Disrespect of Tradition, Scary Here

Garden

Disdain for Tradition, Scary

I spoke in a previous blog about a path, about forging a path, and while a path forward does require some adaptation and some transformation so as to not be stagnant, what have we gained from a total disdain of all things traditional, of Family, God, Faith and Country?  

I understand having to have a certain level of empathy and yes Jesus did, but he also said sin no more and said clearly there would be consequence for Sodom and Gomorrah.   He may have had tensions and conflict with their legalisms, but he still honored tradition, celebrated the feast days of the Jewish calendar.  He did not indicate disdain for the traditions of his ancestors and when they were using the church as a den of iniquities etc… he went ballistic.  The Latin Rite and other such Masses are a beautiful, sacred and meditative, contemplative form of the Mass that attract young people who seek an intimate mystical connection to the divine, and a return perhaps subconsciously to traditional values.  For this Pope to treat traditionalists and conservatives with such disdain is a stain on him and of great damage to society.  He should be celebrating this and encouraging this, instead of what he is doing, which is purging the Vatican of anything traditionalist and conservative, which will alienate people, will lead to a splinter of Orthodox Catholics forming their own group or joining the Eastern Right Church, and if they do it will serve the Vatican, which has become too liberal and this Pope right to have Catholics leave the faith in droves join the Eastern Right, even Orthodox Anglican or for The Catholic Orthodox Church and refuse to recognize the authority of the Vatican due to corruption etc…  After all, tradition is the glue that keeps things together, you that, you lose the soul, and the traditions of the Catholic faith are beautiful ones.

Amen

Culturally Here, Theologically There

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The Journey That is Life.

There is the divide, one not easily reconciled, if at all.  Culturally, being Italian the Roman Catholic faith is a central part of the identity, but I have never, even as a kid been comfortable with it.  

I remember even as a kid being resistant to confession, the whole notion of Papal authority and all that.  As I got older, the whole annulment thing, different things, no matter how it was explained, how logical it was presented, didn’t jive, even veneration of saints and icons.  It didn’t jive.  I find myself now with a disconnect between my cultural heritage and my theological, heartfelt belief. The cultural heritage is Italian and Roman Catholic with distinctly southern traditions of the faith and theological heartfelt beliefs along the lines of two things 1. The 39 Articles of Faith of the Anglican Creed and Christ Consciousness, that means something very particular to me, which I will explain.  Christ Consciousness to me means understanding the various layers of meaning to the teachings of Christ, heart, spirit and soul.  One thing that strikes me is that he dished out both Agape and tough love, didn’t shy away from calling out the missing of the target, he did it.  As I seek that home that aligns with me spiritually, theologically, creatively and can also help me to still honor my heritage, my Christ Conscious is invaluable as are my Italian-American identity, as well as my love of God and Country.  

Amen

Today, Like a Sudden Right Hook.

lightening

When our Monsignor said we needed a Pastoral Plan, I agreed because it made sense, perfect sense, so I got right on it, whatever the church needs in order to be saved, to be a church once again, we need to fight for tooth and nail.  We can’t do that unless we have a plan, a solid pastoral plan, so that is what I created, put together.  I send it to my colleague, thinking he wanted to make the church a glorious church of renown for the Italian American and Traditionalist communities.

Today, I got sucker punched, when I was asked why I cared about what the church needed, why I cared about what the Monsignor needed from us.  Then came the clear rejection of any intention of working any any such plan.   It was beyond comprehension to me that one would not realize how crucial it is for the survival of a church to bring back the sacraments, Mass on a regular basis, a full time vicar so on and so forth.  It boggles my mind that anyone would not realize that though the arts have a place in the church, the church is not an arts center, it is a place for the Sacraments and evangelizing, not for the showcasing of artists, unless you tie that in with fundraising for social services and other things such as structural improvements for the church.   It really struck me, hit my heart and soul in a way that I am not sure I can describe.  I asked at the meeting recently with the Monsignor what was needed for the church to thrive, to be saved, and I was given an answer, but when I shared it with my colleague I got a response that seemed to me like a “screw that, I am going to do what pleases me for the church, focus on the activities I want to do for the church, and screw what is needed or the Monsignor says we need, screw that”  If I am wrong, if I read it wrong , God forgive me, but if I didn’t, I thought well what do I do with this.? I do do care, and I gave my word that a pastoral plan would be presented.   I know my colleague is a good man, but his focus is not on the big picture, not on the whole pie, rather on slices of the pie.  That does not help the church, we have to first look at the whole pie, how to create a whole pie that will appeal and sell, then the individual slices within that pie.  I also wanted to make sure that the people, key people at that meeting knew I had done my part, had presented the plan, made it clear the necessity of that plan, that things must be interconnected.  I had to take again matters into my own hands, not to hurt my colleague, as I don’t want to do that, but to make sure that they knew I had kept my word and done what I had said I would do.  In my communication to my colleague I let him know that I assumed he would communicate to the Monsignor that I had submitted a rough draft of the plan, but he had rejected it and had no interest in pursuing such a thing.  I also let him know I would be notifying key people on my end of of that as well, along with other information I needed to relay to them about a meeting being postponed.  

It pained me that my passion for wanting to restore this church to a liturgical glory with a permanent vicar, and more, and the assessment of the Monsignor were not shared by my colleague, that he could not understand my caring.  I have great passion for saving this church, for bringing it to liturgical glory, making it a center of conservative liturgy, Mass regularly and so much more.  I had hoped my colleague would be on board to that, to reaching out to campuses in tandem with the Societies that are with us, to evangelization efforts through our church Missa Cantanta monthly that I have in mind, all part of the pastoral plan.  It hurts that this person does not have this passion and desire to bring full liturgy and so much more to this church, vespers perhaps.  I refuse to give up, refuse to give up on a Pastoral Plan, getting sponsors, bringing this church to full glory of liturgy!  

Amen

St Rocco, The Mass, Confirmed It, Again

St. Rocco Mass.  It got to standing room only.  Once again in contrasting this to the secular concert events we have had or months, with empty seats, the message was clear.  What was the message and what is the message with conservative, traditionalist churches and diocese thriving and liberal ones dying?

For one, wake up church, stop with the stupid, which is trying to be modern and hip and with it so to speak, stop dumbing down and stooping to the low level of secular.  Second, people don’t want secular stupidity, what they want is traditionalism, whether they consciously realize it or not.  Tradition, structure, they want it and they need it.  They need good old fashioned tradition and structure from the church, and it doesn’t have to be dull, it can be pure majesty, beauty, awe inspiring, filled with love, but though it can be Agape Love, like any good parent, it also has to have it’s element of tough love.  It has to have both and it can.  When I saw those pews filled and that we had to add folding chairs and then people having to stand, it just reinforced that the priority of funding and securing funds, priority for the arts program has to be a cantor, pianist and choral ensemble, the Mass, Concerto Masses, Latin and Italian Mass, these have to be the priority, not secular concerts, not the secular.  This Mass yesterday reinforced my resolve to bring that truth home in my meeting this week with our Monsignor and the Cathedral’s Music Director.  Not that one can’t do secular stuff, but that is not what ought to be the priority, even for funding.   It really made me want to be a part of the faith even more, find a way to be part of the arts within the faith even more, coordinate events related to the faith even more.  It really was a beautiful thing and though, due to work I had to do, due to a glitch of sorts that came up, so I couldn’t participate fully in the day, it was still a beautiful thing and a reaffirmation that what I need to focus on is the sacred, the traditional because that is what people crave, want and need.

Amen

 

What Do You Do With…?

Holy Ghost

As I was realizing that the Festival of San Gennaro was right around the corner and I had done all I could to coordinate things,  all I could, to get things moving as quickly and efficiently as possible, but was not getting as far as I should, things not moving as they should suddenly I was taken back in time.  

I was reminded of the movie The Sound of Music and when she is walking down the aisle to get married, the nuns start singing “What do you do with a problem like Maria?”  The song goes on to say that there’s many a thing you ought to tell her, many of thing she out to know, implied that she just doesn’t get stuff she ought to get.  Again it asks what to do with a problem like Maria.  The nuns had to acknowledge that you can’t really do much.  There are those who will never be focused, never be like a laser beam with their ideas, quick to action when action is what is needed.  There are maybe lots like Maria out there, who ought to get it, from how to treat friends and colleagues etc.., to how to be timely in their actions, reactions, have a sense of things, but don’t.  Often as a result projects that we may have been really hopeful about, had lots of enthusiasm about in the beginning, that can get crushed when you feel you are dealing with a Maria, male or female, that type of situation, person.  This birthday could have been one with a few smiles for me, but frustration from feeling like a lone ranger in getting things off the ground, moving etc.. take away the smiles this birthday.  Add on top of that the fibromyalgia acting up, and my frustration with this Pope, the “social justice, PC” confusion he has created, other factors and not feeling very smiley.  I realize also that I view Catholicism really more as a culture aspect, an aspect of heritage.  My true Christian soul is perhaps more in line, tune with let’s say the Neighborhood Church of the West Village, that Protestant, Congregational type of Christianity, a strong sense of the church being the one to foster the arts.   I guess my conflict or so called conflict, which I thought was about Jesus and who he was is more of one within my framework of faith as a Christian, in terms of “Is my soul Catholic or Anglican Conservative.  That is really what I need to explore and I intend to, but how?

I think that seeing how I would feel, fit into someplace like the NCGV and still respect my heritage, including the Catholic faith, but really see where I feel truly authentic and myself, where I feel I can fully embrace the theology.  The exploration really is about my Christianity, what does that mean to me, how do I identify myself, in terms of being Christian.  This is going to be interesting, but necessary.   As for my role as Arts Associate at MPB church, let’s see how that goes, if we can get organized for the arts program.  Not holding my breath on that, not totally.  I hope the church survives and thrives, really do.  There has to be a lot more of everyone being proactive, efficient and organized, moving at a solid fast pace to accomplish what is to be accomplished.  We shall see, only time can tell.  One thing I do know is that the ballon of hope for great collaboration etc…has been somewhat deflated.  Who knows it might just turn around right?

Amen

Going to Plan B?

soaring eagle

I care for much for my faith, for the core truths of the faith and the magisterium, boundaries taught in sacred scripture, and also for the parish I now call home, for the traditions of my heritage.  I would hate to see that lost, so what do I do?

I understand clearly that as much as one would like to be fluffy and romantic about one’s parish, one’s church, one also has to be practical, and for a parish, a church is like any other business and requires funds to pay the bills.  The faith in order to survive must at some point return to its’ roots, so much nations or they will cease to be America, Italy, Germany etc.. if they do not do so and firmly, not in a negative way, but do so.  I understand that and so I have discerned that a series of regular fundraisers will be required and where my heart rests is with the arts, with music, so when an offer was made to me by a wonderful choral group to perform for us, to fundraise for us I could not say no on behalf of the parish and knew we would require 30 days to organize, set up ticket sales etc…  I knew for any event to succeed we would require solid planning, PR and Marketing, not just in our own little world and neighborhood but beyond those four walls.  However, when others are not getting it, and are not getting what will put the organization “on the map”, back to its’ roots big time etc.. I have to scratch my head and think what I can do to help that entity to thrive on my own time.  It is frustrating, but I may not have a choice. What can I do?  Being on SSDI, I am limited in my personal resources, but that does not mean I can’t do artistic events on my own time and donate part of those proceeds to the church.  Frankly, not sure what else to do.

What will I work on putting together? I am going to work on giving Catholic artists a chance to work with me to put on a show  monthly, a lunchtime show An Afternoon of Song, Poetry and Prayer, with light lunch included. The music and prayer will be in English, Italian and Latin.  There will be plenty of PR, preparation, with heaven’s help lots of efficient planning, so it brings glory to the Holy Trinity and much needed funds to my parish, but also brings people back to traditional Catholic and Italian roots.

Amen