It’s been at least a week since Bella English penned her last paean to the wonderfulness that is the former St. Albert’s parish in Weymouth, and thus she has this week’s installment. The one impression I get more than any other from the cliche-filled piece (tables groaning under the amount of food?) is how Protestant it has become.
What has become clear in the past two months is that the people of St. Albert’s are running their own parish, from maintaining the buildings and grounds to providing for the spiritual and social lives of parishioners. And no one seems more surprised than parishioners themselves.
I’m sure they feel much the same that Lutherans and Calvinists felt in the early days too. But Bella then re-hashes all the same old garbage about how St. Albert’s didn’t meet the closing criteria (sorry, but it did) and the conspiracy theory that Fr. Coyne was targeted (maybe he was; he was publicly preaching heresy)
“I’m absolutely heartbroken this has happened,” Hawkes said. “I was married here. My children were christened here; they received their First Communion here. These people are people of faith. This is what religion is. This is what the church is, and I don’t know why the archdiocese doesn’t see it.”
Because that’s not what religion is. It is not just the experience of parish activities. The Catholic faith is a hierarchical and universal communion centered on Eucharistic worship, and it is not, and should not, be dependent on any one gathering place, especially when at least two other Catholic parishes are just down the street in the same town.