QUAERITUR: Diocese asking everyone at Mass to extend arms and “bless” the priest

From a reader:

Diocese of Albany is asking all Mass attendees to participate in ritual of extending our arms and praying and blessing the priest who just said Mass.  Part of their “Called by Name” vocations pitch. I didn’t hold up my arm, I folded my hands & prayed for the priest. Not comfortable. Am I uncharitable?

Goodness gracious. Quousque tandem?

Some dioceses did this “Called by Name” program some thirty years ago.  If I am not mistaken, a large number of names of potential priestly vocations were identified this way. Most of them were from relatively conservative backgrounds. But in those days, the men who responded often had a hard time of it indeed. Many did not survive their seminaries, their bishops, or their diocesan vocation directors.  Dark days.  Dark days.  Think of the book Goodbye! Good Men: How Catholic Seminaries Turned Away Two Generations of Vocations From the Priesthood.

Seminaries are different now, thanks be to God.  They have been cleaned up.  The cleaning began from “below”, because the seminarians themselves wouldn’t endure the rubbish anymore.  They told their bishops. Bishops on the boards of seminaries had to do something. Therefore, faculties were reigned in or turned over.  By now a critical mass has been attained.  But I digress.

By the way, there is some… amazing verbiage about vocations to the priesthood on the website of the Diocese of Albany.  For example:

“Presently the Church does not allow for the ordination of women or married men. This matter cannot be resolved at the local level. For the spiritual well being of our faithful people we cannot allow this to prevent us from aggressively seeking new priesthood candidates for our diocese.”

That’s the sort of ringing endorsement of the Church’s teaching sure to inspire hundreds, nay rather, thousands of young men to flock to Albany to become priests.

On that note, I’m thoroughly shocked that their website only shows six men in formation for Albany.  By contrast the Diocese of Madison has 32 seminarians. They are all required to learn the Extraordinary Form.  Albany in 2006 had 403,000 Catholics in a population of 1,351,000 (29.8%).  Madison in 2004 had 269,556 Catholics in a population of 947,699 (28.4%).  I’m just sayin’…

Back to the reader’s question.

I couldn’t find any specifics on Albany’s website about the congregation blessing the priest thing. I don’t doubt that it’s being done, or that it’s even being encouraged.

If there’s anything in print – a bulletin or flyer – calling for it, make a copy and send it to the Nuncio and to the Congregation for Divine Worship.

If not, if it was just a verbal invitation.  “Blah, blah, blah.” One might make a video/audio recording it and send it in.  Otherwise, or simply fold your hands, bow your head and pray.

“But Father! But Father!”, some are saying. “You hate Vatican II!  You don’t want people to participate! I hope the ordained minister and others in the assembly ask those people why they hate Vatican II and why they object to active participation!”

If, dear questioner, you are ever quizzed about why you didn’t participate in this silly ceremony of “blessing the priest,” you might respond, “The priest is the one who’s getting a stipend for the Mass. He darn well better be the one giving me a blessing!”

 

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Priests and Priesthood, Vocations and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to QUAERITUR: Diocese asking everyone at Mass to extend arms and “bless” the priest

  1. iPadre says:

    I know someone who met with the Albany vocation director a number of years ago. He was told that if he wasn’t open to woman priests and married priests, he need not apply. And we wonder why our churches are empty!

  2. Jenelle says:

    I found the page with all of the information on the program –

    http://www.albanyvocations.org/calledbyname.html

  3. The Diocese of Knoxville had 53,000 Catholics in 2005, and now has 19 seminarians. With the same number of seminarians proportional to their Catholic populations, Madison should have 96 seminarians (instead of 34), and Albany should have 144 seminarians (instead of only 6). But even with “only” the vocations per capita ratio of Madison, Albany should have 51 (instead of 6) seminarians.

    I wonder whether there’s any better index of the episcopal leadership in a diocese over time, than the number of vocations it produces.

  4. Another possible index of something: The Diocese of Knoxville has TLMs in 4 of its 47 parishes. With the same porportion, the Diocese of Madison would have TLMs in 11 of its 130 parishes, and the Diocese of Albany would have TLMs in 14 of its 167 parishes. Perhaps readers can tell us their actual TLM counts.

  5. wmeyer says:

    Henry Edwards, Knoxville is very blessed.

  6. Faith says:

    Wasn’t the question about blessing a priest? That’s what I’d like some answers on, also. My parish priest gave a blessing to an acquaintance of mine. Then my friend asked if the priest wanted his blessing. Well, the priest had a conniption! Can a lay person bless a priest? Isn’t this what this congregation was doing?
    The priest explained to my friend that he was fussy about who was praying over him.
    We didn’t know. What’s the protocol or etiquette?

  7. Daniel says:

    “Some dioceses did this ‘Called by Name’ program some thirty years ago.”

    Bishop Hubbard of Albany has been in office for 35 years.

  8. Bryan Boyle says:

    and from what i understand from first hand accounts, +Hubbard has been in Albany for 35 years too long. the good Benedict is cleaning out the Augean Stables in upstate NY..but he has a few mor dioceses to get through.

  9. mwa says:

    It doesn’t mention exactly how it is to be carried out, but the congregation blessing the priests is called for on page 2 of the “Called By Name” Program General Information packet on the Albany diocese webpage http://www.albanyvocations.org/docs/CalledByName2012/generalinfo.pdf
    for the Month of October 2012 it states:
    “The weekend of October 27/28 is Priesthood Sunday. A representative from you parish/pastoral council will lead the parish in blessing their priest(s) at all the Masses that weekend (the Diocesan Pastoral Council will coordinate this with your parish/pastoral council). Following the blessing of the priest(s), the parish/pastoral council representative or priests is asked to briefly introduce the upcoming “Called by Name” Program noting the importance of the program to our future.”

  10. mwa says:

    to Faith @6:55pm
    here’s a very brief answer to your question from EWTN
    http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/blessings.htm
    Canon 1169
    1. Persons who possess the episcopal character as well as presbyters to whom it is permitted by law or by legitimate concession can validly perform consecrations and dedications.
    2. Any presbyter can impart blessings, except those which are reserved to the Roman Pontiff or to bishops.
    3. A deacon can impart only those blessings which are expressly permitted to him by law.
    A blessing is a good conferred by a higher personage on a lower personage. All true blessings ultimately come from God, though they come through those whom He has placed over others. In the family parents bless their children, as God has given them natural authority over their children. In the Church spiritual blessings are conferred in God’s Name by those to whom He has given spiritual authority over His People. As is evident by the above, blessings are given by priests (who have the power of the keys), though some are reserved to bishops (high priests). Deacons may also bless, but only where the ritual books, and thus the Church, provide the authority by law. Since the laity do not possess spiritual authority in the Church they cannot confer blessings. The laity can impose some sacramentals (ashes, St. Blaise blessing), but using objects previously blessed by the ordained.

  11. Athelstan says:

    Ah – the travails of living in Hubbard Land. How long, O Lord? One must pray for the bishop, but also for his eventual successor, who will have one heck of mess to clean up.

    “Presently the Church does not allow for the ordination of women or married men. This matter cannot be resolved at the local level. For the spiritual well being of our faithful people we cannot allow this to prevent us from aggressively seeking new priesthood candidates for our diocese.”

    To translate from Passive Aggressive Talk: “The Diocese of Albany really wants to ordain women, but we haven’t been able to persuade the bigots in Rome to do so – yet.” Which, as iPadre notes, is confirmed by the plentiful anecdotal evidence that exists that the leadership in Albany has been pushing women’s ordination at many levels for many years.

  12. contrarian says:

    I feel sorry for the priest getting ‘blessed’ by the schlubs in the pews. How emasculating. Just in case he doesn’t already feel emasculated by sitting there like an idiot for half of the NO mass while gals read things and sing things, now he has to get this patronizing ‘blessing’ from people.
    You can only laugh.

    Makes a guy want to just say, “Alright. That’s it. I’m done with this,” and then go join a separatist group.
    And save that…watch football.
    If I’m a trying to convince some dude to come to Mass who has been scared off do to crap like this (let’s assume he’s an average Catholic and doesn’t know hardly anything about the Faith), and then they mention to me that they won’t go as long as this blessing nonsense is going on, how do I respond?
    I got nothin’.
    I probably say, “Yeah, good point. Let’s just stay here and watch the Giants. Pass the beer.”

    Speaking of bulging seminaries, I’m pretty sure that the SSPX sem is hardly pining for vocations.
    I wonder why? It’s SO hard to figure this out.

  13. Pingback: Nigeria Muslim Attacks Catholics Beauty God and Rape | Big Pulpit

  14. I’ve never done that practice, it’s always disturbed me. Way to not promote vocations.

  15. VexillaRegis says:

    Copying a LCWR practice is sure going to bring Albany lots of vocations, LOL!

  16. TC says:

    @Athelstan
    +Hubbard turns 75 in a year, 10/31/13. I hope His Holiness has a successor ready to go.

    I wonder if there is a correlation between diocese size and lack of vocations, liturgical abuse, &c, &c. Albany covers 14 counties with ~300K Catholics. Syracuse & Rochester are roughly the same.

    All the good news seems to be coming from much smaller dioceses.

  17. Glen M says:

    The correlation between liturgical abuse/orthodoxy and vocations crisis is obvious. The good news is Bishop Hubbard is nearing retirement where he and Bishop Clark can enjoy their sunset. The Church has been through worse; it will rebuild.

  18. The Masked Chicken says:

    I believe an abbot can legitimately give a blessing to those under him. I thought a parent could bless his children, although perhaps not sacramentally. Laity, in general, cannot impart a blessing, although, I suppose they can pray that a person be blessed. Impartation of a blessing is a direct action. It can’t be done sacramentally except by those to whom the right has been given.

    I would definitely contact the nuncio over this and ask that the whole program be examined.

    The Chicken

  19. robtbrown says:

    Henry Edwards says:
    The Diocese of Knoxville had 53,000 Catholics in 2005, and now has 19 seminarians. With the same number of seminarians proportional to their Catholic populations, Madison should have 96 seminarians (instead of 34), and Albany should have 144 seminarians (instead of only 6). But even with “only” the vocations per capita ratio of Madison, Albany should have 51 (instead of 6) seminarians.

    From a more pragmatic standpoint, there is the matter of ordination at replacement rate. Using BOSVAI (Brown Overly Simplified Vocational Assessment Index), divide the number of priests in a diocese (or religious province) by 40. The result is the average of how many priests need to be ordained yearly to maintain present levels (which are of course now understrength).

    The number 40 is used as an approximation of years of active priesthood, having factored in deaths and defections. After having used 35 for many years, I now use 40 because there are few defections now Even so, it is generous because I am told that there is a demographic bubble that will pop in the next 10-15 years.

  20. Vincent. says:

    This happened in my Albany Diocese parish this Sunday. Being uncomfortable with this action, I did the same as the person who wrote Fr. Z. Not only is it not part of the Mass but it just looks strange in my opinion. We have a relatively new pastor who has done a lot of great things, like restore the tabernacle to its rightful place, and I suspect he has other plans which he is slowly implementing. In a way I’m glad to know that the instruction to do this came from the diocese and not one of the folks in the parish.

  21. robtbrown says:

    iPadre says:
    I know someone who met with the Albany vocation director a number of years ago. He was told that if he wasn’t open to woman priests and married priests, he need not apply.

    I also knew a man who had the same experience. He was an older guy who found another group but died from cancer before ordination.

  22. “Another possible index of something: The Diocese of Knoxville has TLMs in 4 of its 47 parishes. With the same porportion, the Diocese of Madison would have TLMs in 11 of its 130 parishes …”

    According to a friend of mine in the Diocese of Madison, they have the TLM in ten parishes.

  23. The Diocese of Arlington has the TLM every Sunday in eight of its 68 parishes and missions, plus several more locations for weekdays. With just over 402,000 faithful, served (as of 2007) by 258 priests, we presently have 37 seminarians.

  24. acardnal says:

    manwithblackhat: As a member of the Madison diocese, I question the number of TLM Masses as being eleven. Unfortunately, I know of ONLY 4 parishes: Holy Redeemer in Madison, St. Norbert’s in Roxbury, St. Aloysius in Sauk City and St. Mary’s in Platteville.

  25. acardnal says:

    AND. . .St. Augustine’s in Platteville. That’s five parishes that I know of. If there are others, I would love to know their names.

  26. Vincent. says:

    I always wondered how many people who follow this site were from the Albany Diocese.

    (I also wonder if the cathedral will invite retired episcopal bishop David Ball will be a concelebrant for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception like they did last year. )

  27. EXCHIEF says:

    Diocese of Baker Oregon: TLM’s = ZERO; Seminarians 1 (but for another Diocese)

  28. robtbrown: “divide the number of priests in a diocese (or religious province) by 40. The result is the average of how many priests need to be ordained yearly to maintain present levels”

    A useful index, but one that fails to take into account the present staffing and age spectrum of priests in a diocese. An understaffed diocese with aging priests needs proportionally more vocations in the short run than one like mine with younger priests in sufficient number that [I believe] every parish with more than a few hundred families has 2 or 3 priests assigned to it.

    However, a quick check suggests that the latter (younger and more vibrant) diocese fare better on your index, even though they need fewer new vocations than the older dioceses that have languished for years or decades under poor bishops who did not sustain faith.

  29. benedetta says:

    Vincent, I am in the D of Albany also. When we first moved here I was dismayed at the inability to find a simply reverent, liturgical abuse free Sunday Mass. With the encouragement of this blog, we began attending the TLM at St. Joseph’s in Troy, NY and have found it not only to be a beautiful Mass but also have found it to be an excellent community and parish to belong to. I notice the increasing numbers of young people there all the time.

    With respect to the program of discontinuity at the vast majority of NO Masses, most young faithful people I know just roll their eyes and tolerate it, yearning for beauty and simplicity. Haugen and Haas reign supreme with liturgists locally and there are a number of notable practices that while not outright liturgical abuse are irreverent, or chancy (although there are some liturgical abuses which are quite common here). There seems to be an investment in playing fast and loose with the rubrics, to attempt to go as far as possible and given that it doesn’t seem that people demand or enjoy this, the only conclusion is that it is dictated to parishes which just accept it resignedly.

    One can point to numerous trends establishing that young people are looking for reverence and beauty in worship, as well as the relative successes other dioceses have had in attracting solid vocation candidates. This knowledge is out there, known and readily available, accessible, for many years. It has been tested and proven to yield good results. The other current approach here is insisted upon despite the longtime lack of results. Among youth, the approach foments confusion and outright rejection of the faith. There is a somewhat palpable appeal to the baby boomer generation which rejects the core teachings of the Church and seems to not be able to decipher between good and irreverent liturgy. But this generation has not and is not the one that is providing, or even seems to need, new vocations. The entire situation can be very upsetting. The best one can do at present is remain prayerful and impart to others a joyful, loyal faith.

  30. CatherineTherese says:

    Vincent & Benedetta,

    Fellow Albany WDTPRS’er here… And I’m aware of a couple others. (Blognic, anyone?). Thank God for Father Z who, through his blog, has opened a window for me… a view of the fullness and beauty and truth of our faith, and its liturgy reverently and rightly celebrated. Here in this backwater, as it were, it can be easy to assume that Orthodoxy is dead…

    But it is not dead. Benedetta is right, St. Joseph’s is a beacon, and there are others if you know where to look. Yes, it is sad to consider the scorched earth and lost souls – they need our prayers. But GRACE ABOUNDS all the more. Pray for our holy father Pope Benedict (Deo Gratias & ad multos annos), for the faithful priests here who persevere and shine light, for our current bishop, and for the holy priest/bishop who will one day be assigned as his successor. The Lord is preparing for this eventuality, sowing the ground and fortifying the future shepherd.

    ct

  31. Vincent. says:

    CatherineTherese & Benedetta,

    Thanks for your responses. I am aware of St. Joseph’s in Troy and have been wanting to go for quite some time and bring one of my old-timer friends along. My parish does have one seminarian at Mundelein Seminary right now, so that’s positive.

  32. PostCatholic says:

    Seminaries are different now, thanks be to God. They have been cleaned up.

    Where did you attend? Of the seminaries I attended, one has closed, another has seen some big administrative changes, and another is in the the early throes of the same. Whether that’s cleaned up or not, I don’t know.

  33. benedetta says:

    CatherineTherese,
    You are certainly correct that there are wonderful signs of hope in the D of Albany — some amazing priests, great faith filled families producing vocations, members of religious orders doing yoeman’s work, young energized lay people working in parishes and organizations. We make sure to pray for our Bishop and our Holy Father daily. Leadership is challenged and tested mightily in these times. It has been fascinating for me to observe how with very little means and resources, some really tremendous things are happening…proof that grace surely does abound.

  34. benedetta says:

    Vincent,
    I would say that Mundelein is making its mark here in fantastic grace filled ways! Thanks be to God for the terrific people at Mundelein! I have even been thinking of writing a letter to thank them on behalf of the people of this diocese for the formation they provide to holy young priests! Such joy and dedication we are seeing in these men!

  35. acardnal says:

    benedetta, do you know if 1) Mundelein is teaching Latin as a mandatory course and 2) are they teaching the TLM/EF ?

  36. benedetta says:

    acardnal, I do not know those specifics, but, my sense is that the formation it provides is solid enough that a young priest would be well positioned to learn these on his own, with some discipline and effort, if the seminary itself is not at this moment teaching these. From the interest the TLM is getting from young people, I should think that there will be a need for this training in the foreseeable future. From the seminaries of past that Fr. Z refers to, I also think that it is a great thing if a seminary does not necessarily discourage such training out of hand as so many things.

    One commonality I have observed among the young priests trained there is a profound regard for the Real Presence, and a greater, more healthy respect for the grace imparted by the sacrament of confession, and a willingness to hear confessions generally. Where we are this is a shining light, regardless of whether you are attached to the TLM or attend an NO Mass, and many people I know have commented on the benefits of this for themselves and their families. This is very effective in contributing to an overall renewal here. I should add also that they are joyful and quite approachable, socially very enjoyable to meet. So I would say that this seminary is making an impact, and, though there are not huge numbers of seminarians the vocations we do have are quite precious to us.

  37. acardnal says:

    Benedetta, that is great news! And now they have a new Rector, Fr. Robert Barron. So hopefully improvements will continue.

    The reason I asked was there is a priest here in his mid-30’s who went to seminary there. Probably about 10-11 years ago he was ordained. He mentioned rather boastfully from the ambo during the transition to the new translation of the NO Missal last Advent “don’t worry. I won’t be saying Mass in Latin. I never learned Latin anyway.” Laughter. He also celebrates Mass with some liturgical abuses, e.g. calling the laity from their pews into the sanctuary to surround the altar during Holy Thursday Mass.

  38. Cricket says:

    ACardnl is correct: Just 5 parishes in the Diocese of Madison, WI offer a weekly TLM. Of these, only 2 (Holy Redeemer & St. Norberts) celebrate Sunday TLM during “prime time,” i.e., later than 6:30 a.m. I could be mistaken, but I believe St. Norberts is also the only church to have a daily TLM. So far…

  39. laurazim says:

    Henry Edwards says:
    29 October 2012 at 6:41 pm

    The Diocese of Knoxville had 53,000 Catholics in 2005, and now has 19 seminarians. With the same number of seminarians proportional to their Catholic populations, Madison should have 96 seminarians (instead of 34), and Albany should have 144 seminarians (instead of only 6). But even with “only” the vocations per capita ratio of Madison, Albany should have 51 (instead of 6) seminarians.

    I wonder whether there’s any better index of the episcopal leadership in a diocese over time, than the number of vocations it produces.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This is an incomplete statistic. Not only is your number incorrect (we have 32 men currently in seminary, not the 34 you stated), but it fails utterly to address the past nine years of incredible growth in vocations to the priesthood *and* the consecrated life which our diocese has experienced since the arrival of His Excellency, Bishop Morlino. When we were blessed by his appointment in 2003, our diocese had–I believe–FIVE men in seminary, total, with very few prospects for more. At this time, I can personally recall four young men who are seriously considering the seminary, one of whom is working to complete his application–and that’s just from one tiny *authentically Catholic* school (a total of 68 students in grades 6-12). From the Cathedral Parish this fall, three new seminarians were announced.

    Your “should have” statement borders on offensive at worst, and uncharitable at best. Many dioceses are working hard under the prayerful guidance and shepherding of good and faithful bishops and priests working as vocations directors. These holy men are doing the work necessary to block out haughty opinions that there “should be” more vocations, to elicit earnest and sincere prayer for an increase in vocations to the ordained and consecrated lives from all faithful Catholics, and to clean up the messes left behind by the practices of misguided bishops and priests before them.

    In the Diocese of Madison, many of the flourishing vocations have been attributed to perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, available at Holy Redeemer Church (part of the Cathedral Parish), as well as the Quo Vadis group opportunity, the Parish Chalice program, and open and joyful talk about vocations to the ordained and religious lives. Our informational page is http://www.madisondiocese.org/Vocations.aspx . I encourage you to visit it to become more informed about what is really happening, rather than relying on meaningless numbers isolated from facts. 32 men in seminary is a number in which we rejoice!!!

  40. robtbrown says:

    Henry Edwards says,

    robtbrown: “divide the number of priests in a diocese (or religious province) by 40. The result is the average of how many priests need to be ordained yearly to maintain present levels”

    A useful index, but one that fails to take into account the present staffing and age spectrum of priests in a diocese. An understaffed diocese with aging priests needs proportionally more vocations in the short run than one like mine with younger priests in sufficient number that [I believe] every parish with more than a few hundred families has 2 or 3 priests assigned to it.

    See my last sentence: Even so, it is generous because I am told that there is a demographic bubble that will pop in the next 10-15 years.

  41. Laurazim,

    I am sorry that my “should have” statement was phrased in a way that admitted an uncharitable interpretation that could not be further from my intent. I was writing strictly as the mathematician that I am, without making or intending to imply any value judgement whatever–though I might be willing to offer one gratis in the quite different case of Albany–merely noting as a purely numerical matter that with the same number of seminarians per capita as my own diocese, Madison and Albany “would have” the cited increased numbers of seminarians.

    I might mention that, as a former resident of Madison, having spent some of my best young Catholic years there, I am profoundly appreciative of Bishop Robert Morlino–who’s right at the top of my personal list of our country’s very finest and most faithful bishops–and of his wonderful accomplishments in and for the Diocese of Madison (which I continue to follow closely). Let me thank you for the additional (and gratifying) facts you provide, about which I join you in rejoicing.

    That said, I hope no misunderstanding remains to need further clarification from me.

  42. robtbrown: “Even so, it is generous because I am told that there is a demographic bubble that will pop in the next 10-15 years.”

    Precisely the point I was addressing–that when and whether a “demographic bubble” will pop in a given diocese depends on the age spectrum of its present priests, and whether it is ordaining (and continues to ordain) priests at a greater rate than the anticipated rate of priestly retirements, which various greatly from one diocese to another.

  43. benedetta says:

    I doubt very much that present candidates are being asked to affirm their openness to ‘womenpreests’ as perhaps went on in times past. The verbiage Fr. Z cites is regrettable, however. It is somewhat akin to mission territory, but this is still a wonderful place for a priest to live out his vocation, and a man willing to devote himself to the needs of Catholics here is to be greatly admired. Are there litmus tests like the one cited from times past? There may be similar things still floating around here or there but a prudent candidate can deflect much of that, knowing that they aren’t authoritative nor are they coming from a groundswell of consensus among the faithful. Candidates who feel called should concentrate on actually getting ordained, knowing that there is an excellent future ahead here.

  44. acardnal says:

    cricket, ” I believe St. Norberts is also the only church to have a daily TLM. So far…”

    St. Mary’s in Platteville offers a daily TLM and then St. Augustine at the campus (serviced by the same priests, I think) offers a Sunday TLM according to my internet searches.

    Hopefully, with our new President of the Tridentine Mass Society of Madison inspiration, a daily TLM/EF will be offered somewhere, and even more parishes will offer the Mass of the Ages as we increase our promotion. I am currently paying for some advertising in the diocesan newspaper to publicize this Mass. .

  45. acricketchirps says:

    @Henry Edwards: The Diocese of Knoxville had 53,000 Catholics in 2005, and now has 19 seminarians. With the same number of seminarians proportional to their Catholic populations, Madison should have 96 seminarians, and Albany should have 144 seminarians. But even with “only” the vocations per capita ratio of Madison, Albany should have 51 seminarians.

    @Henry Edwards: The Diocese of Knoxville has TLMs in 4 of its 47 parishes. With the same porportion, the Diocese of Madison would have TLMs in 11 of its 130 parishes, and the Diocese of Albany would have TLMs in 14 of its 167 parishes.

    @wmeyer: Henry Edwards, Knoxville is very blessed.

    I’d say the Diocese of Knoxville is doubly blessed to have a guy who can do fractions like Henry Edwards.

  46. Joseph-Mary says:

    I see this ‘everybody raise their hands and give a blessing nonsense’ sometimes when I travel or I used to see it in my former diocese and parish. Do not see it here. I would fold my hands and say a prayer.

    Info on the Archdicoese of Denver where there is only one FSSP parish. In my town we have a young priest who took it upon himself to learn the TLM in Seminary and we have it once a month on a Monday in the middle of the morning on Father’s day off. We need more TLM.

    How large is the Catholic population in the Archdiocese of Denver?
    The total number of registered Catholics in the Archdiocese of Denver reaches 549,325, which accounts for 16.4% of a general population totalling approximately three million people.

    How many clergy and religious serve the archdiocese?
    Cardinals – 1
    Archbishops – 1
    Bishops – 1
    Retired archbishops – 1
    Abbots – 1
    Total diocesan priests – 191
    Religious order priests – 104
    Extern priests – 23
    Total priests in archdiocese – 320
    Total deacons – 188
    Total brothers – 15
    Total sisters – 272
    Seminarians – 78

  47. acricketchirps,

    Having confessed to being a mathematician by trade, I especially hope no one checks those fractions to find whatever arithmetic mistakes I made.

  48. priests wife says:

    I find it sad and frustrating that even at a diocesan level, one equates wymen priests with the possibility for married men to be ordained. Fine- make the program a way to encourage celibate men to pursue the priesthood- just don’t put wymen and married men in the same category

  49. Anniem says:

    In our diocese this past weekend (last Sunday of October) all Permanent Deacons were asked to give a blessing to the priest(s) of their parish. They were sent an email message by the diaconate director with suggestions about composing the Prayer of the Faithful, and a suggested blessing for the parish priest or priests. Our P.D. did just that. Prior to being given permission to do this, he consulted with our pastor, who could find nothing related to this in any book of blessings…however he did submit to being “blessed” at the end of each Mass. This idea came from a source outside the diocese, perhaps Serra International, or Knights of Columbus, and is the second year it was done, but the first at our parish. Hopefully it will be the last…

  50. benedetta says:

    The stats discussed above are certainly interesting. Comparatively, how many candidates are in formation in the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, apparently sometimes emulated, in which wymympreests and married men may officially and unofficially apply?

    I don’t think sowing the seeds of confusion is the answer to the vocations scarcity. All of the religious orders and dioceses that engage in such second guessing, legalisms and polemics, undermining of Holy Mother Church, have fewer vocations. The ones confident in a wholly Catholic identity, without apology, are by comparison doing much much better and by and large have a more palpable influence. Though they might not own lots of universities and publications, which, in my opinion, aren’t worth a whole lot in the general scheme of things anyway.

  51. Elizabeth D says:

    I looked it up and I believe Bishop Hubbard, who is said to be “one of the most liberal bishops in the country” turns 74 tomorrow, and will thus need to turn in his resignation in one more year. His successor is NOT going to be someone who wants seminarians who believe in “women priests”. If that is the kind of candidate they are aiming for (ie, heretics) then the new bishop might be back at square 1 with vocations. Successor’s first act may be to replace the vocations person.

  52. benedetta says:

    Perhaps the verbiage Fr. Z cites above is one reply within a sort of liberal conversation generally about vocations, namely, that the sentiment often went that the way to respond to the declining vocations was to simply sit back and do nothing which would force the hand of the powers that be of the Church to suddenly then permit women and married priests, as well as lay people as pastoral ministers, to, um, “concelebrate” as it were…So possibly the wording is aimed at the reactions of the liberals in that camp who would be critical of more “orthodox” seeming efforts to actively recruit vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, wanting the disaster to just occur. The language “this cannot be resolved at the local level” implies that the policy of aggressively recruiting vocations recognizes that allowing disaster to merely occur shoots oneself in the foot, harming one’s own people …cutting one’s nose off to spite the face in a sense. It harms the faithful and does nothing to bring about the radical change pined after. It’s an echo of an internal conversation or debate, I think. The question wasn’t, what to do or how to recruit, as one might gather, but instead, whether to make a recruitment effort at all.

    All that said, the present recruitment program seems to have borne fruit elsewhere and sounds promising. However that doesn’t explain the liturgical novelty of asking everyone in the congregation to extend their hands and attempt to impart a blessing over their priest celebrant at Sunday Mass. There doesn’t seem to be a good connection between the effort and the blessing, and only serves to generate confusion as to one’s role and state in life.

    A couple years ago for Priesthood Sunday my son wrote to different priests he knew to thank them for their priesthood. He received many handwritten heartfelt replies in response which he treasured. I think there are many other excellent ways to remind the faithful to be grateful for the priests in the parishes than to do something liturgically questionable. And hopefully the blessing did not confuse the real need for the new effort to begin to identify worthy candidates in the parishes to be recommended to a vocations director.

  53. Elizabeth D says:

    New location seems to be for sure. Discontinuing the current Mass is “rumor”/”unclear”.

    I appreciate your kind offer of a ride. I live 1 block from the current TLM location. There may be other likely people to ride with also. I do not think I have your email, if you wanted you could contact me through my blog contact form.

  54. Henry Edwards, The other mathematician here at WDTPRS, aka me, is off duty. The numbers seem correct enough upon visual inspection…

  55. acardnal:

    Write me directly, and I will get the information for you.

  56. acardnal says:

    manwithblackhat, will do. Thanks.

  57. acardnal says:

    Elizabeth D., I sent you an email via your blog site. I am interested to know where the new TLM/EF site will be!

  58. Vincent. says:

    benedetta & CatherineTherese,

    After reading about the Extraordinary Form for a few years, I finally went to St. Joseph’s for the noon Mass on Sunday. Thanks for giving me the push. I’ll probably go back with the family in tow in a few weeks. Now I’d like to participate in an eastern rite divine liturgy at the Ukrainian Catholic church in Cohoes.

  59. moon1234 says:

    Madison Diocese TLM:
    Society of Jesus Christ the Priest staffed Parishes:
    – St Norbert’s Roxbury: Daily TLM at 6:30am Sunday at 11am in winter 10am summer. Solemn High Mass on Christmas and special occasions. Bishop Morlino has said several TLMs at St. Norbert’s As well.
    – At Aloysius, Sauk City. Occasionally. Priests are spread thinner so no scheduled TLM.
    – St. Barnabas, Mazomaine. Saturday 8am
    – St Mary’s, Merrimac – 1st Thursday of each month – 7pm
    – St. Augustine University Parish-Platteville, 8am Sunday
    – St. Mary’s Plateville – Daily TLM at 6:30am, 8am Saturday, No Sunday TLM
    – St. Mary’s, Fennimore – MWF 6:30am TLM

    Non SJCP Diocese Parishs
    – St. Mary-Pine Bluff – Tuesday 5:30pm, Exposition at 6pm followed by 15 decades of the Rosary
    – Holy Redeemer, Madison – Sunday 7am

    Non-Diocesan Parishs
    St. Therese – Waunakee (Springfield Corners), SSPX Sunday 9am

    Let me know if I missed any. The SJCP is such a blessing to the Madison Diocese. Keep all their Holy Priests in your prayers.