Sunday, November 16, 2008

When laymen act more like a Msgr then it is time for the Msgr to LEAVE


M & M Twins Fulfilling Bishop Murphy's Wish
Bishop Murphy has made no secret of his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and his support for increased confession hours in every parish. Msgr. Lisante, strangely enough, seems to be doing all he can to resist his bishop's recommendations in this regard, while a pair of generous, committed laymen are doing all they can to comply.One thing I forgot to mention in yesterday's post is the fact that the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and confessions are available during the Fatima Holy Hour each month which a pair of well-known twin brothers organize and lead.In his recent Pastoral Letter on Penance and Reconciliation, Bishop William requests that pastors provide just such an arrangement in their churches. Read this passage from his letter which describes exactly what the M&M Twins do every month at the Holy Hour:
"Perhaps it would be helpful to have the second weekly hour of confessions linked to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Prayer for vocations to priestly and consecrated life in the presence of the Lord redouble the commitment we have to living as a community of communion reconciled to God and to one another. Another way to situate the sacrament of penance is to place it in connection with Mary, the Mother of God or with certain saints whose love and devotion to the sacrament was so manifest in their lives."It's amazing that two laymen have integrated all the basic elements mentioned by the Bishop: confessions, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer for vocations, Mary, and the saints into their monthly Holy Hours.Unfortunately, the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes is placing obstacles in their way by charging them an exorbitant $350 fee for the use of the church. If he were sensitive to his bishop's wishes, wouldn't he instead be eager to help facilitate the Fatima Holy Hours which so perfectly correspond with the Bishop's specific recommendations in his letter?Alas, far from complying with his bishop's request, Msgr. Lisante is actually cutting the hours of confession to one hour every week, in direct contradiction to the Bishop Murphy's request in the same letter that there be at least two hours of confession available every week:
"By this letter I am asking every pastor, without exception, to establish at least one additional hour at a different time during the week when there will be a priest in the confessional to hear confessions."The fervor these two laymen have for Catholic practice and devotion is exemplary. In a diocese where some of the clergy are intent on reducing and minimizing all expression of the Catholic faith, two earnest young fathers have taken time from their busy lives to provide a special time of prayer and devotion and opportunities for confession and adoration for others.If a priest isn't going to do himself what his own bishop wishes, then he should not be hindering laymen from doing the same. Let's hope Msgr. Lisante reconsiders this excessive fee and decides to welcome and encourage the twins in their praiseworthy ministry instead.

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