Monday, September 5, 2016

Parish Dies in One Act (Caution Angry Bear)

It's doughnut Sunday when the
Bear SAYS it's doughnut Sunday!
Convert mom. Two kids. She brings doughnuts. One of the old people (who make up the bulk of the Bear's dying parish) bitches at her, saying, "It's not doughnut Sunday."

The oldest kid says, "Why don't we go to the Vine. People are nice there and they have doughnuts every Sunday."

Good question. They have better music, better sermons, you never hear a word about global warming, everybody's friendly and they have freaking doughnuts every freaking Sunday. And most of their congregation does not consist of old jerks.

Doughnuts every Sunday? The Bear's so there.

This has nothing to do with doctrine, Vatican II or Pope Francis, It has everything to do with a dysfunctional parish driving people to a Protestant chain congregation. The Bear's parish is so hollow and so doomed. And the Bear does not care. The future does not lie with the Laurence Welk generation.

Anyone who wants to help is, frankly, abused. They don't want help. They want to sit in their sand castle as the tide rolls in.

Red Death and the Bear were married as teenagers in that church, (No doubt, Francis would say our marriage is invalid.) But when it finally closes shop, that will just force the Bear to finally shake the dust off his paws and make the long drive to a real church with a Latin Mass, leaving a rusting nail in the floor for the demolition crew to puzzle over.

The Bear is going over to the other post and spending some quality time with Ginger Rogers. Ginger will cheer him up. Won't you join us? If enough people pay their respects to the most beautiful and talented woman ever (besides Red Death) the Bear will provide the doughnuts.

And if anyone complains, the Bear will cram two dozen of the things down their throat.

33 comments:

  1. So why does that old crank make Mundabor come to mind?

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    Replies
    1. Didn't make the connection. But Bears do not read human blogs much.

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  2. In a growing or stable parish those bitter folks would just sit in the pews and fume and no one would notice or care. At the shrine where I go the folks are very friendly and genuine. Almost too much so for me... just kidding... but not really.

    I'm not much a Ginger Rogers fan but I will watch DW Griffiths Intolerance on TCM in a couple hours. A heck of a movie when there was no CGI or special effects. Great acting too from Gish and Harmon. So, I've got that going for me...

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    Replies
    1. Have they destroyed all the copies of Birth of a Nation? "Like history written in lightning!" Wasn't that President Wilson's quote?

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  3. I'm interested to know why, if the Bear has a traditional Latin Mass within driving distance, he hasn't already shaken the dust from his paws. I would, in a heartbeat.

    Having just discovered the Bear, I have been grubbing through his archives, and there is something else I'm interested to know. I agree about the destructive power of Pope Francis, and I always knew, deep down, that the Church's chastisement would not play out until we got a thoroughly, unmitigatedly "spirit of Vatican II" pope like him. But do you really think, as you seem to suggest in some of your posts, that Francis or any other pope can really completely destroy the Church? There is no question he is doing incalculable damage; but surely you do not believe he could ever make the Church cease to exist.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your interest. The Bear loves answering questions. Four hour round trip with the expense of gas, as well, is theoretically within driving distance. However, that is not really practical for us. Besides, the Bear is not a traditionalist, just a vanilla Catholic who wishes the Church would hold on to the Faith without novelties.

      Jesus asked aloud whether anyone would still believe when He returned. The Bear believes that there will always be a Catholic Church. He also believes that it might be two people in a closet.

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    2. Thank you, Bear. By the way, I am a public defender, too. Illegitimi non carborundum.

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  4. I know. We all have to remember not to turn into crank old bi#@es as we get up there. I think of that saying if you aren't part of the solution you're part of the problem. It's hard to know how we would attract younger people to Mass, but if you do get some, be nice to them is a good start. The kids in my family are all Protestants now if they attend at all. My grandson calls the Mass "the fancy church". Ah heck, I've had it and am going over to Ginger's.

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    1. When you went over to the Ginger article, you were surprised to see the Bear dancing reasonably competently with her. Bears, of course, are famous for dancing, and Ginger's great secret was she made it look like dancing with you was the best thing in the world for her.

      Talk about Hayes Code "getting stuff under the radar," Bear forgets what movie (as movies, they are not very memorable; you remember the scenes and numbers) but Fred relentlessly stalks- literally - a reluctant Ginger while singing Cole Porter's night and day. Finally, he takes her hand and starts to dance with her, and they really get into it, of course. At the end Ginger collapses, breathing hard, on a sofa. Fred brushes his hands together and asks her if she wants a cigarette LOL

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  5. Does this story ever ring depressingly true, Bear.

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    1. Yes. At the end of Mass, you would think the church is on fire, too, the way people race out. The ones who haven't left after communion, that is.

      The other thing that makes the Bear want to [inner monitor: "No, Bear, the last time you said something like that you were tripped out for monitoring."] ... is the way the old folks constantly talk before Mass. Just in a normal, conversational volume, without even trying to keep it quiet and short. Of course all this stuff is symptoms of a spiritual problem, not the problem itself.

      And here the Bear is complaining about people. So more problems. But, as a prophet, the Bear is allowed - nay, required - to speak unpleasant truths.

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  6. I remember the time I moved a couch two feet over (silly me!), to provide additional seating for the young adults who had heard belatedly about our RCIA program and wanted (silly them!) to join in. The person "in charge of" parish furniture arrived unexpectedly, and I barely escaped with my life. The fact that people might be interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith is no excuse, apparently, for an act of flagrant insubordination. Seriously, people! Let's get our priorities straight! And on that note, I am going to read about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. When you went over to the Ginger article, you found the Bear telling her about the Catholic Faith,, but she kept insisting she was a Christian Scientist. (Well, she never saw a doctor and lived into her 90s, but maybe it was the cardio.)

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    2. I had the pleasure of meeting Ginger Rogers once. She was quite old at the time and in a wheelchair, but graciously put up with having her photo taken with numerous guests. This was in the Palm Springs area in the late 80s/early 90s. She was still quite attractive even though she was heavy. And she was, in my opinion, about the only woman who could keep up with the magic of Astaire's dancing.

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    3. That is such a wonderful story! Ginger was not a trained dancer, at first, believe it or not. Fred had the opportunity to mold her into the perfect partner for him. They were so different. Each brought just about exactly what the other was missing a bit. Fred was all elegance, and Ginger brought the glamor and fun. GInger was an actress devoted to selling the couple. And boy did she. I don't think there has ever been a screen duo of any sort that ever surpassed Fred and Ginger. RIP.

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  7. Go to the good church with a Latin Mass offered, or even a totally NO parish with a good priest who still believes in and defends the Deposit of Faith. Your soul will be fed and guarded....and cherished. You will have a real 'Father', who doesn't abuse his children.

    Just realize, the people will still be asses.
    ....for the most part.

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    1. At least at the Latin Mass people are quiet and leave you alone. There's only one parish in town, and anyway, it is Bear's and he will stay and growl at everyone. Latin Mass is four hour round trip. There are three other adults involved in the decision, too.

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  8. Never turn down a donut. You don't know when it might be your last.

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    1. Are you sure you're not a Bear?

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    2. The little lady could answer that question better than I.

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  9. This is SOOOOOOOO typical of the 'dying Church' in America. Happens at 'my Parish' too. Some of the younger folks (close to retirement age themselves) have tried unsuccessfully to 'jump in and help with Parish functions' only to be shunned and pushed out by the grey heads that don't really want them there. And yes, one of the 'younger ladies' who wanted to jump in is a convert, but finally after several years of perseverance gave up. We don't see her, even at Mass anymore. In hopes that the 'grey heads' are happy in their Parish demolition.

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    1. Bear's wife was on Parish Council. Complete waste of time. Father would come in and talk about whatever. All decisions had already been made. Bear taught RCIA. Well, that's probably the whole story right there LOL

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  10. The real tragedy is that Milo has 33% more reads in an article entitled "A Complete Waste of Your Time," no less. Bear thinks he will GO ON STRIKE until Ginger gets more reads.

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  11. I'm lucky to be in a reverent and vibrant NO parish. There are still improvements to be made. Like why are are only 3 spaces where children are allowed. So the parish boy scout troop has to meet over at the public school. And donuts are only once a month. And never at the 5pm on Saturday.

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  12. Hello The Bear.I am thinking of doing the same here in England.The Latin Mass is offered twelve miles away and i love it!I love the liturgy,the teaching,the sermons and the general sense of being Catholic again.We will only grow in Faith once we get rid of the poison which emanates from Vatican 11 with all its heresies and general sense of banality and decay.

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  13. What can I say? One big thumb up in agreement!

    I was born into and grew up in the "Vine" type of church. Know it and its people like the back of my hand. I do miss the fellowship there. Yes I do. Deeply ingrained evangelistic outreach, a missionary spirit and a focus on fellowship. It is sadly missing now, and has been more or less since we left.

    It seems to me this is not a NO vs Trad thing. I've seen similar nastiness on the Trad side, (including some really out-there bloggers). Kind of a "don't really care if you're here or not here" kind of thing.

    Much in the Church is broken, in need of repair. It seems to me what we need FIRST is pure, simple REVIVAL. Repentance and Return to Jesus, the fount of Grace and Love. We need to regain the Spirit of Love at the base of every thought, word and deed (and blog exchange). The most perfect liturgy (yes, liturgy) or morality (or donut hour) in the world is worthless without Love.

    Jesus first. Grace first. Love first. Everything else flows from that. We are too focused on form and earthly things (Trad worship; New Form worship) and I think in our own way ALL of us Catholics, in general (including Trads) have lost Jesus; personal, real, present in everything Jesus.

    Love the Lord your God. Love your neighbor. The two greatest commandments. Matt 22:37

    1. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2. IfI have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

    I Cor 1: 1-3

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    1. I agree. I confess, yeah, I might get more out of The Vine. I love reading the Bible. I listen to Mercy Me and Casting Crowns sometimes. You can dance to it. That's important to Bears. Yes, I get tired of walking into a church and having to listen to a bunch of old people loudly having private conversations. I would love to be greeted by smiling, enthusiastic college students serving me donuts and latte. To hear a twenty or thirty minute sermon that is captivating, about Jesus, not What I Did Last Week. That had music that didn't make me want to **** . (Bears have to be very careful if they want to avoid a visit from Fish Game and Wildlife Large Talking Predators Department.)

      But, of course, I don't go to the Vine. I'm Catholic. And I'd have to find a whole set of new things to complain about in this ephemeris.

      But I think you are very wise, Brian. Catholics, at least Bear-reading Catholics, tend to think in doctrine. We want the Church to be clear and accurate on that. Sure. That's important.

      But you're right. Fundamentally, it is not what you know, it is who God and you are to one another. It is not an either-or, of course. But sometimes it seems to be. We get the doctrinally pure who can be... shall we say, astringent (not all). And, we have the "love Catholics," who are all mercy and love, and flexible on doctrine.

      The Church has always tended to gravitate to these two poles. I'm not sure what the answer is.

      Except, it starts with doughnuts.

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    2. You won't like this, Bear, but I will say it, anyway. Few Catholics who regularly go to church, whether priests or laity, really have the Holy Spirit inside them, let alone embody the virtues described in Galatians 5: 22-23. I will wager very few of them know what the Gospel is or entails. Part of that reflects deficient theological training within the clergy, which gets transmitted to the laity. Part of it also reflects the Church's headlong rush into intellectual fashion, as exemplified by this Pope. Unfortunately, it also reflects a kind of institutional arrogance that substitutes blind group identity for faith. The Pharisees weren't the only ones who were "old wineskins," as it were.

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    3. Don't know why you would think that would bother Bear. Anyway, he does not know.

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  14. "It starts with doughnuts".

    As I said, Love first.

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  15. "It starts with doughnuts"....yes

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