Writer: Strike balance of tradition, innovation - Catholic Courier
People are pictured in a file photo praying during a Mass for immigration reform at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in the Corona neighborhood of the New York borough of Queens. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) gathers results of a poll conducted by the World Values Survey and reports findings on Mass attendance worldwide, noting that pre-and-post-pandemic factors and economic correlations affect those numbers. (OSV News photo/CNS file, Gregory A. Shemitz) People are pictured in a file photo praying during a Mass for immigration reform at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in the Corona neighborhood of the New York borough of Queens. (OSV News photo/CNS file, Gregory A. Shemitz)

Writer: Strike balance of tradition, innovation

To the editor:

A recent article in the Catholic Courier (page 5 of October 2023 issue and online here) reported on Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s concerns about declining Mass attendance in the U.S. attributable, at least in part, to prolonged Mass length and the inability to understand the priest. I suspect that the issues are much more extensive and complex.

The rejuvenation of the Catholic Mass will require a multifactorial, disciplined approach and careful balance between longstanding religious tradition and incorporation of modern innovation.

Through inclusion of multicultural music liturgy, utilization of modern technology to display music content and prayer wording, extending opportunities for lay involvement, educating priests and deacons to deliver meaningful and pertinent homilies that address traditional religious values and their application in a chaotic world, and fostering a more hospitable and inviting community environment the Catholic Church can re-engage lost parishioners to return to Mass with a reaffirmed enthusiasm and commitment to their faith while preserving the values of time-honored tradition.

It is through conscientious, innovative change that the Mass can be successfully modified to provide a more meaningful experience for all members of the Catholic community.

Francis G. Belardi, MD
Sayre, Pa.
Member Elmira Catholic Community

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