“When everyone is somebody, then no-one’s anybody”

Do you know the great line from the G&S opera The Gondoliers?

“When everyone is somebody, then no-one’s anybody”.

From the amusing Eye of the Tiber

Colorado Priest To Appoint Entire Parish Eucharistic Ministers

Loveland, CO––Saint John the Evangelist Parish Priest Father Nick Farley announced Friday that he would be appointing every single parishioner at his church an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. ”In due respect to the amount of Extraordinary Ministers needed per mass, the adage ought to be, more the merrier,” Farley said. Farley later proudly added that all of his current Extraordinary Ministers are so extraordinary that they are not only able to distribute, but to smile as they do so; an aptitude that, Farley believes, is imperative to proper distribution. “We don’t want people receiving Jesus from the hands of somber looking priest, you know? A happy Jesus should come from the happy hands of a happy minister.” When asked whether appointing an entire congregation Eucharistic Ministers was excessive, Farley responded, “Absolutely not…just as each Christian is entrusted an individual Guardian Angel, so then should they be entrusted their own individual Eucharistic Minister.”

There is a horrible truth in this.

Liberals show the worst sort of clericalism by allowing laypeople to be involved by granting them to do what priests can do. As if laypeople had no dignity as laypeople… noooo.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, SESSIUNCULA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Joan M says:

    He has taken leave of his senses!

  2. Philangelus says:

    I want to see the schedule when it comes out, and 400 people are scheduled as EMHCs for the Sunday 9AM Mass. :-D

    I think they should follow suit with regard to lectoring, and just have every member of the parish read one word in each reading, passing the lectionary along as they go.

  3. Happy Jesus?
    I never really thought of His Eucharistic Presence in quite that way before. Wasn’t there something about Christ our Passover being.. ah.. sacrificed at some point?
    Maybe in Loveland CO they’ll start stamping the wafers with a smiley face.
    Imagine it:
    “The Body of Christ”
    “Have a nice day!”

  4. Gregg the Obscure says:

    It’s unfortunate that this spoof uses the name of an actual parish as some folks surely will take this earnestly.

  5. Stumbler but trying says:

    It can’t work and sad though it is that the Pastor continues to think so, glad it did not work. I was at Mass yesterday and I found myself distracted by disorganized altar servers who looked like they did not know what they were doing (or better yet, on the job training was taking place), one altar candle lit while the other one was not, a choir out of tune, the Church carnival music blasting in the background while Mass was being celebrated with a rushed sermon/service all while telling us to “attend” to the festivities afterwards.
    I prayed for mercy since I was distracted amid the noise and asked Jesus to help me focus on Him but is is too much to ask that He be worshiped in a more reverent manner, one befitting of the One who is to come? It was way to rushed and casual for me.

  6. Faith says:

    Eye of the Tiger is a satirical site. This is a spoof.

  7. aragonjohn7 says:

    Interesting …


  8. Imrahil says:

    Imagine that Our Lord was happy during his Passion…

    Yes, he was.

    And we do hold that everybody is somebody.

    That said, to equalize “somebody” in this sentence with EMHC seems… strange. And indefensible.

  9. JohnE says:

    Or as Syndrome from The Incredibles would say:
    “And when everyone’s super…no one will be!”

    [GMTA. I thought of that same movie, when the mother and son have this exchange: Helen: Everyone’s special, Dash. Dash: Which is another way of saying no one is.]

  10. chantgirl says:

    Fr Z, some of your readers have not caught on about the Eye of the Tiber yet ;) [Heh heh!] The sad thing is that we would not be surprised if a Pastor actually did this! I can’t hear “happy Jesus” without having flashbacks to the first and only time I ever saw Godspell.

  11. Spoof though it be, this scenario illustrates the proposition that, once a single exception is made for someone to do what no one ought to do, eventually everyone will be doing it. Once there is one person is allowed to distribute the sacred elements with unconsecrated hands, one person receiving Our Lord in unconsecrated hands, one person not genuflecting to the Blessed Sacrament, why not everyone?

  12. JuliaSaysPax says:

    WAIT. Since EM’s come up to the altar and receive directly from the priest, this would mean that everyone would receive from a priest. When it gets a bit crowded there, they’ll have to develop some sort of special place for people to receive—> altar rails are coming back, guys!

  13. Joseph-Mary says:

    It may be a spoof–then it should have used a made up parish name in a made up city:

    I happen to know the pastor at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Loveland, Colorado and his name is not nick Farley.

    This is NOT funny. This is an affront to the good and holy true pastor and to an active Marian and Eucharistic parish that is building a perpetual adoration chapel. I find this slanderous in fact.

    [Breathe… breathe… in… out… in… out…]

  14. As the old saying goes, don’t give ’em any ideas they’ll actually use.

  15. Mike says:

    In the time it takes to get the dozen EM’s lined up and ready, if ONE priest and ONE deacon helped the celebrant, we’d finish Mass sooner. The time element is a dodge. It’s all about empowerment, I believe.

  16. poohbear says:

    A friend who was an EMHC while attending a prominent Jesuit college was taught to smile and make eye contact with the person receiving, and if the person didn’t smile and make eye contact back, not to give them the host. That is a true story, which makes this spoof all too realistic.

  17. Skeinster says:

    I have no idea what sort of expression Father has on his face, b/c we are instructed to close our eyes when receiving (EF).
    Glad this is a spoof, sad that it could have been completely plausible.

  18. cwalshb says:

    As I said there, I am in favor of affirmative action for Extraordinary Ministers (then again, yikes, Minister is a male noun…should be Ministrethren or Ministry People). There is very low diversity among them as they are overwhelmingly old and female.

  19. Parochus says:

    It’s most regrettable that this spoof uses the name of a real parish that is quite devout and orthodox in its Eucharistic and Marian piety. Check out its website: http://www.saintjohns.us/about
    It would have been much better to use a fictitious name rather than malign a parish that is soundly Catholic.

  20. Dies Irae says:

    Oh, I think the name of that priest was not accurately reported.

    It should have been Father Margaret Farley.

    Fr Z's Gold Star Award

  21. wmeyer says:

    Reminds me very much of my former parish, where I think the smallest number of EMHCs I ever saw approach was 8. And that, at a Mass with little more than 100 people in the pews. A more normal number was 12. Not only did the separate (don’t the rubrics forbid that?) serving of the EMHCs take a good deal of time, but once they were deployed, the traffic flow reminded me of a subway platform in morning rush hour.

  22. Kat says:

    As someone who grew up on The Onion, I’m a huge fan of this digital parodical. It’s clean, it’s funny, it uses satire well. I’m going to take a stab at the probability that the writer grabbed a town name, grabbed a name of a typical-sounding Catholic parish, and unfortunately came up with an actual, existing church. It happens. Chill, people.

  23. Dr. Sebastianna says:

    The sad part about this is…. I could actually see it happening somewhere in the US….

  24. RichR says:

    Fr. Peter Stravinskas gave a talk wherein he noted that 90% of American Catholics who go to Mass on Sunday receive Holy Communion from an EMHC.

    You can’ t tell me this doesn’t diminish the views of the ministerial priesthood.

  25. LisaP. says:

    I suspect one of the side effects of the extreme use of EMHC is co-opting those who really want to be in the service of the Church. I feel it when I see girls serving as altar servers, like I’d like my girls to be involved in Mass by doing that themselves, and I realize that if they had trained for this before I’d ever heard it wasn’t a good idea I’d have a very, very hard time withdrawing them from the program. I’m sure there are bad reasons for becoming EMHCs — pride, social clubbism, whatever. But some if not many probably are doing what they think they are supposed to do to support the Church, do their part, practice their religion fervently, etc. So the very people who want to be building up the Church in America are drawn into a service that many feel weakens it.

  26. jbpolhamus says:

    As Dr. Johnson said dismissively, “Nothing odd will do for long. Tristram Shandy did not last.” And neither will this, human apathy (fortunately, in this case) being what it is, naturally endemic. Most of them won’t be interested, and most of the rest will be put off by the sheer weirdness of it. Like
    “pop” eating itself, liberal Catholicism eventually drives its own away, like a snake shedding its skin. Ce la guerre.

  27. Granny says:

    The use of EMHC in most parishes is an abuse. They are not to be used every day, every Sunday and every day of holy obligation. Many of them sign up because they are encouraged by some liberal running the ministry of the parish to help Father ______. Father goes along because he doesn’t want to hurt feelings or make the person running the ministry office cranky. The real problem is that the people in the pews don’t know any better. They don’t question because they don’t know enough to know there is anything wrong. The problem is in the office and it’s usually not Father either =) With so few priests, doing so many things, they have to surrender some decisions to others. If your parish is using EM outside of guidelines set in place after Vatican 2, read this
    and listen to this

    Then send both to your Priest and to the ministry office in your parish.
    Here are links to some things you will find helpful if the EMHC or other laity are blessing people, laying on hands for healing, and other grey areas that are currently popular in NO parishes.
    Laying on of hands by laity

    Laity blessings, last paragraph here

    Look at #79, 87 , 151, 154, 158 on this page for further clarification from Cardinal Arinze, Rome.

    Make an appointment to speak to your priest about the situation since he is the one that has the ultimate say over what happens at Mass. Be nice. But ask point blank why this is happening.
    If you are told, Jesus is a big Boy and can take care of himself… or… “I’ll have to ask so and so if a change would interrupt the choreograpy” or, “I don’t want to hurt “so and so” feelings by making changes… or the big one….Fr tells you that he uses them to save time ask him how many minutes are swallowed up by their gathering in the aisle, getting their hand sanitizer, processing up to the altar, giving them Communion, passing out the Precious Blood, then their recieving the Precious Blood, then everyone processing to their place in the church and then Communion of the faithful can begin!!!!!!! It is a lame excuse.
    What else can you do?
    Sit on the side of the church that the priest goes to for distribution, for us it was the Gospel side and only recieve from the priest. If he switches up sides either go to the end of the line on that side of the church or don’t go to Communion.
    When that fails…
    Then you send the links to your friends in the parish who will send them to their friends who will probably send them to the ministry office and to father. These links all have documentation that can take you right back to the Vatican documents.
    Cardinal Arinze’s video is clear as can be and the information in the EWTN link lays it out clear.
    EMHC priveleges are being abused. There is no need for them 90% of the time!

    When all else fails… go find the local Latin Mass parish. JOIN IT, make the drive! If they offer the NO it will be done with the greatest of reverence. At the local TLM parish, the only difference between the two Masses is the language and the scheduled readings. Communion is on your knees, on your tongue and there isn’t an EMHC in site.

  28. Granny says:

    Link to Cardinal Arinze

  29. kellym says:

    I made the decision a couple of years ago to only receive Holy Communion from the priest saying Mass. I just couldn’t take it anymore. So I skip across the aisle to the center section and wait to enter that line rather than the one closer to my section of pews with an EMHC person. Because I choose to exclusively receive on the tongue, it was either that or not take Holy Communion at all. I occasionally get a couple of looks from people but overall nobody gives a fig.

    Of course I got outsmarted the other week when Father “changed lanes” with the seminarian who was assisting at Mass and I ended up in his line. But in my mind that’s still a step up from a lay person. He’s going to need practice at distributing on the tongue – might as well give it.

  30. frodo says:

    I had to do a double take as I wouldn’t be surprised….

    Then I saw Eye of the Tiber.

    Well played. Well played, indeed.

  31. Pingback: “When everyone is somebody, then no-one's anybody” | Fr. Z's Blog … | Nail It To The Cross

Comments are closed.