Bp. Vasa of Santa Rosa about the new, corrected translation

From a reader:

Last night I attended a talk by Santa Rosa Ca Diocese Bishop Vasa. He explained aspects of the new translation with powerpoint presentation help. This was for lay people and quite well attended by mainly older people, but some young families too. The bishop, during his remarks, said at one point that “we priests must read the black and do the red.” Thought you’d like to know that.

He made it clear that he thinks the new translation will help priests (and himself) to have to concentrate again and review texts before Mass so they will not stumble during Mass. He showed examples of changes that he thinks will prod priests to just read what’s is written and do what is stated.

He is no fan of priests doing things their own way. As the new bishop here he has been visiting a lot of the parishes and said he found it “interesting” when priests or others told him, “We do it this way here, Bishop.” We got the feeling he told them in a pastoral way, “not anymore.”

I think he will be very good for this diocese!

WDTPRS kudos to Bp. Vasa!

Does your priest need a reminder to “Say The Black and Do The Red“?

Click HERE.

And the implicit instruction in your gift could be softened if it came with some Mystic Monk Coffee together with the mug.  There are lots of priests out there who need to wake up and smell the Mystic Monk Coffee!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. everett says:

    Great to hear more good stuff about Bp. Vasa. As a parishioner at a parish that has behaved in this manner for 17 years (with only a single priest, and still meets in a gym!), there’s a long way to go. One thing I’ve been impressed with is Bp. Vasa’s ability to be straight. He used the word “disgrace” in speaking about the fact that we don’t have an actual church, and I know that he wrote a letter to our new pastor giving a list of things that needed to change. Unfortunately its now been 3 months, and we still have things like a 3-5 minute sign of peace/conversation time (in which my son has responded, “Daddy, mass is over!”), a “blessing ceremony” (10 minutes of the youth group giving blessings/hugs to people in the front rows of pews in the semi-circle around the altar), followed by a “flower ceremony” (3-5 minutes of giving flowers away at the end of mass to visitors, families who have lost loved ones, or people who have volunteered their time), followed by a “talent show” (in which one or more parishioners will perform a piece of music on the violin, piano, other instrument, or in song). All of this, while having 8 EMHCs in addition to the priest and deacon for a parish of probably 250. Because its fine to spend time, talking, giving hugs and giving flowers, but we certainly can’t take any more than 5 minutes to distribute holy communion. In the single bit of good news, the glass chalices have been replaced.

  2. Margaret says:

    I just had the value of “having to concentrate on the text” demonstrated for me this past weekend. Saturdays I frequently attend daily Mass at a small chapel where one of the chaplains isn’t a “Say the Black” fellow. At all. This particular Saturday, however, a friend’s baby got a bit loud just as the Eucharistic Prayer. I think because of the small confines of the chapel, the noise was distracting to the priest. He was much more intently focused on his Sacramentary than normal, and he pretty much just read the text as it was written. Thank you, Loud Baby!

  3. Rachel says:

    Reading Everett’s post, I had an epiphany about why I dislike hugging and flower-giving and chatting like he describes at Mass. It’s because it seems to send the message that the Eucharist itself is not important enough, so we need to spice up the celebration with other stuff.

    Among Bishop Vasa’s good works is the foundation last month of a new little order in his diocese, the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa, who have Mass in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms. They consist of two sisters with a postulant on the way, and one of them told me the bishop has been great to them. Pictures etc here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marian-Sisters-of-Santa-Rosa/222352604480143

    I was just in Santa Rosa and got to attend a monthly TLM that’s just started up at St. Sebastian’s in Sebastopol.

  4. Anselm says:

    Is not presiding at the Eucharist/celebrating Mass much more than “reading the Mass?”
    Is not the priest’s priviliged role to lead the assembly in a universal prayer?
    Perhaps after another span of significant years, priests will know the “new,” slavishly translated Eucharistic Prayers “by heart,” and be able to pray them rather than just read them.
    Until then – whenever it might be – simply getting all those words from the page to the mouth to the ears of the faithful is going to be a mighty big challenge. I have no doubt the people will know that something of incredible importance is being said/read/prayed. Unfortunately, they may not understand ( much less need or appreciate) all the “extra” words used to express the mystery of faith.

  5. mrcrister says:

    This is my Bishop! He is excellent! Just what our diocese needs! Refreshment and renewal of the way the Liturgy is supposed to be prayed. He is a very pastoral man, I’ve met him multiple times. He is all about reaching out to his flock and helping them grow in their faith through legitimate faith practices. He also very much supports the youth of our diocese having celebrated masses for almost every youth ministry event since he was installed. Like I said, exactly what we need.

  6. Anselm — Are you really saying that every prayer that changes daily in the Mass isn’t actually prayed unless the priest memorizes it ahead of time?

  7. irishgirl says:

    Kudos INDEED to Bishop Vasa!
    Rachel-I saw the pictures of the Marian Sisters; beautiful! Their habits remind me of the ‘Children of Mary’ Sisters in Ohio!

  8. everett says:

    The reason I’m at this parish is because Bp. Vasa basically told me to go (being that its geographically my parish). He also mentioned that before the old priest retired, when confirmations were done, Bp. showed up at the parish to find that there were 8 glass chalices out with the intention of having the confirmandi be the EHMCs. He said that he asked if they had metal chalices, and when informed that they didn’t, told them: “That’s fine, I have mine in the car. We’ll use it and receive under one species.”

  9. everett says:

    Also, a note on the Sisters, I believe that they come from a group based in Spokane, WA, the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the church, which is a group that returned from a schismatic order that had been there for years. Their conversion story is beautiful. Basically, the death of JPII moved them by seeing the honor and reverence shown, and when Benedict was chosen, they began to have some hope that the chair of Peter was not in fact vacant. This, combined with listening to the radio broadcasts of the local Poor Claires, led them to contact the Diocesan Vocations Director, and eventually lead to a decent portion of them returning to full communion. Before moving to the diocese of Santa Rosa, I lived in Spokane after having spent two years as a seminarian. These women are really fantastic. After eyars of much hardship, I give thanks for Bp. Vasa being appointed to lead our diocese, and things are really looking hopeful.

  10. irishgirl says:

    everett-So did something happen to the Sisters of Mary Mother of The Church in Spokane? Was there a split in that community, with two Sisters going to Santa Rosa? I’m a little confused here. I thought everything was going well up in Spokane. Or did these two Sisters in Santa Rosa come from the schismatic community (Congregation of Mary Queen of The Universe) at Mount St. Michael in Spokane?

  11. everett says:

    irishgirl – quite the opposite in fact. Bp. Vasa’s previous diocese was due south of the Diocese of Spokane, so presumably he was familiar with the situation. He brought a couple of sisters down shortly after he was installed as coadjutor, and had mentioned he was trying to get them established down here to have a regular religious presence in the diocese. I was just not aware that it had already happened, but their facebook page shows they’ve been down here since at least the beginning of the month.

    In Spokane, I do not believe the good sisters are not an order at this time, properly speaking, but an association of the faithful. As such, this is not so much a case of a split, but I believe of some sisters feeling a calling to minister in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. I am very much not an inside source on the issue, but piecing together what I can from different sources and a quick google search.

  12. irishgirl says:

    Thanks for the clarification on the Sisters, everett!
    The more I hear about Bishop Vasa, the more I like him! (love his name-sounds very Scandinavian!)

  13. amsjj1002 says:

    I always think “Vasa” sounds like a Spanish name! So now I’m wondering what *is* the background of His Excellency?

    The reader’s words reminded me of something Blessed John Henry Newman said. He used the image of a broom throughout his life, and so it’s now my personal “symbol” of the dear Father, but anyway, here’s what he said:
    Bishops for some reason or other allow priests sometimes to go on their own way, and to act by usage in certain things, as if they (the priests) had power of their own; and then some new Bishop comes perhaps, like a new broom, and pulls them up sharply, and shows that such usage was mere matter of allowance; and the priests for a time resist through ignorance.
    Letter to. E. B. Pusey, March 23, 1867
    LDJHN XXIII, p. 106

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