Via Media

Via Media


Just a reminder

posted by awelborn

…you can usually click on the "Saint of the Day" picture over there on the left and get info on, well…the saint of the day. Except when I forget or mess up the link of course.

St. John the Baptist, pray for us!



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Liam

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:35 pm


HAve you ever thought of provings the source for some of those images? Some are great.



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amy

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:41 pm


Got this one here.



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J.C.

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:01 pm


Can anyone point me to a Catholic web site where I can ask some questions and get answers from a real person (not just a FAQ)?
I’m interested in converting but I’m really worried that if I go to Mass at my local parish I will be let down. I was reading their bulletin online and they have 10 people serving as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist for each Sunday Mass. I’m just worried that it won’t be reverent and that they don’t believe in the real presence. I looked at a bunch of bulletins from other nearby parishes and they are all the same.
I was infant baptised in a Methodist church but am otherwise unchurched. Sorry if this is inappropriate for Amy’s blog but you’re the only ones I know who truly believe. Thanks.



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Nancy

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:08 pm


J.C., where are you? I’m wondering whether anyone here can refer you to a local resource as well as a website.



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J.C.

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:20 pm


Hi Nancy. I’m in Columbus, Ohio. Thanks.



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amy

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:22 pm


We have lots of Columbus readers. But you know – if you’re interested in Catholicism, you’re interested in the reality of the Church. It’s just something you have to accept.



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bruce cole

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:30 pm


A. Best of luck to J.C.
B. Saint of the day…hmmm, I noticed your St. Augustine picture linked to James J. O’Donnell’s site. Has anybody out there read his new bio of Augustine? The reviews (including the favorable ones) make it sound pretty smart-ass. I can tell you, having met him briefly and heard him lecture, he’s developed a bit of an attitude re Augustine.



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amy

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:32 pm


I liked his account of Algeria and the sites related to St. Augustine. Interesting.



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Liam

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:40 pm


Thanks, Amy.



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Maureen

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:58 pm


Re: your first question –
Catholic.com has one of its forums dedicated just to asking questions, which is monitored and answered by the very scripturally and theologically knowledgeable folks on staff.
You could also ask a few questions when you go to a Catholic church, or make an appointment to ask questions.
Re: eucharistic ministers
I think you’ll find that the vast majority of extraordinary Eucharistic ministers are reverent and awed by the Real Presence in their hands. The question is whether or not this is the best practice for ordinary Masses.
Re: taking the Church as it is (on Earth, anyway)
Amy won’t say this, so I will — her husband’s books on The How-To Book of the Mass and How to Get the Most out of the Eucharist are great for teaching you to simultaneously deal with the Mystery of the Eucharist — and the Mystery of the Church as visible around you. (Sometimes very mysterious! Heh!)
It’s a greatly more sophisticated approach than my dad’s “Stop looking at the splinters in other people’s eyes!” and my mom’s “Offer it up!”, but that’s the general idea. I especially like the idea of praying for “a word” in the day’s readings and homilies. Myself, I generally get a divine elbowing in the ribs without even having to ask. *wry smile*
As for Columbus parishes — well, find out which one you live in, first. Probably it will be perfectly fine. If you really yearn for communion rails, though, there are parishes that can fix you up. St. Patrick’s downtown, for one.
Hope this helped!



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Maureen

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:07 pm


Er…that should have been “find out about the one you live in”. As in, look in on an actual Mass. If you really don’t like it, then you can look around for a parish you do like (or that fits your schedule, if you work at weird times). Like I say, though, ten to one it’ll be fine.
Forgot to say also that there’s a big “Coming Home Network” convention coming up in Columbus that you might like to look at. Lots of knowledgeable Catholic converts’ll be there for you to talk to, if you want.
http://www.chnetwork.org/deepinhistory.htm



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Brigid

posted August 29, 2005 at 2:41 pm


How brave you are, J.C. What do your initials stand for?They are the same as our Lord and Savior!
Go try out three parishes, three masses and three priests. Look around and ask questions of human beings.
Get off the internet and into a parish and meet some real, though imperfect, people in the Church.
God is with you as you seek him out.



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Caroline

posted August 29, 2005 at 7:16 pm


I am a Eucharistic minister. Tomorrow I will bring Holy Communion to a number of hospitalized Catholics including three patients in a special Alsheimer’s unit. Since, as far as I know this evening, none of these people are at death’s door, I can’t help but conclude that without me, they would not be receiving tomorrow. Sometimes I EM at Sunday Mass in my parish and sometimes on Saturday mornings as well. On these days only because the priest asks me to do so. I suppose he could do it all by himself, but, since he asks, I figure it would be ungracious to refuse. I feel hurt by this negative and resentful attitude toward EM’s which I sometimes note in these blogs and I don’t understand it. I presume that the charge is that the EM’s administer Holy Communion in an irreverent manner? Well, how precisely? Exactly what do they do that is irreverent? Or do they as lay persons, especially as females, lack a mystique?



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Nancy

posted August 29, 2005 at 9:42 pm


No, Catherine, it’s not that you’re irreverant, it’s that according to some folks here (not according to the Church, but we wouldn’t want to pay any attention to that) you’re just not good enough to administer communion. Lay people aren’t good enough for starters, and you’ve compounded that by being a woman.



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HA

posted August 29, 2005 at 11:02 pm


That was CAROLINE, Nancy, not Catherine. For what it’s worth, you sometimes give the impression of not even fully reading a post before deciding to shoehorn it into your own agenda.
For what it’s worth, the complaints I used to hear about eucharistic ministers — both men and women — were *never* directed at those who bring Communion to the sick. If anyone ever characterized this other than a charity of the highest order, which Caroline and all Eucharistic Ministers are commended and honored for, I have yet to hear it. The complaints I’ve heard have to do with the fact that EM’s are supposed to be used only so as to prevent a hardship of sorts. I forget the exact language, except that it was not explicit as to how much extra time would be required so as to have the priest do everything before it constituted a hardship, but in general, priests (or perhaps priests and deacons) are supposed to administer Communion — so that *is* according to the Church. The relevant directives are ignored so regularly these days that people are rightfully puzzled as to how things might have ever been different, but as recently as a few years ago I still heard of people who refused to take Communion from a Eucharistic Minister (of either gender) and insisted on getting into the priest’s line. Even as they blame the *priests*, not the ministers themselves, for the overall situation.
I say this not to take a position on the matter, but just by way of explanation.



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HA

posted August 29, 2005 at 11:21 pm


It should also be remembered that some people are still scandalized at the notion of receiving Communion in the hand, or standing up instead of kneeling behind a rail. It should therefore come as no surprise that a few still take issue with the notion of accepting it from a layperson when there’s a priest in the church. The fact that some see the Eucharistic Ministers as accomplices in some Modernist shenanigans shouldn’t blind anyone to the fact that their complaints are generally about larger issues.
Again, I think even most hard-core RadTrads would agree that those who offer Communion to the sick and shut-in (as opposed to those in the pews) are to be highly, highly commended.



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Maureen

posted August 30, 2005 at 7:16 am


I have no problem with laypeople, women, and servers who haven’t passed the age of majority acting as Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers. But the key word there is in fact “Extraordinary”. There are supposed to be extraordinary difficulties occurring that force the priest to ask laypeople to help out. “It’s Sunday” isn’t an extraordinary circumstance.
Look, if there’s fifty people in my church, my general impression is that there are still going to be a good ten, fifteen people up around the altar. Then they all come down and stand all over the front of church, such that I have trouble not running into someone in a line or some EM when I turn to take Christ’s Body or Blood. (Admittedly, I can be a clumsy walker. Ask my pew-bruises.)
There seems to be a feeling that Communion should never last longer than the playtime of a standard single for radio play (ie, 3-5 minutes). But taking Communion is the climax of Mass, the Sacrament, the moment when we truly are one with God and each other. Why would you want to shorten that?
Why can’t it last ten minutes or so, with a couple-three moments of contemplation after that, as was the norm in the seventies and eighties when I was growing up?
Geez, it’s bad enough being a cantor or choirmember on the days when you can’t give yourself over to contemplation through the music, because there’s no time afterward to think about the fact you just received Jesus Himself. But if you’re sitting in the back of church and are one of the last to receive, you barely have time to get back to your seat before the priest is starting the dismissal.
The vaunted communion rails are admirably quick, but let’s face it — that’s the efficiency of the assembly line.
You may be thinking I spend a lot of time thinking about this. No, actually. On the whole, I don’t really care one way or the other about this. Like most people, I just shrug, blank it out of my mind, and go to spend time with Our Lord. But characterizing this as having a problem with laypeople or women is sooooo wrong, at least for the vast majority of Catholics. If there were ten, fifteen priests and deacons up front instead of layfolks, I would still think it was vast overkill. Not to mention counterproductive.
Less efficient distribution equals more time in communion with God. Over-efficient distribution equals pushing the congregation out of church like a dirty shirt.



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Tim Ferguson

posted August 30, 2005 at 8:08 am


Wow – it’s always fascinating to follow a thread that goes astray…
Talk about imputing motives undeservedly Nancy – who here, or elsewhere has said anything about Caroline (you might read that as Catherine), or women, or laypeople being “not good enough” to distribute communion? Where do you get this stuff? I really am curious – what do you base your conclusions on?
JC – welcome to the Church (and look around, you’ll see it’s full of sinners like us and covered with warts, but it’s a wonderful place to be). Even in just looking, you’re joining us on a great journey. Keep your mind and your eyes open and trust. It’s unfortunately true that you can’t always expect every parish you attend to be filled with complete orthodoxy, most people are well-intentioned. Always stay close in your heart to the Pope, the Blessed Virgin, and most of all, the Blessed Sacrament: that’s where you’ll find the truth of the matter.
The saints (which were the original start of this thread) are guideposts and good friends in your journey – look to them, read their lives, welcome them into your prayers. God-willing, you’ll be spending eternity with them: getting to know them now will make the great cocktail party of heaven an even more enjoyable celebration!



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Nancy

posted August 30, 2005 at 9:44 am


Good advice, Tim!
I’m puzzled by people who insist on receiving communion from the priest rather than from a eucharistic minister. It’s Jesus either way, right? That’s Who I would think we should be thinking about, yes? I guess I come to my conclusion, Tim, because I just can’t figure out what else it could be.
My parish has 5 masses every Sunday, and the very large building is full for every one of them, standing room only for the last one. (10 pm Sunday) And nearly everyone receives. To have one man do all this, we’re not talking an extra five minutes here, we’re talking an extra 30 minutes. The pastor has decided that we need EM’s. Even if I didn’t agree with him, that decision seems well within his discretion.
Sorry I got your name wrong, Caroline.



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Nancy

posted August 30, 2005 at 9:49 am


The fact that some see the Eucharistic Ministers as accomplices in some Modernist shenanigans shouldn’t blind anyone to the fact that their complaints are generally about larger issues.
Thanks, HA, this may be the key to the real answer.



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Brigid

posted August 30, 2005 at 2:35 pm


Ho-hum. Looks like we lost J.C. (Or, maybe “J.C.” did not really exist..)
How many more has the Church lost because it was bickering about [insert your favorite Church issue here]?
Sigh.



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bruce cole

posted August 30, 2005 at 2:51 pm


Yeah, Brigid, AND how come nobody had anything to say re my query re O’Donnell on Augustine?? I thought we’d be off to the races on that one.



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HA

posted August 30, 2005 at 8:39 pm


Even if some see the Eucharistic Ministers as accomplices in some Modernist shenanigans, Nancy, that doesn’t amount to opposition based on either the EM’s gender or their lay status, and it was at the least unfair to assume that.
Maureen explained the issue a lot more skillfully than I did. The key issue is how much time it would take for the priest to distribute Communion, or more properly, at what point does the extra time constitute a hardship.
For the record, apart from sometimes choosing to accept on the tongue (instead of in the hand) on those occasions where I haven’t had a chance to wash my hands before church, I don’t think twice about who I receive Communion from or how I’m positioned. However, when I used to have access to a church that still had altar rails, I found the practice remarkably efficacious , but not because of the speed of distribution. Rather, in those moments when you’re kneeling behind the rail while waiting your turn, you’re almost compelled to be prayerful and contemplative and “still”, a state of mind that is harder to attain alongside the subtle distractions of staying in line. To the extent that altar rails are given a chance at a comeback, I’m all for it.



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Nancy

posted August 31, 2005 at 12:46 pm


HA, I really didn’t understand the basis of anyone’s objections to EM’s until you explained it.
All I could think of was lay status, and, by analogy to altar servers, gender. Those may have been unfair assumptions, but given what looked to me like irrational behavior, I did the best I could.



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