Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

change management

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 04, 2007

Dr. Richard McCorry, founder of the "Church change management consulting firm" Embracing Change, wants us all to, well, embrace change:

I'll give you a current example. Several months ago, the new rector of Sacred Heart cathedral announced that they were considering remodeling the church. Without even knowing what changes were planned, a group of people believed that one of the changes would be moving the tabernacle from the center of the church to a side chapel reserved for the Blessed Sacrament. Fearing this, people have mobilized and invested an incredible amount of energy into fighting this proposed change. Enormous energy has gone into this and frankly I can't understand it.

Tell me, if we move Jesus from here to here, is he any less present in this church? And if we were to remove the Blessed Sacrament from the church entirely, Jesus would still be here because he told us if two or more are gathered in his name, there I am in their midst. And couldn't it be just slightly possible that God is behind this change. Maybe God is telling us that we need to change our focus from Jesus in the tabernacle onto Jesus in the tabernacle of our brothers and sisters. Because, my friends ultimately, where we reserve the blessed sacrament is no where near as important as to how we treat the blessed sacrament which is contained in the tabernacle of the people we encounter daily.

Poor Mother Teresa. Had she gotten beyond the daily Adoration thing she might have been able to find Jesus in her brothers and sisters, in the manner of Richard McCorry, DMin. Wherein lurks a riddle.

Say your cousin had an 8x10 photo of her fiancé sitting in its frame on the place of honor on her mantelpiece, and one day you walk in to find it missing, replaced by a mirror. Your immediate hunch is that something must have gone wrong in their relationship. You may turn out to be mistaken (she could have moved the photo to a place of more private contemplation in her bedroom), but to come to understand this some explanation would be required.

Now suppose you have a photo of your fiancée on your own mantelpiece, and one day the apartment manager picks it up and carries it into the mud-room. You say, "Hey! Just what d'you think you're doing?" and he replies, "It's an out-of-date photo. And besides, it clashes with the new color scheme I've chosen."

How do you respond?

Well, after you've broken his jaw, you patiently explain to him, or his Change Management Consultant, that affection, honor, esteem, veneration are intimately bound up with the concrete means by which they are expressed. And although the forms through which we express reverence are detachable from the reverence itself, any change of forms will be distressing when inflicted surgically, from outside. More particularly, any change from a conventionally noble form to a conventionally less-noble form will be understood as an insult to the object of veneration.

If your apartment manager or sanctuary renovator not only disagrees with tradition but fails to grasp why arbitrary and un-covenanted change provokes protest ("enormous energy has gone into this and frankly I can't understand it") is it likely that he only wants what's best for your fiancée, likely that he wants to deepen your love of the Eucharist?

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 10, 2010 2:52 AM ET USA

    Don't forget..."Cardinal McCarrick: Are you comfortable now?"

  • Posted by: - Jul. 07, 2010 7:27 PM ET USA

    When will we read the full story on the rise of this churchman to power?

  • Posted by: usalis549414 - Jul. 07, 2010 5:01 PM ET USA

    On this happy occasion, I am in a state of indecision. Should I sing "Happy birthday to you!" or "The Birthday Song" by The Beatles? Maybe I should sing both!

  • Posted by: FrPhillips1125 - Jul. 07, 2010 1:31 PM ET USA

    God is good!