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Outgoing, humble bishop
I had the privilege of being at St. Joan of Arc Church recently when an icon of St. Joan of Arc was dedicated by our new bishop, Michael C. Barber, SJ.
He remained afterward and met with all who wanted to greet him. He is a very outgoing, yet humble man.
We finally have a bishop!
Where is the joy?
As many Catholics know, this is the year of "Catholics Come Home." This is a wonderful invitation but I have observed something that is sorely missing.
Where is the joy? As a Catholic who has the great advantage of attending daily Mass and of course being there on Sunday, I am seeing a lot of "Catholic" but I don't see nearly enough smiles.
How in the heck are we going to expect the fallen away Catholics to want to come home when some of the ones that are already home look as glum as a rainy day? I have too often watched the lector approach the podium looking as if he or she were being led to the electric chair. And then they proceed to read the readings sounding like a zombie.
When I am approaching the altar for Communion I have a smile on my face because I know that I am about to receive my Savior and yet many times the minister of that precious wafer and even at times the priest have no joy in their face at all!
I am a Catholic who has gone back to receiving Communion on my tongue and sadly there are sometimes ministers who practically throw the Communion into my mouth with a look of detest on their face. Come on guys! Where is our joy? Where are the smiles that should be all over our faces, the ones that come from knowing that we are a redeemed people?
We are supposed to be carrying the "Good News." Whenever I carry good news to anyone, I have a smile on my face. We can still be pious with a smile on our faces so let's look like we are truly happy to be Catholic and smile!
I am a life-long practicing Catholic, confirmed by Oakland's first bishop, Floyd L. Begin, when I was a kid in Cleveland where he was bishop before coming here. I am also a happy supporter of the changes worked by Vatican II.
That's why it was encouraging for me to see the report (Voice, June 10) that a survey of priests showed 59 percent were not happy with the current Roman Missal, that 80 percent deemed the wording "awkward and distracting." So I was not alone in my initial reactions to the missal.
The wording is superfluous, unwieldy, tedious, (and a few times inaccurate/wrong) and, considering that the Church's first duty is to evangelize, and that every Mass is a teaching opportunity, the Roman Missal is decidedly dysfunctional.
I've watched the priests struggling with the cumbersome verbiage, even native-born priests (suffer the poor foreign-born, ESL, priests), and I consider their obedience nothing less than heroic.
I also consider the missal to be anti-Charismatic and anti-ecumenical, and I could write pages in support of these views. And if I (little old me) can see these problems, how many more can there be?
Two unrelated articles caught my attention (Voice, June 24). On the front page a photo of Most Rev. John S. Cummins administering Confirmation depicted a bishop certainly not the person of John Cummins.
The second article quoted the newly appointed chairman of the National Review Board which advises the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection of the U.S. National Council of Bishops. He is quoted: "What the bishops and the National Review Board have done sets a model for other institutions and organizations."
Developing a model and following through on the actions so prescribed are obviously distinct categories. For The Voice to say that the "Church has led the way in addressing abuse of minors" is incredulous to Catholics that I know, not to mention the majority of the American people. When all of the American bishops walk the walk as well as talk the talk, American Catholics will listen once again.
Karl S. Pister
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