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VISITING BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH, Dallas TX

By Fr. Wilson (articles ) | Nov 27, 2003

Interesting; I checked the link to the account Rod Dreher wrote of his visit to Blessed Sacrament Church in Dallas, and where it had worked, it doesn't -- and there's no reason not to post the text here: ________________________

“Just got in a few minutes ago from Dallas, where we were visiting my wife's family. I had to write and tell you some wonderful news from that city, which has been so badly afflicted by Catholic episcopal leadership over the past decade. Fr. Joseph Wilson, our Brooklyn priest friend, recommended that we go to Mass at Blessed Sacrament parish in Oak Cliff, a relatively poor neighborhood in Dallas. The pastor is Fr. Paul Weinberger, an old friend and seminary classmate of Fr. Wilson's. 'You'll love it there,' Fr. Wilson said.

"Fr. Weinberger was basically sent in to close that parish, but he's revitalized it." So, we took the advice. Fr. Wilson has never steered us wrong. His record still stands. Mass was terrific! We went to the 10:45 a.m. mass, which is the Novus Ordo done almost entirely in Latin. The congregation was mixed by ethnicity -- Anglo, Latino and African-American -- and age (there were elderly folks there, middle-aged parishioners, and young families too). The mass began in a church filled with incense and Gregorian chant. Fr. Weinberger was astonishingly reverent (astonishing to those of us accustomed to the hugger-mugger mess that most Novus Ordo priests make of the liturgy), but he wasn't the least bit remote or stiff, and my wife and I didn't feel alien to the liturgy, as we have on the occasion that we've attended the Tridentine Mass.

"His homily was wonderful. He preached about how John Paul II was formed in sanctity by his own father, and by the good example and loving care of holy laymen throughout his early life. His point was that the laity was absolutely key to the making of our sainted pope's character, and that we in the congregation should understand that we too are the Church, and responsible for living and teaching sanctity. He said that in this time of terrible scandal for the Church, we shouldn't look to the bishops and the clergy to lead us out of the mess. If they do, that's great, but we mustn't despair and forget that the Holy Spirit is calling us to do our part to restore holiness and righteousness to the Body of Christ.

"The liturgy of the Eucharist was amazing. The lights went down in the church for the consecration, and Fr. Weinberger confected the Eucharist by candlelight, through a curtain of incense. He held the Host and then the chalice high for a solid minute. We received kneeling at the altar rail. When we returned to our pew, my wife was making her thanksgiving, and started crying. She couldn't stop weeping, and I asked her if she was okay. She said, 'This is what I thought the Church was. This is why I became Catholic.'"After mass, Julie was speaking to one of the parishioners outside the parish about how great the Mass was. She said to the woman, 'Do you realize what you have here?' The woman replied, 'You don't have to tell us! We know how blessed we are.'

"There is so much to be angry and depressed about in the life of the Church these days. In a poor corner of a troubled diocese, there is one priest lighting a tremendously bright candle. People should know. Best, Rod.”

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 28, 2003 2:11 PM ET USA

    As a matter of fact, Mr Plick, I'm concerned about a great deal more than sublime beauty and ethereal effects in Liturgics; just reading my three posts here on Blessed Sacrament should have shown you that. The current crisis in the Church has many facets, all of which are interrelated, all of which affect souls, even if most of them are of absolutely no interest to you. I fail to see net gain in persistently harping on curial politics while the rights of this parish and priest are violated.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Nov. 27, 2003 1:27 PM ET USA

    I hope you will not be too offended Father, but you and other members of the clergy have a rather aggravating way of changing the subject. The sublime beauty and etheral afffects ot the Holy Mass are really not the focus of many concerned Catholics. We are concerned about what is happening in ROME, particularly the potentially disastrous consequences of the administrative,political and social postures of the Holy Father and his upper level advisors for the Church at large. The Mass is the Mass

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