Yesterday, Dr. Gerald Nadal posted this as his Facebook status:
"Tonight we went to 7:30 Mass. No Homily on the Assumption. A Maryknoll Priest stood in a half-empty Church on a Solemnity asking for money to spread the faith overseas. Was I the only one to catch the irony?"
I don't know the name of his parish but, I imagine that it probably bears a strong resemblance to many churches throughout the country yesterday. Marian devotion is something that is paid lip service to in May so that mom and dad can get a picture of their daughter crowning Mary. The importance of the Patroness of the Americas is lost on generations of Catholics who were taught heretically that "we are the body of Christ" and that those ideas like Marian devotion, novenas, fasting, feast days, and solmentities were old fashioned and that "Vatican II says we don't have to do that anymore."
You can compare this to our parish this weekend. It is a small parish in a blue collar town that used to be a company town. The average parishoner is by no means wealthy and there is a helathy mix of race, class, age, and gender. While not standing room only, the Saturday mass was filled to the point that pew space was limited and the Sunday masses are usually the same. This in a town with two Roman Catholic churches, 2 Russian Orthodox churches, a Byzantine Catholic church, a Ukranian Orthodox Church, and 1 or 2 non-denominational churches. The landmass of the town is 2 and a half square miles. The Roman rite parishes are overseen by the Redemptorists, all of whom are natives of Poland. There are several deacons, a school linked to one of the parishes, and all told a pretty active community. In Polish accented English, the priest reflected on the beauty of Mary and his love for her. While English was not his first language, his love for Mary was quite apparent. It was beautiful to hear a son of Poland express his love for Mary when, the day before, we celebrated the Feast Day of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a man who gave his life with the name of his and our Mother on his lips.
There is a need for evangelization in the rest of the world but, perhaps the Maryknolls could consider spending time preaching the Gospel instead of wasting their time protesting yet again at the School of the Americas, (which by the way hasn't been named that in YEARS.). Perhaps they could focus on the mission of the Church founded by Jesus Christ to bring people to God rather than jumping on whatever left wing political cause de jeure happens to be popular that week. Perhaps they could learn more from orders like Fr. Groeschel's Friars of the Renewal, (who I am sure focused on the Assumption this weekend), and understand that evangelization starts with The Word. Perhaps they could spend some time with the Redemptorists here who seem to have no problem with evangelizing regardless of anyone's language.
Perhaps this message could be carried back to Bishops who worry more about the color of the ink on the balance sheet than they do about the colors of the liturgical season. Bishops who would allow a major Marian feast to be hijacked by another heterodox order looking for money. Perhaps those Bishops would see the half empty church and consider if people are leaving the church or they are allowing the church to leave the people. If the flock isn't being fed, if in fact the flock isn't nourished but more wool is demanded, then the shepherds are at fault. My parish is lucky to have good shepherds, maybe we could send a Redemptorist to spend some time with Dr. Nadal's parish, I am sure he could accomplish more than the Maryknolls.