Sunday, 14 September 2008


Just a quick post to let you know how things are progressing. I feel I have sounded fairly snarky recently, this is not my intention, I'm not really such a curmudgeon, I do smile occasionally....

Where we have moved to is a region which (by necessity of having a very low density of Catholics) supports pastoral areas rather than parishes. The up shot of this is that, living nearly equidistant from two of the churches in the pastoral area, we don't feel we have a parish home/family. On e-mailing the lead priest in the area, he informed us that we could go to Mass where we wanted, I supposed we were a little underwhelmed by this response. So over the last couple of weeks, we have been trying out the alternatives. This has been far from satisfactory. Once you are given a choice, you start to become very critical. Do you prefer the Mass with the perfectly drilled altar servers but less friendly congregation to the one in the church which doesn't have a crucifix but where they sing like angels? We shouldn't be making these sort of comparisons, it is wrong, very wrong. The really big temptation now is to say we just can't feel at home, jump in the car and drive up to the Oxford Oratory.

Saw something that has stayed with me, yesterday. We went for a walk in the early evening, the moon was up and the sun was setting gracefully over the village. There was utter pandemonium coming from a near by lake. The Canada geese were really excited. Then the din stopped and the geese set off in groups of about 15 flying into the setting sun. They struggled to get much higher than the rooftops, it could have been a last staging post before a very long flight, they were probably at their fattest. After the last group had nearly disappeared over the horizon, one solitary goose turned around and headed back to the lake, calling into the gloom and not receiving an answer back. Had it lost its mate, did it not feel fit enough for the journey?..who knows..I felt strangely sorry for it though.

More likely though is that the rest were off to rich feeding ground at the Cotswold water park or even Slimbridge, and my little friend couldn't be bothered. Nature is not full of romantics.


Ponte Sisto said...

The Oxford option sounds very tempting!

It sounds as if you have moved into the diocese of Portsmouth?

AutumnRose said...

I have missed you!
I pray God will guide you into the right congregation for you, where you can both give and receive,
AR xxx

la mamma said...

Poor lambs. I hope you choose yourself and parish and settle down soon. Does either have a resident priest? I'm not really sure on how the grouping thing works. Keep us posted whenever you can. Pip pip!

Ttony said...

Dear Rita

my solution has been:

a. work out which your parish would have been if it hadn't been for pastoral areas;

b. go there each Sunday;

c. stick it out, for years if necessary.

Travelling up to an Oratory for Mass, or choosing which Mass according to the prettiness of the Liturgy ends up like a High Anglican's refusal to accept that "Mass" other than to "his" satisfaction is "real Liturgy".

It's not easy, and it might not be right in your circumstances, but offer it to God as one of the alternatives He has to give you. There will be something for you to do wherever He sends you.

Rita said...


wise words, thank you, that is what I needed to hear. I'm just tired of everything being difficult!

Irene said...

Not really difficult.

The Church -- the Body of Christ -- is everywhere all of the time. The members who attend mass on a particular day at a particular time in a particular place are united with all the other members in all the other masses at all other times and in all other places.

Go to mass wherever you happen to go. It does not matter whether the homily is inspired theology or not. It does not matter whether the altar servers are well drilled. It does not matter whether the worshippers sing like angels or bullfrogs. It does not matter whether you attend one of those churches or both on alternate Sundays.

It does matter that you join hands with the others who happen to be around you, pray with them, hear mass, and go forth to serve. It is in the unity that we are the Body of Christ. Except in our own idiosyncratic preferences, all parishes are the same.

Irene said...

Rita, I just found this on the "Holy Cards For Your Inspiration" blog for September 18th (Heart of Jesus):

I think this was made especially for you this day.