Bulletin blurb from 1967 from a Long Island Parish

This, from a priest friend, is too good not to share.

Apparently Father had had enough with the nuptial confetti.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kathleen10 says:

    haha, oh, for the days of straight talk! This would trigger delicate flowers all over the place now.
    We’ve lost so much, and one of the biggest losses has been in the realm of speech and freedom of thought. This one has snuck up on us and it is insidious. We quickly move from speech people get “offended” by, to cultural tyranny. The only thing to do is fight PC thought and speech with all possible vigor! Remind others we have no right not to be offended in our Constitution.

  2. tigger says:

    I would love to see this type of language used in addressing the attire at Mass or weddings. ” Modern fashions are cheap, vulgar and dirty, just because everyone is wearing them doesn’t mean you need to wear it to Holy Mass…Some of us may have low class relatives that we have to invite or are tempted to imitate, but can’t we encourage them to dress like the First Lady instead of the Kardashians. Remember, modern fashions are a moral hazard, but they don’t provide insurance for that, so please ENSURE you exercise some decency.”

  3. Cranky Old Man says:

    I am happy to be regarded as one of the low class relatives from Brooklyn. There has never been a family event hosted by, sponsored by or involving my snooty Long Island relatives that I have not been delighted to miss. They could not wait to leave tough, vibrant, traditional city communities, the homes and parishes and coffee shops and gritty but authentic street life of our immigrant and deeply Catholic grandparents, to run to a wilderness of shopping malls and expressways and “The Lord be with you, my VERY good friends in Christ” and state parks that no one uses. All of this for a center hall? A taedio vitae in partibus infidelium extra urbem, libera nos, Domine!

  4. Joy65 says:

    “I would love to see this type of language used in addressing the attire at Mass or weddings. ”

    I agree 100%.

  5. Just Some Guy says:

    Ah yes, the Kennedys. Brings to mind the quip that the boys were so eager to indicate they had no intention of imposing Catholic morality on America that they didn’t even impose it on themselves.

  6. David says:

    I have a completely different take on this blurb. It is a perfect example of the long-standing desire of the American Catholic Church to have its members be treated just like the WASPS who ran the country from the start. That involved acting like them, of course, which brings us directly to the sorry state we are in today with “Catholic” politicians.

    [Some people have to take things so seriously. *sigh*]

  7. Ave Crux says:

    I actually think this was shockingly cruel for a church to publish, referring to Italians as “low class relatives..they have to invite to the wedding”.

    The Irish Catholics ghetto-ized Italian Catholics, turning them away from their churches and schools and treating them as lower-than-human beings.

    I wouldn’t have given this any dignity by republishing it on this blog even for a laugh. It’s cruel; and it’s disgraceful what went on at that time in the Catholic Church in this regard.

    It’s just another symptom of the corruption of Catholicism which led to the chastisement we are all now experiencing and which God permitted for that very reason.

    Catholicism is intended by God to make saints of us, and to lead us to embrace one another with a dignified, unconditional love. Instead churches were publishing statements like this…?

    [Relax. You’re okay.]

  8. Ave Crux says:

    P.S. I personally know people who are turned away from Irish Catholic schools – by professed religious Sisters!! – when they were children simply because they were Italian.

  9. clare joseph says:

    Another great example of why I love New York. Thank you, Father Z.

  10. Joe in Canada says:

    Those Kennedy Catholics have certainly succeeded in fitting in.

  11. chantgirl says:

    I’ve always said that if God doesn’t have a sense of humor, I’m in big trouble ;)

    This gave me a good chuckle. We all have some low class relatives, lol. I’m German/Scotch-Irish/French, so probably half of the ethnic jokes out there apply to me :)

    (For those who mentioned wedding attire- I agree 1000%. I don’t see how most weddings aren’t a near occasion of sin now with the clothing/alcohol/dirty dancing combo that goes on.)

  12. Charivari Rob says:

    Well… it might have been tongue-in-cheek. Any LI priest of that time would’ve known that at least half his flock were transplants from the City. For that matter, just about any LI priest at that time would have lived part of their lives in that territory as part of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Rockville Centre wasn’t established until sometime in the late 40s or early/mid 50s.

    …and the Kennedys… Well, folks were in love with them. JFK was a tragic victim and something of a “martyr”. Old man Joe was still alive. The illusion machine was still pretty powerful.

    …or the priest could have been the cranky type that anything too “ethnic”/exuberant/etc… was too boisterous and offended his sensibilities. Wouldn’t be the first nor the last Catholic to be like that.

    Can’t say I ever ran into or heard of confetti in church. Or outside, either. Rice can be vacuumed or swept so much more easily. I came along a little later, but also in a parish in a suburb of NYC with lots of Italians and Irish. About the only trend I remember (and this came along much later) is the move to birdseed instead of rice (also the fad of little containers of bubble liquid)

  13. stephen c says:

    Great comment thread. I agree (not that anyone should care much, but I do) with everybody who has had anything to say on this comment thread (I agree most with David and Ave Crux, especially David, but also with everybody else, including Father Z’s comments in red type… Well, Catholicism is a big place, and people who disagree can both be right, sometimes).

    Thanks for posting this, Father Zuhlsdorf. It did make me laugh.

    I grew up in the Diocese of Rockville Center, where I assume this church was located: and since there is a reference to the poor sinful Kennedys, and since they had apparently not yet been found out to be mostly pagans (at best), I assume this quote is from the early 1960s – I have lots of good (and bad) memories from those days, but I recognize now that it was a very very unusual time and place.

    The name of the priest at my Long Island church – he was sort of crusty and could have written the little screed contra the joys of Mott Street, in the long ago bulletin reproduced by Father Zuhlsdorf -(well, he would not have written the screed, not being Italian himself and therefore not wanting to be dismissive of Mott Street, but if he were Italian, he very well might have written something similar) – was Father Charles Murphy. Please pray for him, I saw him be unnecessarily rude once or twice (he almost had a fit when none of us, preparing for Confirmation, knew the difference between folding our hands in prayer and clasping our hands in prayer – it was not our fault, nobody had explained the difference to us!), but he worked hard and people who knew him better than I did seemed to respect him, and even seemed to like him, and I guess he is in Heaven already but there is also a chance, inter alia, that Purgatory is still his address. He may have been called Monsignor Murphy at some point (I looked him up on the internet and I don’t think he was ever a Monsignor, but the internet is full of falsehood and lies and unreported truths). I hope he is not still in Purgatory, but I pray for him often in case my hopes are not quite in line with what God has, as of now, proposed.

    For the record, there is no chance that he remembered me while he was alive. I was just one of thousands and thousands of parishioners. I was not an altar boy and my family did not go to church much and certainly did not help out much, if at all, financially or socially or in the charitable efforts of the church.

    I like to think that once he saw us (us meaning the Confirmation class I was part of) praying and wondered if some of us would pray for him thousands and thousands of times, long after everybody in that church was profoundly changed by time. If he did wonder that, the answer is yes, some of us have prayed for him thousands and thousands of times (maybe even more than that – or maybe just a little less – I don’t really keep count). That day he ignorantly yelled at a group of children because nobody had taught them the difference between clasped hands and hands folded in prayer – that day there were maybe 60 of us in the church pews, at our pre-Confirmation class. One or two are now nuns, and have prayed for Father Murphy exponentially more often than I have, I am almost morally certain about that. Some are dead – one or two cancer victims, one firefighter killed by a crack addict, one or two messy suicides (or, I hope, with Father Vianney, victims of accidents that looked like suicides, only God knows). One hopes for the best, one hopes that they are capable of still praying. Some are good Catholic grandparents now, with many Christian grandchildren, who admire Grandpa or Grandma and would love to be able to see, in memory, just a few moments of those long forgotten days when Grandma and Grandpa were preparing for their Confirmation, just a few dozen months after their First Communion.

    If they could see those few moments, they too would pray for Father Murphy as much as any one could want them to. Thanks for reading. Ceteris paribus, Father Murphy would pray for you, too.

  14. Alice says:

    How much you want to bet that those low class relatives had an embarrassing number of kids and that Father was hush hush about Humanae Vitae when it came out a year later? Throwing rice (or something like it) is an ancient tradition and it means something, something that is unPC to mention as being the natural end of marriage.

  15. LarryW2LJ says:

    I don’t Fr would have liked us Poles from Central Jersey, then. We throw rings of kielbasa. Get a ring to land around the neck of the Bride or Groom? 500 points!

  16. richiedel says:

    It’s telling that the writer would have been able to write “We’re trying to act like those other Catholics, the Kennedy’s.” and known that it would have been acceptable.

  17. clare joseph says:

    Thanks, stephen c, for a great post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It felt somehow like the ideal response to the original great post.

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