How Catholic parishes can help an under-served community: The jerks

Our pastor recently distributed pencils and slips of paper, and humbly asked us to write down what the parish could do to help bring us closer to God. He promised to read them all and pray over them, and do what he could.

I can only imagine that he got a wide range of answers, depending on who was responding. Parents of small children probably wanted crayons, changing tables, and an ally in the pulpit. College students almost certainly asked for a late Mass so they could sleep off whatever wretched thing they did on Saturday night. Singles probably wanted to feel like they weren’t forgotten; people with special needs surely asked for more accessibility. And these are all reasonable requests, and things the Church ought to be able to supply.

But you know which community is grievously under-served? You know which group of laymen is consistently overlooked, neglected, silenced, and marginalized?

The Jerk Community. Yeah, that’s right. We jerks are children of God, just like the rest of youse, and we have our needs. My jerk children stole all my slips of paper and I think they may have eaten the pencil, but if I had another chance, here is what I would tell my pastor that jerks like me really need . . .

Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly

Image from The expression of the emotions in man and animals by Charles Darwin via Flickr (no known copyright restrictions)

6 sermons I could do without

I have endless tolerance for boring sermons, weird sermons, silly sermons, scary sermons, tiresome sermons, corny sermons, uninspired sermons, irrelevant sermons, rambling sermons, goofy sermons, and sermons that make me wonder which will come first, the end of the homily or sweet, sweet death.

But I don’t complain! Most of the time. I do, however, have a short list of things I could do without, which I offer out of sheer, self-giving generosity, as your respectful daughter in the Faith.

Read the rest of my latest at The Catholic Weekly.

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Image: By BPL (originally posted to Flickr as Preaching) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Tell me again why you won’t sing at Mass

angry-woman-church

Maybe your church is different, but in all my life, I’ve found something to dislike about the music at Mass. When I was little, the freshly post-conciliar church was still struggling in the smothering arms of liturgical silliness, and the music followed suit (a clown suit, to be specific). Then there was the priest who seemed to be trying to swallow the microphone; the warbling cantor who thought she was a soprano despite all evidence; the crazy Poles with their hymns that sounded good, only they didn’t have any vowels in them; and then of course the banjos. Oh, my lord, the banjos.

Read the rest of my latest at The Catholic Weekly.

Image: An angry woman: 16th C. misericord, the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame (Collégiale Notre-Dame), Le Puy-Notre-Dame, Anjou, France, photo by Spencer Means via Flickr (Creative Commons)