Monday, August 06, 2007

Signs of Disease: "Show Up or Pay More"

At St. Jerome's in Oconomowoc, Fr. Yockey, the pastor, offers a deal:

Show up at Mass 70% of the time, and you get a tuition break for the chilluns you send to the parish grade school.


Here's another deal:

281. Which are the chief commandments, or laws, of the Church?

The chief commandments, or laws, of the Church are these six:

1) To assist at Mass on all Sundays and holydays of obligation

The penalty for disregarding this particular law is most assuredly NOT financial.

Fr. Yockey explains:

"It was my decision. I'm calling it the expectation model. What this means is that parents who are registered as parishioners of St. Jerome are expected to live up to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the official teaching reminds parents that they are the primary educators of their children in the ways of faith."

Well, doh. The Church does tell parents that they are 'the primary educators of their children.' But the far more grave expectation is "To assist...on ALL Sundays and holydays..." Why doesn't Fr. Yockey put THAT in the bulletin? Or on the schoolhouse door?

The disease is worldliness. I am not convinced that the cure is more of the same.

Terry has more here.


St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

I imagine that proof of one's presence at Mass will be the check dropped in the basket?

M.Z. Forrest said...

I think 70% is reasonable. There's no reason to make the perfect the enemy of the good. 70% is more than enough allowance for times a family would ordinarily be unable to attend services due to such things as sickness. If one missed more than 30% establishing the catastrophic reasons shouldn't be difficult.

Dad29 said...

Really, MZ?

In 30+ years of marriage, "illness" has forced us to miss Mass on a Sunday about 3 times. I assume that you mean BOTH parents are ill and the children cannot drive themselves...

Travel-related problems (it snows here) probably added another 3 times in that 30-year span.

Being out-of-town, however, led to about 50+ "misses" at the parish, which (of course) were made up at the other location.

I don't know how you can read that imperative from the Church as "70% is OK, though."

Does your interpretation of "Will" or "Must" (not) also allow for a few selected asassinations if they are "reasonable?"

If it does, I have a few targets in mind.

M.Z. Forrest said...


Your interpretation is unique. Caring for the sick is an act of mercy and can be a tolerable reason for missing mass. Exhaustion can be excused. I didn't say 70% was okay. I said 70% provided a threshold where a reasonable person could start presuming malice unless told otherwise. The purpose of rules are to build virtue. If one of the 20% times a person missed mass that quarter were illict, let him work that out with God in the confessional. It isn't worth a $1200 fine, unless their confessor feels otherwise.

Dad29 said...

Sorry--the way you wrote the post says:

70% is more than enough allowance for times a family would ordinarily be unable to attend services due to such things as sickness

I respond:

I don't know how you can read that imperative from the Church as "70% is OK, though."

The FIRST Law of the Church does not have red-yellow-green zones. It is 0-or-1 logic.

Your use of the language is abusive.

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

Well, missing Mass on Sunday, due to something other than Sloth, could be made up for by going to Mass at the first opportunity during the week. In any given area, there's a Mass on any morning, and Jesus is there like on Sunday.

Or, for the more devoted crowd, I doubt that the pastor would look askance at a daily communicant that missed the rare Sunday.

Amy said...

Since converting in May of '05, I haven't missed a single Mass.

I'm sorry, but if you're life is so busy you can't take an hour on a Saturday evening or Sunday morning and get your family to Church, it's time to start looking for ways to trim other things out of the schedule.

I understand that illness and bad weather happen and then it's perfectly licit to miss Mass.

But anything else - even vacation - is inexcusable. We're out of town next weekend for a wedding and one of the first things we did was find a parish with a Sunday mass that we could go to.

It's not that hard, really.

And it's an obligation.

That being said, I think Father setting the bar at 70% is fair.

Wonder how long it'll be before the Catholic bashers are out in force over this one.

diana said...

Even in an archdiocese such as this, with a terrible mass schedule, you can find masses all over the city at just about any time on Sunday...

Proof to me that Father does not think anyone gives a bleep about the authority of the Church.