Bp. of Raleigh (NC) issues diocesan norms for liturgy

I received this from a reader in Raleigh, North Carolina.

You might remember that the bishop there, His Excellency Most Rev. Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, issued a very good response to Pope Benedict’s letter Summorum Pontificum.

Now Bp. Burbidge has issued diocesan norms for liturgy for the Novus Ordo.

The whole document, which you can find here, is too long to post in its entirety here.

However, a kind reader highlighted some of the salient points.

I think you’ll like them.

I received this through e-mail:

Fr. Z,

Our wonderful Bishop issued a document yesterday on General Norms for the Celebration of the Sacred Liturgy of the Mass in the Forma Ordinaria[read = Novus Ordo]

In it he addresses such items as:

pg.2 #6  Sacred silence prior to the beginning of a Sacred Liturgy

pg.2 #9  Faithful are encouraged to dress appropriately

pg.3 #13  Explains difference between lector and reader

pg.4 #18  All liturgical ministers should dress appropriately. T-shirts, shorts, tennis shoes and flip-flops are inappropriate

pg.5 Section 1.3  Sacred Texts
Liturgical Books

pg.5 #19,  No approved texts are to be altered either by the priest or by the assembly…

pg.6 Section 1.2.3,  The use of Latin and languages particular to the assembly

pg.6 #26  …it is laudable that the faithful be familiar with the acclamations and other prayers in Latin, namely the Gloria, the Sanctus, the Credo, the Pater Noster, and the Agnus Dei. Pastors are instructed to be pastorally judicious in forming the faithful in the use of these ancient sacred texts of the Mass.

(We love our Bishop!)

pg.7 Section 1.5,  Sacred Vessels
Outlines what materials the vessels can be made of.

pg.9 Section 1.7,  Liturgical Music
pg.9 #42  It is laudable that the processional hymn or introit, the acclamations, the dialogues, and the litanies of the Mass be sung…even when musical accompaniment is not possible.

pg.9 #43  …The use of simple chant is laudable given that Gregorian chant holds pride of place in the Sacred Liturgy.

(Did I mention that we love our Bishop?)

pg.9 Section 1.8  Use of Incense
pp.9-10 #46, …Incense is customarily used during celebrations of the Sacred Liturgy on Sundays…

pg.10 Section 1.9 Use of Bells
pg.10 #50, …The use of bells during the Liturgy of the Eucharist is recommended…

pg.15 Section 4.3, Communion Rite
pg.15 #79 While it may be a custom in some place to hold hands as the Our Father is prayed, this gesture is not encouraged, as the reception of Holy Communion is the sign and bond of unity of the Church at prayer.

pg.17 Section 4.3.2 Posture and Gestures for Reception of the Holy Eucharist by the Faithful in the Assembly

pg.17 #92, The normative posture for the reception of the Holy Communion in the Dioceses of the United States is standing. However, communicants are not to be denied Holy Communion because they kneel.

pg.18 Section 4.3.3,Purification of the Sacred Vessels
pg.18 #97 Sacred vessels may only be purified by a priest, deacon, or an instituted acolyte.

pg.20 Section 6 Additional Particular Norms in the Diocese of Raleigh
6.1 Place of Reservation for the Holy Eucharist pg.20 #106, …the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle located in or near the sanctuary of the church…

The tabernacle is not to be located behind where the assembly is seated in the nave.

pg.20 #110 Parish church buildings in the Diocese of Raleigh, whether new or existing construction, are to be adapted to reflect the norms in paragraphs 106-109. If adaptations are required, proposals are to be submitted to the Bishop for review and approval for implementation.

pg.21 Section 6.2, Sacred Images
pg.21 #111, A cross adorned with the image of the Crucified Lord is to be…located on or near the altar

pg.21 Section 6.4, Parochial Liturgical Formation
pg.21 #114 Liturgical formation is encouraged for the faithful in parishes. Among the formation topics, the following are recommended: The significance of the Eucharist in the life of a Catholic, the Eucharist and the Paschal Mystery, the Real Presence in the Eucharist and the Mass, Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, the right disposition of the faithful before Mass, active participation during Mass, posture during Mass, purification of sacred vessels, and sacred images and devotions in Roman Catholic worship.

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  1. Kirk says:

    I see that this Bishop has also instituted a monthly celebration of the EF in his own cathedral. Every first Sunday of the month at 4:30 pm.

  2. Paul says:

    Absolutely! His Excellency is to be commended on these norms, I only hope they are fully implemented.

    Just as an aside at mass on Sunday at the parish I attended (not my regular one) we were asked by the priest to extend our hands to consecrate a new Extraordinary Minister. Needless to say this made many feel rather uneasy, especially as the priest was stood in the aisle and the woman on the sanctuary.

  3. paw prints says:

    This is fantastic news!!!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you Bishop Burbidge!!!! We are blessed to have you leading the Diocese of Raleigh. May God grant you many happy years as our shepherd. :) And may I also add that YOU ROCK! :)

  4. TJM says:

    Wow, another place of retirement to consider, the Diocese of Raleigh. You folks are soooooooooooooo lucky to have a bishop like this. Tom

  5. Brian Day says:

    The summary is very nice. I am now just going through the document. So far, so good, except for this point about the cantor:
    para 15 The cantor should generally be visible to the entire assembly so as to assist in leading the assembly in song.
    Shouldn’t the cantor be with the choir except for the psalm (and possibly the alleluia proclamation)? The cantor being “generally visible” leads to what Fr Al Kimel (or was it Fr Longnecker) calls the Ubiquitous Song Leader (USL).

    Otherwise, I like what I am reading.

  6. TerryC says:

    So near, and yet so far away. Perhaps I should a copy to Richmond for the perusal of my own bishop.

  7. Mark says:

    Excellent summary: Being an instituted lector in the diocese of Lincoln, there are couple of questions in relation to this summary:

    #103: the lector is not to carry the Book of Gospels or Lectionary in the recessional??

    #111: The processional crucifix is NOT to be at the altar duing the Sacred Mysteries:

    We do both here and if those are correct, I would like to talk to our pastor, but in reading the GIRM, I see no basis for either…any help on those points.


  8. JR Benedict says:

    13. Lay ministers may be deputed and trained to serve as readers to proclaim readings from sacred scripture in the Liturgy of the Mass as the title lector is given only to those who have been instituted by the appropriate rite.13 The lector is formed and serves to proclaim the Word of God, may announce the petitions of the Prayer of the Faithful and carry the Book of the Gospels in the procession.14

    This is pretty silly. Lector means “reader”. It’s just a different language. Really this section says “Lay ministers may be deputed and trained to serve as readers to proclaim readings from sacred scripture in the Liturgy of the Mass as the title [reader] is given only to those who have been instituted by the appropriate rite.” It’s very confusing to follow a section on not calling those temporarily deputed the duties of lector that emphasizes that they not be called lectors with one that describes their duties using the word “Lector”.

    Also this bit about the lector carrying the book of the Gospels isn’t laid out in the rites as far as I can tell and seems as much an usurpation of the deacon’s duties as many of the usurpations by the laity of the priest’s duties that the regulations rightly combat.

  9. JR Benedict says:

    “The processional crucifix is NOT to be at the altar duing the Sacred Mysteries”

    This is in continuity with the extraordinary rite practice. Some modern liturgists recommended the use of the processional cross as the altar cross, but since the complementary norms in this document require a permanent crucifix at the altar that is there before and after the liturgy, having the processional cross there would be superflous. In places where there isn’t a permanent crucifix you could (and indeed should) keep the processional cross visible there to the assembly.

  10. Richard says:

    “While it may be a custom in some place to hold hands as the Our Father is prayed, this gesture is not encouraged.”

    This custom shouldn’t bother me, perhaps, but it always has.

    I like the cut of His Excellency’s jib.

  11. TJM says:

    “Holding Hands” at the Pater is fakey beyond belief. It amounts to forcing “unity” or “togetherness” down the peopless throats by liturgical
    leftists. Even uber-liberal Rembert Weakland thought it was silly. Tom

  12. LCB says:

    Lector is not just a descriptive word, but is also a formal title. It is an office that a male Catholic can be installed into.

    Father is a descriptive word for a man who has children, but it can also be a formal title. See the difference?

  13. LCB says:

    If people need to hold hands during the Pater to feel united, then there is a serious defect in liturgy, because the liturgy itself should unite the people.

    Besides, we aren’t Protestants.

  14. Deusdonat says:

    What the US needs is an “Uber-bishop” who has the authority to enforce these rules and norms on the other wayward ones.

  15. TerryC says:

    You mean like a Patriarch? Wouldn’t the USCCB just love that!

  16. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Mark — 5 August 2008 @ 11:31 am #103: the lector is not to carry the Book of Gospels or Lectionary in the recessional??

    The GIRM is completely silent about carrying the Evangeliarium or the Lectionary in the recessional. The Lectionary may not be carried in during the entrance procession (the Evangeliarium may), and the only the GIRM says about either book, after the Gospel has been read, is that a) the Bishop may bless the people with the Evangeliarium (175) and b) the Deacon may bring the Evangeliarium to an appropriate location like the credence table (175). Nothing about it being recessed out at the end of Mass.

  17. Steve K. says:

    Huh, and woe unto you if you don’t grab hands. Several places I’ve been at N.O. mass, I would not hold hands but instead folded my hands into a prayer position… I’ve gotten nasty looks, and even on two occasions had people grabbing at my hands in annoyance.

    So much for peace and brotherhood ;)

  18. Dave says:

    If the USCCB were dissolved and each bishop had to report only to the Pope, maybe some of these things would be enforced.

  19. Michael B. says:

    We love your bishop too! May his example strengthen his brother bishops in virtue!

  20. Anastasia says:

    It would be worthwhile to compare the old liturgical rules issued by the previous bishop, a Jadot bishop. I assume the old rules have been now removed from the Raleigh website. A change for he better.

  21. Bill Haley says:

    “95. Following the reception of Holy Communion, individual communicants return to their place in the Assembly and remain standing.139 However, this uniformity of posture does not prohibit individual communicants from choosing to kneel or sit.140”

    The promotion of distracting behavior for the sake of uniformity at the expense of prayerful reflection is counterproductive at best.

    “Not prohibited from choosing to kneel or sit”
    This has the tendency of continuing the stigmatizing of those who wish to kneel. How does the Bishop reason to this?

  22. TJM says:

    In terms of holding hands, if a man reaches out to me at the Pater, I kind of laugh and say “I don’t hold mens’ hands as a rule.” Most often, they
    laugh it off and leave me alone. Tom

  23. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Mark and Jeff,
    Recessional? What recessional?

  24. Matt Q says:

    What a great and wonderful bishop. Burbidge is right at the top, and he’s also one of the youngest bishops. So cool. Along with Bruskewitz and George ( sadly Burke moved to the Ivory Tower ) we have some hope for this country. I think though we can add Finn to the list. :)

    Everyone please pray for us out here Los Crapeles ( AKA the Dead Zone ). 2011 is coming and I pray the Holy Father will appoint a MAN for the job, one who will be authentic in Faith and Worship.

    … Father Z, do you have any plans around that time? ;)


    Dave wrote:

    “If the USCCB were dissolved and each bishop had to report only to the Pope, maybe some of these things would be enforced.”

    You got that right, Dave. The way it used to be before V2. I don’t know if things were done this way on purpose, but this is another result of unintended ( or intended ) consequences when they made Rome more like Canterbury. The disparity and chaos in the Church today is a result of this practice. IMO.

  25. Cornellian '08 says:

    #57 has an interesting bit about the non-sacramental prayer of absolution.

    “Neither the principal celebrant nor the assembly is to make the sign of the cross following this prayer in either form.”

    I know this is common in the extraordinary form and I always did it anyway during the ordinary form. Is this typically to be avoided?

  26. Cornellian '08 says:


    The “…in either form” of the document refers to the different Penitential Rites not the EF and OF.

  27. Raleighite says:

    Living in Raleigh, I must say I love Bishop Burbidge. He is a holy man, I have no doubt. And he cares greatly for the souls of his flock.

    However, I think it will be interesting to see how much of this actually makes it down to the parish level. I have hoped and prayed for something like this to attempt to clean up this Diocese since he arrived here a few years ago. My fear is that priests will just ignore this like the do the GIRM.

    Regardless, I am printing a copy and bringing it with me next Sunday to Mass. The local priest is a holy man as well, but he just doesn’t care for liturgical matters. Hopefully this will encourage him.

    I would have settled for a single sheet of paper that said “Say the Black, Do the Red” that was stapled to every sacristy door in the Diocese. But this is good stuff if all the priests read it.

    Just pray for enforcement – in that gentle way that only Bishop Burbidge knows how to do.

  28. Raleighite: I would have settled for a single sheet of paper that said “Say the Black, Do the Red” that was stapled to every sacristy door in the Diocese.

    No no no, that won’t do at all.

    There are Say the Black – Do the Read plaques!

    They would look very good in every sacristy.

  29. Will says:

    I was with him right up until paragraph 95. I have never been to a mass where the faithful stood after receiving communion. Even in fairly lax parishes my experience is that the faithful kneel, and remain kneeling until the sacrament has been reserved in the tabernacle and the priest takes his seat.

  30. Mark says:

    JR and Jeff: thank you for your help. We do, indeed, have a permanent crucifix in our sanctuary, but we still have the processional cross next to the altar for every Sunday Mass. The part about the Evangeliarium not being carried out during the recessional must what his excellency prefers. As he is the main liturgist for his diocese and there is nothing prohibiting this, it must be acceptable.

  31. David says:


    The cathedral’s monthly EF Mass averages over 200 faithful in attendance.

  32. Nathan says:

    I’m also confused by the requirement to stand after the Eucharist.
    Fr. Z, can you clarify?

    Another member of the Diocese of Raleigh

  33. Forrest says:

    I attended a Mass in Swansboro a few weeks ago and they are in for a rude awakening! My family and I were treated to the following:

    +no kneelers, no kneeling…except by a few of us out-of-towners
    +EM (female no less) waltzing up to the tabernacle during the consecration to retrieve the Blessed Sacrament
    –EMs “blessing” children and making the sign of the cross on foreheads with their serving hand…no telling how many kids there are in Eastern Carolina with our Lord smeared on their heads
    –Priest using the ghastly “Mass has ended, go in peace to serve the Lord…and each other” AHHHH!
    –EMs once again waltzing up to the credence table–before the processional music has ended–to blow out candles…and here’s the WORST part: they literally scooped up the sacred vessels in their arms and carried them to the back of the chuch, with the chalice in the crook of her arm at a severe angle almost falling off!!
    I brought these to the attention of the visiting priest and his reply: “When in Rome do as the Romans do…”


    Oh, and this is good…childrens’ artwork (yes, the felt banners) hanging on each of the station of the cross! Hard to reflect on the passion when a smiley face is staring at you…

    We can only pray for a LONG life for Pope Benedict the Greatest and that our flirtation with liberalism in the Roman Catholic Church is soon over.

    Older Catholics who migrate from the liberal northeast are creating this and it’s a matter of time before they go the way of the dodo and the eagles come back!

  34. Royce says:

    Cornellian ’08:

    The problem with the sign of the cross at that point is that it originally corresponded to the indulgentiam, not the miseratur. The Forma Ordinaria omits the indulgentiam, so the sign of the cross is really not proper during the miseratur, which is which remains in the new rite.

  35. JML says:

    I am concerned that only California wines are approved for use in the Diocese of Raleigh. Are not New York wines just as good, if not superior?

    And, given the current marital issues in the Bear State, perhaps Holy Mother Church should boycott using California wines to register Her disapproval.

    (some of this in in jest, some of it is not)

  36. Aelric says:

    I wonder what percentage of us at the First Sunday EF at Sacred Heart in Raleigh are WDTPRS readers? The rosary beforehand in Latin? :-)

    And God bless Father Parkerson in Dunn for his weekly offering the EF on Sunday and reverent and ad orientem OF. It is worth the 1-1/2 drive.

  37. Sid Cundiff says:

    North Carolina is blessed with two bishops of outstanding quality: Bishop Jugis in Charlotte and Bishop Burbidge in Raleigh. They support the MEF. I have followed closely and have informed others of the MEF in NC since last Oct. The changes we have seen! The promise of the future! I’ve sung it before:

    “Nothin’ could be finer
    Than to be in Carolina
    In the Extr’ooooooooooooordinary Form”

    Now add
    “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOrdinary Form!”

    Now the question is, Why is the going so good in North Carolina, where 60 years ago Catholics were listed under “others” for state religious affiliation, and the going so bad in other areas with a big Catholic presence?

  38. MikeSR says:

    I wish we had a Bishop like this. Our Archbishop chastised us for putting in a new high altar and has warned and threatened us on putting in a communion rail.

    This is the same Archbishop who hangs felt banners down the center aisle from the ceiling of the Cathedral-Basilica in Santa Fe and “honored” Our Lady of Guadalupe (on her fiest day) with almost naked Aztec dancers DURING the sacrifice of the mass (according to comments on this site). Our local priest has held off on using the Benedictine altar arrangement, so not to rile the archbishop.

    Bless Bp. Burbidge and Viva Il Papa (which was my anti-spam word)!

  39. Nathan says:

    How good are things in NC really? I’m a Durham resident, and, as was discussed on this blog, Immaculate Conception in Durham is the home of the infamous Ecological Stations of the Cross. They’ve invited the aggressively anti-Christian scholar Bart Ehrman to speak to the parish.
    This is not a place where we do the black and say the red.
    Will Bishop Burbidge be able to turn things around in parishes like this?

  40. Ioannes Andreades says:

    “Are not New York wines just as good, if not superior?”

    I laugh as I drink my wonderful Zinfandel from Sonoma.
    My understanding is that some cars are having their engines reconfigured to run on New York wine due to gas prices.

  41. Phil says:

    Well, we’ll never see this happen in L.A., where standing from the Our Father until after communion has been mandated by Cardinal Mahony.

  42. Brian Kemple says:

    NC is a diverse state; many of the best priests can be found out in the boonies, so to speak, while the larger, more central parishes have had to suffer through liberalism. But Bp. Burbidge is sorting out the mess bit by bit. Unfortunately, the entire state has a shortage of priests; which is why our two most excellent Bishops are looking to build a seminary and to build vocations.

    To Aelric, indeed!

  43. Chris says:

    Aside comment – Brian, what is this about a NC seminary?

  44. “Well, we’ll never see this happen in L.A., where standing from the Our Father until after communion has been mandated by Cardinal Mahony.”

    Liturgical Oasis at my parish in Alhambra, where it’s ran by a religous order.

  45. Joe says:

    A nice document, but I’m a bit disappointed at number 75 including ‘lack of kneelers’ as among ‘good causes’ for not kneeling. The Canadian edition of the GIRM, at least, said that there was nothing to stop people from kneeling on the floor.

    Here’s an alternate view of the Liturgy, from Winnipeg (page two of this link): http://www.archwinnipeg.ca/docs/New_Wine_Press_08_03.pdf

  46. Joe says:

    I might add that the idea of standing after Communion was not made up: the old GIRM said that standing was the appropriate posture for the Eucharistic action from the Preface Dialogue to the Prayer after Communion, with the exception of kneeling from the Epiclesis to the Anamnesis. The USCCB asked for and received a variation to extend kneeling from the Sanctus to the Doxology, but nothing was said (as far as I know) about after Communion. The problem was whether that meant that zealots could stop people from kneeling, which Cardinal Arinze answered very properly.

  47. TNCath says:

    As far as long term results are concerned, I am very encouraged by what Bishop Burbidge has done. Everything he has directed is completely in line with the norms of the GIRM. It is very clear and is devoid of liturgical doublespeak. At the same time, his diocesan norms makes me all the more depressed about what is not being done in my diocese and so many others. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough bishops out there like Bishop Burbidge, Archbishop Burke, et al., who not only uphold, as the Church directs, the practice of good liturgy but embrace it willingly. Diocesan norms for liturgy would look like in my diocese would bear little resemblance to what I have read here. This gets very frustrating to tolerate, year after year after year.

  48. TNCath says:

    Correction to last post in the penultimate sentence:

    “Diocesan norms for liturgy in my diocese would bear…”


  49. Joe says:

    sorry, one more question, about #104. Why does the thurifer go first? Does he have incense? If not, shouldn’t the crucifer go first?

    JML; why do you say only California wines are approved? appendix 1 mentions a winery in NY, and does not specify it has to be California wine.

  50. andrea whiting says:

    These Norms will be prayed for blessings if they are instituted by the clergy. Too long I’ve heard the excuse “It’s what the people want” to everything from bad liturgy to eye-poping attire on parishioners whose children run up and down the pews strewing ‘cheerioes’ while parents chat loudly above the fray. Good liturgy and good behavior and silence and respect for the Sacred go hand in hand. Thank Bishop B.!

  51. I agree with Dave and Matt Q about the dissolution of the USCCB and that it would correct many( multis, not omnes )of our problems. As far as having a Patriarch, don’t we have already have a Papal Nuncio who serves the interests of the Pope? Can he do something or is the activity of the American bishops outside of his jurisdiction?

  52. Laura says:

    This document coincides very nearly to the day with Bishop Burbidge’s installation as Bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh. Some of us have heard how he, as one of his first acts in office, removed the headmaster from the high school because of issues regarding the celebration of Mass there (possibly other issues, too, but New Age “mass” is one I heard) –

    Watch. This document calls to “heel” the priests in the diocese. It addresses a number of the abuses I’ve observed in visiting several parishes traveling around the State.

    We have Bp. Gossman to thank for those parishes like Swamsboro, Holy Family in Elizabeth City, and others who have no kneelers and have been rampant in “issues.” Dollars to donuts, we’re going to be seeing more changes in the Diocese of Raleigh.

    Pray for Raleigh – some of you have mentioned Charlotte. Bishop Jugis IS a good man – but despite his reputation as “ultra conservative,” he isn’t heavy-handed at all and issues and abuses are rampant; I suspect it is more difficult for him, not only as a kind and gentle-natured man, but also as a former priest within the diocsese, to come down hard on his former colleagues. I do believe he and Bp. Burbidge are forming a very strong alliance, and that their friendship will serve this state very well.

  53. Laura says:

    Correction (Need Coffee) – coincides with the second anniversary of the installation…

  54. Chironomo says:

    An excellent document that will hopefully be duplicated in Diocese across the country. Compare this to Card. Mahony’s “Guide To Sunday Mass” from the 1990’s… a total 180!

    I do have a few questions… can the norms set forth in this document really abrogate any previous “particular law” as he says in the introduction? I can understand that they may abrogate any previous “norms” set forth in the Diocese, but could they, for instance, insist that all people kneel to recieve communion, thereby abrogating the particular law in effect of standing as the approved posture? Just wondering…

    I’m still bewildered by by the all too common appearance of the words “may” and “should” rather than “must” and “will”. Should liturgical norms really be things that we “may” do, or should they be things that we “must” do…?? The use of “may” and “should” seems to make them more of things we can do if we want to, or that we “may” ignore if we don’t want to do them… Again, just wondering…

  55. Chironomo says:

    And speaking of NC Churches…

    When at our vacation home (Grandfather Mountain) we go to a beautiful parish, St. Bernadette’s on Hwy. 105. It’s difficult to ignore the fact that in this area, there are two Catholic Churches and several hundred Baptist Churches. Perhaps this is why they seem to operate more as “mission” parishes? Whatever the reason, the liturgy is always reverent and the homilies excellent. If you do go there, arrive early so as not to have to park on the 30 degree incline that is the driveway up to the church… during tourist season(s)… summer camping and winter skiing crowds…Masses are standing room only.

  56. Sid Cundiff says:

    Nathan: I sympathize with your plight in Durham with a Liberal parish, yet I must gently and fraternally admonish you. Take Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s advice: MOVE ON! Go to Mass elsewhere! Try other parishes in the your 50 mile circumference. I’ve heard things are particularly kosher at St. Bernadette in Fuquay-Varina. Or the Cathedral in Raleigh, which in addition has a MEF every 1st Sunday. Especially recommendable is the fine MEF every Sunday at Sacred Heart in Dunn– so fine that some folks drive over 200miles round trip just to go to the 12noon MEF. Also Google “Wikkimissa”, go to the English page, go to NC, note the parishes with a MEF, and go to one. Yet whatever you do, MOVE ON! for your spiritual welfare. And support your new church with money. The time for gripes is over; the time for action is at hand.

    NC seminary: cf http://www.tedeumfoundation.org/ and find information on the plan for a new seminary in the southeast USA. Except for southern FL, really not part of the Dixie, the the southeast has no seminary. We need one. We’re getting more Catholics daily, so much so that in 60 years the southeast has gone from Catholics basically found only in seaports and otherwise listed under “others”, to the 3rd largest denomination (after Baptists and Methodists). Our cultural situation is unique and requires diocesan priests learned in that cultural situation. I have told the leader of the Te Deum Foundation that such a seminary

    1. should indeed teach about or cultural situation: ethnically pre-1808 Afro-American, Borderer-Backcountry (“Scots-Irish”), Yankee transplants, and increasing numbers of Hispanics; largely Evangelical Protestant; dying textile mills and furniture factories; “New South” industrialization and increasing High Tech industry;
    2. should teach the EF;
    3. should have a rule “no seminarian may enter the room of another” (this is the best way to keep homosexuals away).

    Chiromono: The Bishops of NC are faced with a difficult situation. We have many Liberal priests. Some of them are quite adamant and adamantine — “my way or the highway” — and thus not really “liberal” at all (real “liberals” say, “If anything goes, then the MEF or traditional MOF also goes”). Such adamant liberal priests will just leave if they don’t get their way. And we’d have a drastic priest shortage indeed in NC. So the bishops here have to move carefully and use careful language. Among the virtues, this is called “prudence”. and real “conservatives” say, “Change slowly if you wish a needed change to be long-lasting.”

  57. Laura says:

    NC is just barely above mission status as a state. You’ll notice that there are not many N. Carolinians who are Catholic; a vast majority of the state’s Catholics have moved here from other parts of the country (uhm…. UP NORTH) and the world (mostly, nowadays, Mexico). I’m an oddball for being a native NC’er, generations back, who converted. The biggest, the most prosperous parishes, are around the cities (Raleigh Triangle area, Charlotte, Pinehurst, maybe Fayetteville and Wilmington) and many many parishes are very small indeed.

    I’m not sure we even have a Catholic parish in each of NC’s 100 counties. Pray for us! It’s great mission territory here! Come help us win converts!

  58. Steve K. says:

    I visit Durham often because my brother in law lives there. I have gone to church at the Cathedral in Raleigh, and they have a reverent NO service. Dunn is too far away. Once I went to Holy Infant in Durham, because that was only like 5 minutes from his house, and… oh Lord. I would love to see these norms instituted there, but I bet there will be serious resistance. That place does a fair imitation of being a Unitarian church.

  59. sacertodale says:

    Pitiful that this has to be published at all, given the number of citations directly to the GIRM; I was surprised at the endorsement of EM’s making the sign of the cross on childrens’ heads “as a sign of prayer.” I think that is easily confused with a blessing, which they “ain’t” empowered to do. And I echo the comment above about how many little urchins are running around with bits of Jesus on their foreheads. As for an “uber bishop,” we have one, his name is Benedict XVI.

  60. Anne M. says:

    For those who live too far away from Dunn, NC and are
    looking for a reverent NO Mass, please consider St.
    Joseph’s in Raleigh.

    All the Masses there are reverent and once a month, Msgr.
    Williams does a “mostly Latin” NO Mass at 7:30 on Sunday
    morning. In fact, the next one is this coming Sunday, 8/10.

  61. ckdexterhaven says:

    I have a little one that I (or my husband bring up when we receive communion-on the tongue) what am I supposed to do when the EM gives him a blessing? Other than whipping my baby out of the way there’s not much choice! I know the person means well!…

  62. paw prints says:

    Yes, Cathedral in Raleigh is a wonderful parish with a reverent Mass, beautiful sacred music and a very loving and supportive rector Msgr. Sherba(who is also our diocesan chancellor).

    Another fantastic parish in the Triangle area is St. Catherine of Siena in Wake Forest. Fr. Tighe, the pastor, is doing marvelous things there and the parish’s Perpetual Adoration chapel opens the end of September. Fr. Tighe is an amazing priest and excellent teacher.

    And of course a shout out to Fr. Parkerson in Dunn-thanks for all you do!
    We have so many great priests and seminarians in our diocese-thanks to all of you for everything you are doing. :) You are in our thoughts and prayers. :)

  63. Patrick says:

    I concur with Laura’s comments:
    Pray for Raleigh – some of you have mentioned Charlotte. Bishop Jugis IS a good man – but despite his reputation as “ultra conservative,” he isn’t heavy-handed at all and issues and abuses are rampant; I suspect it is more difficult for him, not only as a kind and gentle-natured man, but also as a former priest within the diocsese, to come down hard on his former colleagues. I do believe he and Bp. Burbidge are forming a very strong alliance, and that their friendship will serve this state very well.

    We need to pray for Charlotte as well. There are a good number of willful, disobedient priests in this Diocese. The Bishop is a good and forebearing man, who strives to bring about conversion by example and love. That is hard on we more orthodox members of the church, who have had to sit through politicized unitarian like services with hand holding and in some cases the dreaded liturgical dance.

    However, things are not all bad. More and more good and holy priests are coming up, the seminarians and transitional deacons I have had the pleasure to meet are solid young men with a holy zeal and a desire to return the sacredness to the liturgy that has been lost through 40 years of neglect, and in some cases protestantization of the liturgy.

    One excuse I always hear is that some priests felt it necessary to change things so that it would make converting more comfortable for non catholic christians. Balderdash. Since when does the Church change for the sensibilities of men? You cannot be all things to all people, or you end up being nothing.

  64. Nathan says:

    I would like to second Anne’s comments about St. Joseph’s in Raleigh. Despite my bellyaching here about Immaculate Conception in Durham, my wife and I belong to St. Joseph’s. Beatiful. Reverent. Monsignior Williams is worth his weight in gold.

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