Pastor's Corner 011214

posted Jan 13, 2014, 12:41 PM by Music Director

           As the Christmas season draws to a close and we return to Ordinary Time with the celebration of Our Lord’s baptism, I’d like to share with you 2 emails I received recently concerning our use of video monitors in the Church.  It seems there’s still a lot of divergent opinion regarding our use of newer technology and the discarding of older forms.  “Out with the old, in with the new:” how appropriate to address the topic at the beginning of a new year!  One parishioner writes:

“I always enjoyed going to church, but after becoming Catholic and receiving all my sacraments, I really loved going to church even more.  There is something soothing that I have always enjoyed about participating in Mass…I have to tell you that I really am missing our pew books…A big part of my Mass participation is singing.  I love to sing, and sing joyfully as I praise Jesus!  I have tried to adjust to this, to no avail…I need to follow the music and sing my heart out.  Needless to say Mass has not been as enjoyable to me...I know there must be others out there like me who are having difficulties with this.  I have spent the past 2 weekends watching other people during the songs.  Most people just sit there and don't even attempt to sing.  I know the younger kids probably love the karaoke aspect, but I really would love to have hymnals back in the pews for the rest of us.  Why can't we have both to satisfy all the people's needs?  I for one, would really appreciate it.  And I bet a lot of others out there would too.”  On the other hand, another parishioner writes:

“We are fairly new to Saint Charles…I just wanted you to know how pleased we have been since we started to come to Saint Charles parish. The CCD program was great, MaryAnn is awesome, and we already requested a spot for classes in July…I was very impressed that we not only received a welcome card AND a welcome phone call from the parish…Saint Charles has a real family feeling that I really appreciate. As a teacher and a mom, I also love, love, love, the screens around the altar as I think that helps everyone, but especially children to participate. My husband, son and I are enjoying our new church.” 

I understand that change is unsettling, but I honestly never thought this particular change would be that big of a deal.  It’s been nearly a year since the monitors (PLEASE don’t call them TV’s, they are not!) were installed.  I explained in detail why they were installed, and they have increased participation, not decreased it.  (Sit where the clergy sit and see and hear for yourself!)  We are saving a ton of money, we have reduced our waste, have made ourselves a “greener” parish, we are better assisting people (Catholic and non-Catholic alike) in participating, and, when the music is familiar enough, more people are singing than ever before. 

If you still feel the need to have a book in your hand, however, you can purchase your own, just like back in “the good old days” of the Latin Mass when people had their own missals that they brought with them to Church.  (I still have my mother’s!)  Again, I know change is hard to accept; but we have to be the Church of the 21st Century, not the 20th, or the 16th…Though I wouldn’t mind if we could be more like the Church of the 1st!

And while my Eagles failed to proceed beyond the first round of the playoffs, they had a terrific year, better than anyone could have hoped or expected, and their future is bright.  God bless them, and God bless all of you!


In His Love,

Fr. Mike