Says writer isn't alone - Catholic Courier

Says writer isn’t alone

To the editor,

In early September, new convert Gail Bryan wrote a letter of concern ("Seeks silence before Mass") about the amount of talking in church before Mass and the fact that many people leave before Mass is over. I read and replied to that letter while visiting my daughter who lives in Rochester.

Welcome home to the Catholic Faith, Gail, and please know that many other Catholics – cradle or otherwise – share your concerns. Both problems reflect either rude behavior or a lack of understanding about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at all times in each church and the fact that Mass ends only after the final blessing. For too long parish priests have neglected to catechize, guide — and when needed, chastise — people who engage in either of these rude activities. Prominent explanations and reminders in the Sunday bulletin would be a good start.

In general, if you attend a Tridentine (Latin) Mass, you might find that these problems are minimized, because the people who attend this form of the Mass are often more reverent and understand the importance of what you described in your letter. According to the website, Rochester appears to have two parishes that celebrate the Tridentine Mass. If possible, you might wish to consider attending weekly Mass at either one. Check this website or other relevant ones for location updates over time.

If attending a Tridentine Sunday Mass isn’t possible for whatever reason, I would express your concerns to your parish priest(s) and/or parish council until the problem is solved locally for you. Every Catholic should be concerned about these issues; every parish should be helping congregants to understand the value of these basic "manners" for the Lord – and to facilitate much-needed prayer and meditation within each of our churches.

Thanks for expressing your concerns. Know that you aren’t alone.

Charol Abrams
Doylestown, Pa.


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