Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Some Questions

Ever since the announcement that the St Mary of the Angels parishioners would be attending the 10 AM mass at Our Mother of Good Counsel, just a few blocks away, pending their reception into the OCSP, several questions have been at the back of my mind.
  1. The Our Lady of Grace OCSP group meets in the cafeteria of La Salle High School, which is 17.2 miles and about 25 minutes down the freeway from Our Mother of Good Counsel. The Pasadena group seems, based on a recent photo, to be very sparsely attended. St Mary of the Angels had about 25 voting "members" based on the May meeting, though this is no longer a meaningful number except as a rough measure of interest and attendance. It doesn't seem practical to maintain two separate small groups so close together. What will eventually happen here?
  2. St Mary of the Angels had a choir and a music program before losing its facility. OMGC reorganized its mass times a couple of years ago, and in doing so, it lost the choir at the newly established 10 AM mass. Is there some way the St Mary's choir could now sing at the OMGC 10 AM mass? For that matter, there would be the possibility of having the St Mary's organist-music director play the organ at that mass -- unfortunately, the OMGC organ is now seldom used otherwise.
  3. The last I heard, Fr Davis at OMGC had been given the task of making the OF mass at OMGC more traditional. This is an area where talent from St Mary of the Angels could be very helpful if it were deftly employed, whether or not an OCSP group also established a DW mass.
  4. If Fr Kelley were ordained in the OCSP, is there anything that would prevent him from also taking OF masses at OMGC? Fr Mott, OMGC's pastor, is, I believe, several years older than Fr Kelley, though Fr Kelley himself is now at canonical retirement age. But if Fr Kelley were brought into involvement with the OF mass at OMGC, I believe this could also have a good effect on making the OF mass there more reverent, which I believe is something Frs Davis and Mott intend in any case.
As a recent visitor said, the mass is the mass, OF, EF, DW, or Eastern Rite. It can be done well or less well no matter what. It seems to me that there would be opportunities for synergy with the overall worship life at OMGC if the experience of the St Mary's group were brought into the mainstream there.

I've found that at another Catholic parish in the general Hollywood-Silverlake-Atwater-Glendale area, it's possible to have a very reverent and inspiring OF mass. It's possible that a group like St Mary's could discover this even without trying to implement a DW mass in a separate-but-equal environment -- but of course, a great many things would have to come into conjunction for that to take place.

One issue would be that the OMGC parish uses the Breaking Bread missalette, which stresses Dan Schutte-style music, while St Mary's had been using the DW missal and the 1940 TEC hymnal. Certainly there is good music available in the Breaking Bread missal, though, and one thing that's always puzzled me after a fairly brief investigation is that a hard-cover Catholic missal with complete readings and far better music doesn't seem to be all that much more expensive than buying a new Breaking Bread each year.

I have no idea what the real opportunities are here, or whether all sorts of Machiavellian issues would intervene. I share the concerns of the visitor who commented at the bottom of yesterday's post. But OMGC is a shrinking parish in an affluent community that might be able to support positive developments in worship style. As a prominent non-Catholic recently asked, "What have you got to lose?"