Sunday, June 27, 2010
The sound of silence
We had a great culture clash at Mass this morning. It was not a basketball culture clash such as we have had other years when the Gus Macker tournament was in town. (I always get a kick out of it when a stray basketball player lands at the Latin Mass.)
It was a Latin/English Mass culture clash.
We had a visiting priest in to give a homily about the state of the missions in the Philippines. He was telling us how jihadist terrorists there are kidnapping and torturing and killing priests and bishops. That is something you do not read about in the everyday media!
In the process of telling us this he addresses us and asks: "Who has heard of Osama Bin Laden?"
And we all just sit there. A packed church, and no one is saying a word.
Later he asks: "Who has heard the name Fulton Sheen?"
Fulton Sheen ...
... was a very famous pious archbishop who is up for canonization and this is a Latin Mass and trust me, every single person there knew who Fulton Sheen was. Even the teenagers knew, I am sure. Me, I even got an email once from a Leonard Pennario fan who said he was listening to Pennario while doing his Lenten reading of Fulton Sheen. That was the greatest. I think about that guy sometimes. I wonder how he is doing.
So anyway, we all knew who Fulton Sheen was but still, nobody says a word.
We all just sit there!
And the priest looked kind of puzzled but he went on gracefully with his talk. It is nothing against him. It is just that at this Latin Mass we do not talk.
Sometimes at the Latin Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians they drop the informality in the sermon and the priest might ask you a question or two and then people speak up and answer. They also do announcements there and tell you good morning, or good afternoon, or whatever.
I am uncomfortable with that, to tell you the truth.
We do not do that at St. Anthony's!
Once at Our Lady Help of Christians at the end of the Latin Mass they announced how one of the deacons had passed his test to become a fireman. I was shocked. Shocked, I tell you! They are wild, over there at Our Lady Help.
Not us. We like our formality!
But one tip: If you address us in Latin we might just answer back.