I was and still am a strong supporter of the EF, but after years of building and developing both personal and professional relationships, I fell away from my faith.
I have recently begun attending Sunday Mass after I finish work (7pm).
This means attending the parish closest to my work, as I go there right after my shift.
During the Holy Sacrifice this week the presiding priest read the Gospel, gave his homily (5-10 min), and then proceeded to give almost 25 minutes to a layperson (a chair of a fundraising committee), to:
1. Give information regarding the fundraising plan
2. Inform the congregation what the money was being used for (cosmetic reasons such as a new parking lot were mentioned before evangelization and building the faith)
3. Inform us all that we have pledge forms and pens at the end of every pew, and that everyone in attendance NEEDS to fill it out, regardless if we are pledging funds or not.
4. Proceeded to inform us that annual donations over 3 years were being taken, and that if we wanted to donate $9000 over 3 years, that would be great!
A reminder this was DURING Holy Mass. This occurred before Communion and after the Liturgy of the Word.
This is only the second time I attended this parish, but it worries me to return even though it is the only place I can participate in the Holy Sacrifice.
I felt this was extremely disrespectful to the True Presence of Jesus, and took away from what I came back to the church for.
This seems to be a Diocesan effort, not just parish based, as several parishes in the diocese were mentioned. What are my next steps?
Priests don’t like to have to bring money up from the pulpit. But it is necessary. That’s the moment when they reach the majority of people engaged in the life of the parish.
What’s the alternative? Wait until after Mass… when everyone is gone? Slate a meeting on a weekday… when nobody will come? We should explore methods of electronic giving, btw.
The alternative is to shut of the lights, lock the doors of the church, and slate it for closure.
Bills have to be paid.
Blame Even and Adam.
Also, pastors really don’t have a choice when it comes to diocesan programs.
If we want churches, we have to pay for them.
If you think that a new parking lot is “cosmetic” you perhaps haven’t heard the complaints, considered issues of snow removal on uneven surfaces, or considered what it would cost to let it get worse.
One way to avoid this would be to find out ahead of time from the priest how much money is needed and then write him a check for the full amount so that he doesn’t have to make the irritating announcements.