06 November 2006

Why so riled up, Father?

Several readers have written me privately asking me to share what got me so riled up about vocations!

I will list the events so as to avoid any potentially uncharitable descriptors sneaking in:

1). A parish in SF allowed a group of HIV/AIDS activists known as the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulenge” to use the parish hall for a fundraising bingo game. The prizes included sex toys, porn DVD’s, and condoms. I will leave it to you to Google the sisters for more info. Be careful!

2). A parish in Orange, CA celebrates a “Halloween Mass” where the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are dressed as Satan.

3). The recent announcement of the LA archdiocese that Mahoney has approved the creation of Parish Life Directors. PLD’s will be laymen and will have the authority of a pastor even if there is a priest on staff.

4). The recent push in many dioceses to train lay leaders to use Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest. One editorial: in my experience lay-lead communion services confuse those attending. As a student brother doing hospital work on Tuesday, I called the fornt desk to ask the very Catholic receptionist to announce the following: “Br. Philip will be conducting a communion service at noon.” The actual announcement was: “Br. Philip will be celebrating Mass at noon.” I also heard on several occasions: “Sister Barbara will be celebrating Mass as noon.” Tell me SCAP won’t confuse. And, in my most uncharitable moments, I think confusion is precisely the point. There’s a agenda here, folks. Bet on it.

5). I love my UD students! They are smart, creative, independent, and very weird sometimes. But UD is something of a Catholic Bubble and I’m afraid that the easy availability of Mass, confession, and priests for spiritual direction will lead these students—especially the young men—to think that UD is somehow typical of the rest of the Church. For example, there are 28 opportunities for Mass a week here at UD. There are more than five hours of confession available and this doesn’t include “by appointment” that most priests on campus do. There are five or six priests active on faculty. Also, we have the Dominican Priory, the Cistcerian Abbey, the Opus Dei House, the Legionaries House, and two local parishes! It would be very easy for a young man with a vocation to come to be believe that he is not needed!

To answer one more question: yes, I will podcast the exhortation tomorrow!

Fr. Philip

UPDATE: I forgot one! The voters' guide put out by the National Coalition of American Nuns. The "sisters" are opposed to war partly b/c wars tend to kill children. They are also supportive of abortion b/c....uhmmmm?...b/c abortion doesn't kill children? Go figure.


  1. Anonymous2:55 PM

    All very good reasons, Father. UD maybe a Catholic bubble, and it may lead some men to think they are "not needed." However, being in close proximity to a good number of priests may help them realize that the priestly vocation is indeed doable.

    While a college student down in College Station, we did not have the large number of priests as say a Catholic univeristy would, but we had access to several wonderful, orthodox men living out their priestly vocations faithfully. Being able to see these men strive for holiness in their day-to-day duties helped us to see men behind the collar. We were able to see that they had struggles just like us.

    I believe having priests assessible helps, more than agitates the lack of courage.

  2. Fr. P.,

    The Holy Spirit has definitely used you to spread the message.

    I completely understand the notion of living in a "Catholic Bubble" and the unbelievable shock of realizing the Church in the USA was not as I had supposed all my life.

    The Truth shall not be suppressed and may Our Lord bless you richly. I will specifically pray for vocations this week.



  3. Good gravy! Which "nuns" orders belong to this association? How awful.

  4. Great blog :)
    God Bless you !

  5. Anonymous7:23 PM

    Thank you for being a witness to all the students at UD and nurturing vocations. God bless you & you're in my prayers!

  6. Father: If your UD students have been out in the world outside the campus, they KNOW what Catholicism can be like outside the U walls.

    I'm thankful for all of our truly Catholic universities. I went to CINO college in a time when if there was a truly Catholic college around, I'd never heard of it.

    The youth today are lucky-if you can believe I said that!

  7. Anonymous12:12 PM

    Who are these "nuns" in the National Coalition of American Nuns?
    As someone discerning a vocation it distresses me to see such awful views being propogated. It's no wonder that a vast majority of young Catholics are confused about the Church's position on many political issues.

  8. Anonymous1:05 PM

    Off topic, but I can't help wondering..

    So...why couldn't Rod Dreher find nourishing Catholicism in Dallas? Did he not have a map to UD?

  9. Father, I looked for an email address but did not find one. The comments box will have to do, I suppose.

    Were you present at the Vocation Awareness Program this year, held at UD and hosted by the Young Serrans?

  10. Laura,

    No, 'fraid not. My schedule didn't allow me to attend. I am the chaplain for the UD chapter of the Serra Club, so I was fully aware of what was going on...but, alas, my dance card is often full these days.

    Fr. Philip

  11. I remembered someone with the last name Powell and I couldn't remember if it was you or a brother. Anyway, I like the blog. I'll add you to my sidebar soon.

    Do you know Father Orosco?