Sunday, February 12, 2012

Love my parish priest

My parish priest, who shall remain nameless, is in a word awesome.  He comes to every Mass and tells people to turn off their cell phones even if he is not saying Mass.  Yes, he really has to do that (we've come to that point in this day and age where people don't know that people go to church on Sundays).  I get that some people are on call.  Usually they put theirs on vibrate.

Today he came out and discussed a few things about the recent health care "compromise."  He explained that during the early 90s Clinton (Hilary that is) made health care a big priority in this country.  She got a few states including this one to change their health care laws to include things like contraception.  But there were loop holes in which religious groups, dioceses, could avoid violating their conscience.  In this case, if you were self-insured you did not have to provide contraceptive coverage.  So the diocese, after a period of time, managed to become self-insured.

That is that they came up with the policy and footed the bills themselves based on employment and co-pays etc.  Some self-insurers work through insurance carriers but generally speaking they do all the foot work.

Our diocese, the priest explained, is not the only diocese in the country that has had to do this.  Several have in order to not violate state law and God's law.

The point is that although the HHS mandate says that churches, religious-based charities, and religious-based university don't have to pay for contraception.  However, their insurers do.  Which make a huge problem when your diocese-based charity say St. Vincent de Paul Society which works with the poor who aren't necessarily Catholics has a worker who wishes to get contraception.  Because it is the diocese who own the insurance policy and is the insurance carrier, and therefore will still legally have to provide contraception for free for this employee.  In other words, the diocese still has to directly cover contraception with this new "compromise."

After he explained all this and said that we're still in a fight for civil liberties, there was a round of applause.  I would have clapped too, but for two things: 1) I had a sleepy baby in my arms.  2) I don't particularly like giving applause.  The point of Mass is to sing praises to God not congratulating the priest on his rousing explanation and "call to arms."

Also I got that "lovely" e-mail from the White House in response to signing the petition.  I plan on dissecting it at some point, but don't know when that will be (or if it will be necessary since if Obama thinks that this has shut us up and will make us go away, he's totally wrong.  He'll have to come up with a different plan.)

Editor's note:  My husband has been telling me that my grammer and speling has totally got to pot, appologies for that. i get three hour stretches of sleep these days with a total of 5-6 at night. so i haven't really cared to correct nothing.  you understand.  *you get that those typos are on purpose right? :)


  1. Two stories regarding clapping and Mass:

    1) On Sundays, I go to Mass in Alexandria, Virginia, and it's a very rare thing to hear any clapping. The last time, it was because the priest announced that one of the altar boys heading off to college, so it was his last Mass serving. The congregation clapped for him, and a bewildered toddler sitting a few rows ahead of me turned to his mom, and asked, "Mom, why are they clapping?" It was heartwarming, and it made me think about the influence our behavior at Mass has on the youngest Catholics.

    2) I found myself clapping at Mass on Friday, for the same reason you describe in your post. During the announcements, Cardinal Wuerl asked us to sit down. He proceeded to give a great summary of what the HHS Mandate is, and why it's worth fighting. This was a noon Mass, so it overlapped Obama's press conference. Cdl. Wuerl assured us that whatever the compromise turned out to be, we needed to stay vigilant and alert, and realize that the fight wasn't over. It was a very rousing talk, and hearing it straight from a Cardinal was exhilarating. I don't think God minded us clapping.



    1. Yes, I've heard that it's perfectly fine to clap. I know that piests aren't supposed to encourage it, but if it's spontaneous it's supposed to be fine. He didn't encourage it; it just broke out. So while I try not to for principal's sake, I don't mind it as much as many other people do.

      I did have a parish priest who encouraged people to clap and reply loudly and that sort of thing. If he thought the congregation was not singing loud enough, he would often ask the choir director to repeat the chorus. I think his point was to get people to wake up and be more involved with worship. So in that regard, I understand that too.

      But as a former choir member, I got a little annoyed that people would every Sunday clap for us at the end of Mass. While it's nice to hear something said outside of the church every once in a while, it became a bit stale and somehow wrong to applaud us. We were here to serve not receive accolades. I felt like Mass was becoming a concert and less a worship service. So I've stopped clapping as much as possible for that reason.

      Please don't think that I'm standing all high and mighty and passing judgment on other people's reasons. These are just my reasons for avoiding (or in the case of our former parish priest being more involved) clapping.

  2. Could it be I'm allowed to comment again? ;-)

    I'm so looking forward to reading your post about the email... That thing was awful.


I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!