Skip to main content

Lex Orandi in Louisville

Lex orandi lex credendi—The way we pray is the way we believe. Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville gets it.

But he's also drawn mixed reviews from his flock by requiring all churches to begin adhering to liturgical reforms approved by Pope John Paul II in 2000.

Currently, parishes have different practices on such things as when -- and if -- they stand, sit or kneel. As a result of Kurtz's directive, some churches that haven't practiced kneeling will have to purchase kneelers, and Kurtz acknowledged some parishioners have been reluctant to change

But, he said, "The way in which we pray affects the way in which we believe, which in turn affects the way in which we act in the faith."

Asked whether some parishioners have said money would be better spent on charity than kneelers, Kurtz cited humanitarian workers such as Mother Teresa as representing "the connectedness between the care with which we pray and reaching out in service to others."

Arbishop Kurtz has been in Louisville for a year. Two years ago there were four seminarians in the diocese. There are now fourteen. He has set a goal of having 25 to 30 men in formation. Part of reaching that goal is showing young men that what we believe merits the total self-giving of the priesthood. This begins in Mass. If our prayer at Mass is no big deal, then why should young men be inspired to serve this “no big deal”. On the other hand, if the Mass shows young men the most awesome truth of our faith-- The Incarnation of Christ, his True Presence in the Eucharist, his Death and Resurrection for our redemption—well, that is a faith worth serving. Those who are called to the priesthood are then prepared to hear that call. And those called to other vocations within the Church—marriage, consecrated single life, consecrated religious—will also be better able to hear their calls. The Mass is not about fellowship. Save that for the coffee and donuts after Mass. During Mass our focus is on the Divine. Let us worship God during Mass, not each other.


phbrown said…
This "forced to purchase kneelers" thing is a red herring. I'm 45, and I've never needed a kneeler to kneel. You just *kneel*—it's really not that hard! This is, after all, the Lord who gave himself up to agonizing and undeserved death for our sake; is five minutes' discomfort once a week too much to show our gratitude?

Granted, there are plenty of folks (older folks, people with bad joints, people with weight problems, etc.) who might well rate a pastoral exemption here—it's not clear to me that there's any sense in kneeling if it's going to take three people to get you back up. But most of us really can kneel perfectly well, kneelers or no kneelers. We just haven't figured out whose Presence we're in.

Anonymous said…
This is so cool. I love hearing about Bishops who get it right for a change.
Adrienne said…
I wish I had a Bishop like that...

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …