A passing generation

A passing generation

A priest-friend sends along this link to an obituary for a “street priest” in Philadelphia. The fellow gained some fame and was portrayed in two TV movies.

Father Hagan was not a traditional parish priest. Instead, he ministered to the neighborhood around his home at 22d and Berks Streets. He opened his 15-room rowhouse - and his heart - to neighborhood boys who needed a father figure, and to anyone else who needed a prayer, safe haven or a dollar.

What bothered my friend, though, was the priest’s reasons for leaving parish ministry and going into the streets.

“Preaching about racial justice in Alexandria, Va., didn’t seem relevant to me anymore,” he recalled in 1980. “The Vatican Council said that the church should be among the people, and I felt that is where Christ was - where the people most needed him, where the hate, despair and violence are.”

I desparately tried to find the quote from the documents of Vatican II that he cited as a reason to remove himself from pastoral ministry within the context of the parish or the religious order’s charism—but I couldn’t find it! What a surprise!

What a terrible disservice these folk have done to Holy Mother Church by refusing to read the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and adamantly attributing to said council their own preconceived notions of what Holy Spirit should have said and done.

I’m so grateful for a new evangelization, a new spirit of humility and “religious submission of mind and will” [Oops, that actually IS a quote from the documents! My bad!!!] among the priests being ordained today.  I hate to say it, but I’m more grateful each day that that older generation is passing away.  I pray, of course, for their conversion prior to leaving this “vale of tears,” but I’m most grateful that they’re just GOING AWAY!

  • I too hope for the passing… unfortunately our pastor in our parish is leaving… a young JP II priest. They are sending us an older Jesuit priest who has a reputation for rather unorthodox views.  I found a paper he wrote on the I Ching… yikes.

    Pray for us.

  • Well, the “I Ching” isn’t so bad.  Stir-fried with some mushrooms, bok choy, some broccoli, garlic and light soy sauce, it’s actually rather tasty.

  • Could use a bit of MSG though…..

    Good article this quarter in The Latin Mass magazine along the same lines…about how few Bishops even wanted any changes to the liturgy, how a few wanted some changes and most were indifferent…then they got bulldozed by periti and nowadays the Vatican II document on the liturgy does not convey what we now have as far as a Mass is concerned. There’s the Tridentine Mass…there’s Sacrosanctum Concilium…then there today’s Mass at the average parish…three distinct things.

    Nobody reads Vatican II documents.

  • “Nobody reads Vatican II documents. “

    I don’t think that is the problem.  The problem is that few have the courage to apply them, in the teeth of the culture of dessent so common in this land.

  • Too bad he didn’t stay in Alexandria or wasn’t assigned to St. Josephs. Race relations have obviously changed in Alexandria but there is still work to be done.