is where we will find truth. I admit, I do feel refreshed and have a new perspective on things after God allowed us to see the two different examples. All things for a reason...


Lily said...

You are right, everything for a reason. We had a similar experience this past sunday. We ended up at a Mass with applause, very casual attire (though not bathing suits), no tabernacle in sight (couldn't find it) and new prayers I've never heard before, glass goblets for the precious blood, EMs, female altar server, etc. All of my children asked if it was a Catholic Mass. I think it was the straw that finally broke the camel's back, so to speak. We live in a very liberal diocese and the effects are everywhere. Our bishop should be retiring within the next 4 years. We are praying for his replacement. Like you, this was a lake community we were in. I'll try to keep your thoughts in mind, if not for this parish perhaps vacationers would not go at all. Thanks for that advice. Makes me feel a little better. :-)

Ma Beck said...

Thornie's back!
Thornie's back!

(As a Floridian, I can attest to the accuracy of the "bathing suits as church attire" report. Sadly.)

Dymphna said...

Years ago Fr. Corapi talked about visiting a church in Florida. He was praying and looked up to see a girl in a bikini walking by. There's casual and then there's just plain disrespectful.