“Ministry is not about…”

A friend sent this.

From the composer David Haas… from HERE


What do you, dear readers, think ministry is not about?

Ministry is not about [FILL IN BLANK] – 
it is about [FILL IN BLANK].

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Holy crap!

  2. MrTipsNZ says:

    Ministry is not about God
    it is about David Haas

  3. Jared Clark says:

    I would joke that “ministry is about being vague”, but he already included that on his list. Several times.

  4. andia says:

    Ministry is not about me – it is about others and about God.

  5. tioedong says:

    Lots of sweetness and light here. Happy happy people doing trendy compassionate things.

    Sounds like a poem right off a Halmark card.

    Platitudes are easy.
    But being a good priest means following Christ to calvary.

  6. JonPatrick says:

    I would take many of the “not abouts” and make them what Ministry IS about.

    Leading people to God
    Providing clarity
    Getting into Heaven

    He seems to have gotten it all backwards.

  7. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Why do I get an image of Spicoli from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” when I read this?

    Ministry is about looking at that wave and saying, “Hey bud, let’s party!”


  8. deo_volente says:

    Ugh, I couldn’t even read the whole thing. I find it interesting that such an enlightened, modern Christian would feel the need to paint the world in such either-or terms.

  9. Moro says:

    In all seriousness, Ministry is not about social justice, it is about the salvation of souls.

  10. The last two lines were the most bizarre. Why would anyone follow Christ if he didn’t believe in God?

    Seriously strange stuff.

  11. catholictrad says:

    Ministry is not about entertaining the masses (Masses) –
    it is about offering True worship to God.

  12. Grumpy Beggar says:

    MrTipsNZ says:
    “Ministry is not about God
    it is about David Haas.”

    FOCL . Thanks for the smile MrTipsNZ – just made my day a little easier to bear.
    Oh, I almost forgot.

    Ministry is not about the fabric softener ;
    it is about the soap.

  13. hilltop says:

    Now, if only that Marty Haugen could put it to a catchy sing-song!

    I can see it up on lights: Hass & Haugen bring you ……

  14. Mariana2 says:

    Ministry is so about shutting the * up!

  15. kbf says:

    Poor David Haas, nothing concrete in his fwuffy bwunny world view. He reminds me of the politician here in the UK (Yvette Cooper) whose heart bled so much at the plight of the Syrian migrants that she claimed that “if only….” the UK would let them in that she would house a family in her second home. Never made good on it.

    By contrast, and it’s hard hitting, I’ve been impressed by Fr Pontifex aka Fr Claude Burns (check him out on Youtube – especially Why I Love Religion – orthodox, articulate, hard identity Catholicism) and “Phatmass”. One of the Catholic rappers on that album is Mars Ill and the track “Love’s Not”. If Haas’ ode is “Ministry’s Not” then by contrast read this:

    Love’s not hate and love’s not a cynic
    Love’s not seen on Jerry Springer or expressed by middle finger
    And love is rarely captured in the words of any singer
    Love’s not domestic violence saying shut up or be silent
    And love’s not represented in the way of the police sirens
    Abandoned children in abandon buildings
    Random killings, love’s not slow to help you, love is ready and willing
    Love is patient and kind, love is sight for the blind
    Love was borne before the morning, love’s transforming your mind
    Love is body and blood, bread and wine, remember the time
    Love is God divine, crucified for mankind

    I bet Haas can’t understand why young people are attracted by the hard identity Catholicism of Catholic Underground/Phatmass and not him. The same confused look exists on the faces of the “youth leaders” in my parish that wonder why the kids think that their hippy guitars and 60’s youth relived are just plain sad.

  16. Pigeon says:

    Ministry is not about being in a movie.

    Ministry is about creating a successful TV show called The Priest’s Apprentice.

  17. Tristan says:

    Does he copyright all his Facebook posts?

  18. Ellen says:

    This reads like the sign out in front of our local Unitarian Universalist church. It’s all ooey, and gooey and love, peace and butterflies. Nothing in Hass’s list makes demands of us. Reading this is like trying to swim in a lake of molasses.

  19. LarryW2LJ says:

    And the title of this is “The Spirit of Vatican II”?

    On the whole, I think this piece is hyper-glycemic.

  20. La Sandia says:

    This drivel is actually COPYRIGHTED. Seriously?!?!?

  21. bsjy says:

    It is often easily compressed into:

    Ministry is not about YOU –
    it is about ME.

  22. dixitDOMINUSDOMINOmeo says:

    Ministry is not about showing people their identity in Christ Jesus, it’s about telling them they’re just vague, amorphous blobs of flesh.

  23. APX says:

    This isn’t even grammatically correct. “Being honouring” wtf?

  24. dixitDOMINUSDOMINOmeo says:

    Okay, I just thought of another one:

    Ministry is not about ministry –
    it’s about mynystry.

  25. gsk says:

    Ministry is not about turning on the light –
    It is about sitting in the dark and celebrating how much better you look.

  26. benedetta says:

    Here is a finale for his list:

    Ministry is about pointedly telling others what it is not,
    And not about letting those whom we disagree be Church alongside us, because shaming and silencing others is a more useful Alinsky tactic than respectful discussion.

  27. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Whatever else ministry is not about, it’s DEFINITELY not about brevity.

  28. george says:

    “Haugen-Haas” sure sounds a lot like “Haagen-Dazs”. I wonder if they have anything else in common…

  29. Georgemartyrfan says:

    Ministry is not about healing me with your mouth –
    It is about punching heretics in the mouth.

  30. HyacinthClare says:

    I have no authority to give one, but Dr. Peters has earned a gold star! Good laugh to start the day. And the rest of you are right, too. This is appalling.

  31. I distinctly recall being taught in the seminary about “me and my ministry.” For example, being asked: “What is going to be your ministry?

    At the time (and I continue to believe) this is Protestantism. I have always thought “ministry” is “service” to the Church and “in the name” of the Church.

    What I have found noteworthy over the decades about those who held the position of “me and my ministry” viewed their ministry as providing them a forum for challenging and ultimately changing the Church into their image and likeness.

    Must be that I’m just too “old fashioned” and out of tune with brave new millennia of “my” ministries.

  32. TNCath says:

    Ministry is not about the Truth.
    Ministry is about temporizing and rationalizing to obscure the Truth..

  33. While conceding that Mr. Haas occasionally has a valid point (however annoyingly presented), overall this is a fitting epitaph for the “Spirit of Vatican II” era.

  34. Imrahil says:

    As often, some of the things are defensible, even if I might dislike the all-abounding tone.

    However, I would directly turn around one thing (and maybe some others, but one thing most of all).

    Ministry is not about asking questions. It is about providing answers.

    Two points:
    1. In our modern world, so many questions abound. No need to make people’s lives even harder. And yes, an unanswered question does make a life harder.
    2. Even if we do recognize that answering questions beyond what we already know is a valuable thing,

    ministry is not about stealing the job of philosophers and natural scientists. It is about sowing crops on the acre they have ploughed.

  35. Sonshine135 says:

    Ministry is not about twinkies –
    it is about the cream filling.

    Ministry is not about pie –
    it is about the apples inside.

    Ministry is not about singing a crappie David Haas tune –
    it is about Deus Vulting in the Holy Land.

  36. Bos Mutissimus says:

    Ministry is not about Wrapping the Fish
    Ministry is about Lining the Birdcage

    Ministry is not about Drinking Thy Own Poison
    Ministry is about Accusing Others of Venom

    Ministry is not about The Dread Pirate Koch Brothers
    Ministry is about The Benevolent George Soros

    Ministry is not about Saying the Black and Doing the Red
    Ministry is Color Blind (and Tone Deaf)

    Ministry is not about The Acton Institute
    Ministry is about SNAP shakedowns

  37. LeoXIII says:

    Ministry is not about making coherent and meaningful statements. It is about placing abstract nouns immediately after existential verbs to fabricate trite linguistic copulas such as “we are church.”

  38. Ariseyedead says:

    Ministry is not about any particular ends –
    Ministry is about endless particulars.

  39. rwj says:

    Ministry is the ecclesial activity of a minster. Haas is not a minister.

  40. FrDulli says:

    Ministry is not about canned aphorisms. It is about the ruling, teaching and sanctifying office of Jesus Christ. Fin.

  41. Spade says:

    I see somebody got a C in a 100 level philosophy course as an undergrad.

    This is so full of logical fallacies and errors that it is sad.

  42. Fr. D. says:

    And Mr. Hass and many others receive the royalties from the publishers who print these “hymns” that many parishes spend a good part of their budget on. Thankfully some parishes have dusted off the Liber Usualis!

  43. iamlucky13 says:

    Ministry is not about liturgical music that praises God, beseeches His help, or laments our sins.
    It is about vague metaphors that avoid dwelling deeply on universal truths.

  44. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Ministry is not about The Word; it is just about word salad.
    Ministry is not about The Word Made Flesh; it is about the world and the flesh . . . .
    Ministry is not about The Truth; it is about feelings, whoa whoa whoa feeelings, nothing more than feelings.
    Ministry is not about taking up one’s cross; it is about being cross with traditionalists.
    Ministry is not about repentance; it is about redefining basic morals.

  45. MWindsor says:

    Honestly, I got nothin’ on the “ministry is” silliness, but while I was reading through some of the lyrics above, this came to mind:

    With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
    Here we are now, entertain us
    I feel stupid and contagious
    Here we are now, entertain us

  46. Benedict Joseph says:

    When attempting to be understanding one believes them helpless against such poetic impulse – that none of them can withstand it. But that is not the case today. The lot of them are simply frauds. Then again, it appears I am more indulgent than the offense demands.

  47. slainewe says:

    By Mr. Haas’ logic:

    Ministry is not about leading men into Heaven –
    it is about following men into Hell.

    “Lord, have mercy on us.”

  48. pmullane says:

    Ministry is talking about sharing ones valuable self.

    and then copywriting the conversation.

    ‘Ministry is not about providing clarity’

    You said it buddy.

  49. frahobbit says:

    …”ministry is not about pulling people toward something, it’s about walking with people while searching…”

    If I’m in a riptide and you swim out to me, and you know which way the shore lies, you’d d–n well better pull me toward shore, and not paddle next to me saying nothing.

  50. Spade says:

    Ministry is not just about gathering people in, it’s also about the big lake they call Gitche Gumee.

    (I know it’s not Haas, but can anybody really tell the difference?)

  51. eyeclinic says:

    Ministry is not about Haugen and Haas;Ministry is about being a founding member of The Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas.

  52. Semper Gumby says:

    Ministry is not “honoring our children’s wisdom,” “celebrating ambiguity,” or “becoming the song.” Ministry is not about Wonderful Me.

    Ministry begins with the Truth, and leaving childish ways behind.

  53. Mr. Graves says:

    Ministry is not about meaning;
    It’s about anything that can be sung to the tune of “I Am the Bread of Life.”

  54. VeritasVereVincet says:

    Ministry is not about making people feel good.
    It’s about helping them to be good.

    Mr. Haas seems to have got it backwards.

  55. chantgirl says:

    Ministry is not about mic check and hearing your voice over the PA; it’s about letting the rest of us poor souls at Mass hear ourselves think enough to pray during Communion.

  56. tz2026 says:

    Ministry meets sophistry.

  57. tz2026 says:

    More screed than creed.

  58. Johnny Domer says:

    Ministry isn’t about promoting the Church’s ancient musical treasury, the overwhelming majority of which is in the public domain, free to access, and free to use.

    It’s about copyrighting every song you write (and, apparently, every thought that comes out of your head), charging churches exorbitant royalties to use your cruddy music (printed in cheap and ugly worship aids and hymnals that get thrown away every year), and gettin them DOLLA DOLLA BILLZ Y’ALL.

    [The great composers of sacred music of the past, Palestrina, Mozart, etc., were paid for their work. So were and are and ought to be professional musicians who bring it to life in the context of the Mass and Office. Workers are worthy of their wage. While I am not sanguine, I hope that in time Catholics reject the modern ditties and other rubbish that clutter our worship.]

  59. tz2026 says:

    This is probably in the top 5 reasons people have a legitimate reason to hate a Novus (dis-)Ordo.

    Guitars and Pianos are also reasons to discard the new not-right rite. [Guitar and pianos have nothing to do with the Roman Rite. I don’t think they have anything to do with the Ordinary Form, much less the Extraordinary. They are not associated with true sacred liturgical music. They don’t belong.]

    I appreciate my local church even more, the only thing harder to find than a Latin mass is a Novus Ordo celebrated with proper reverence. They are often co-located. Even harder is to find one with a Priest and Congregation in love with God, Jesus, and Mary instead of the liturgy itself.

  60. The Cobbler says:

    George, Haagen-Dazs has better taste!

    Let’s see…

    Ministry is not about doing what Jesus told us,
    It is about imagining our own Jesus instead.

  61. ScholaLady says:

    APX said, ” This isn’t even grammatically correct. ‘Being honouring’ wtf?”

    Ministry isn’t about good grammar,
    It is about using words any ol’ way you want.

  62. Indulgentiam says:

    Good grief!
    Ministry is not errant verbal diarrhea.

    Someone aught to tell this poor soul to pull his nose out of his navel and go with St. John Marie Vianney’s, definition of Ministry, “Ministry is the importance of salvation and the urgency of conversion as taught in Ezechiel 3:16,21.”
    Saints preserve us from the chaos of confused minds. Mercy

  63. I got about a quarter of the way through before I feared that my dinner might be dislodged from within and land in an undesirable location. Stuff and nonsense. As I grow more aware of the origins of many of our current hymns, singing them becomes harder and harder, which is a shame because I like to sing.

  64. WYMiriam says:

    In an attempt to imitate Mr. Haas:

    Ministry is not about teaching people right versus wrong by teaching them Catholic doctrine and principles;
    ministry is about meeting people where they live, and being compassionate to them.

    In an attempt to set the record straight:

    Ministry is not about writing lengthy “poetry” claiming to give definitive answers as to what ministry is or is not about;
    ministry is about going into the whole world and preaching the good news of salvation through the forgiveness of sin.

    (from a card-carrying member of The SMMMHDH)

  65. Matt Robare says:

    Ministry isn’t about preserving the faith handed down from the Apostles, for which the martyrs have won their crowns, it is about ME, IN THE HERE AND NOW DOING WHAT I WANT BECAUSE I’M IN CHARGE AND I’M AN ENLIGHTENED PERSON AND ALL THOSE OLD PRIESTS WHO SMELLED LIKE PIPE TOBACCO AND NEVER LET ME DO ANYTHING I WANTED TO DO ARE DEAD AND BURIED NOW! I mean, er, it’s about, uh, understanding and community.

  66. Spade says:

    “I appreciate my local church even more, the only thing harder to find than a Latin mass is a Novus Ordo celebrated with proper reverence”

    This occurs?

    Because I’ve bee a Catholic for 33 years in 6 states and I can say I’ve never seen a real Vatican II Mass as described in the documents.

  67. KAS says:

    Ministry is not about ecumenism, it is about conversion.

    Ministry is not about how people feel, it is about the state of their souls.

    Ministry is not about parish activities for every imaginable age group, it is about the Sacraments.

  68. iamlucky13 says:

    @ Spade
    “I know it’s not Haas, but can anybody really tell the difference?”

    Yes, because Gordon Lightfoot was actually a pretty decent folk lyricist and didn’t try to pass off cheesy imitations of folk music as liturgical music.

  69. Hidden One says:

    Ministry is not about lay people doing churchy things.
    It is ordained men doing those things for which they were ordained.

  70. paladin says:

    gsk wrote:

    Ministry is not about turning on the light –
    It is about sitting in the dark and celebrating how much better you look.

    :) That… was priceless!

  71. Rich says:

    It is presumptuous and shallow-minded to suppose that all of the dichotomies of what ministry is/doe listed are a matter of either-or and not both-and. Take, for example, “Ministry is not about feeding thousands – / It is about recognizing our hungers.” Didn’t Jesus “have compassion” on the multitude (Mark 6:34) before proceeding to multiply the fish and the loaves for them (Mark 6:35-44)? What if Jesus “recognized the hunger” of the multitude but refrained from feeding them? God save us from such cold-hearted “ministry”. Jesus shows us what ministry is, and his included feeding the multitude. With regard to what ministry is, I will take Jesus’ example over Mr. Haas’s word for it.

  72. Peter Rother says:

    Ministry is not about intellectual property, it is about intellectual perspicacity.

  73. Andkaras says:

    It’s not about ministry falling short, It’s about ministry consistently falling short-on purpose.

  74. PostCatholic says:

    Minsitry is not about insulting, ministry is about correcting.

  75. cda_sister says:

    Lol, George…those were my exact thoughts when I read the post. Made my day.

  76. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Z wrote, “Guitar and pianos have nothing to do with the Roman Rite. […] They are not associated with true sacred liturgical music. They don’t belong.” Is that strictly true, historically? It may be, but thinking about things like theorbos and harpsichords in continuo use in contemporary reconstructions of earlier liturgical music, and some (late) Eighteenth-century fortepiano continuo use got me wondering. As did Nineteenth-century piano reduction of orchestral part practice – did that never, or can that not properly, occur liturgically?

  77. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    This got me thinking (too nerdily?) that “the opening of the ‘Exsultet’ is not about ‘mysteria’ but ‘misteria’ (which is a late spelling of ‘ministeria’, and so ‘exsúltent divína mystéria’ is well translated ‘let Angel ministers of God exult’).”

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