Subject: Today – Easter Sunday
After much prayer, reflection and soul searching I am writing to you.
It is not easy for I strongly believe what transpired after Mass today especially being Easter Sunday was wrong.
Throughout Mass today decorum together with spirituality should have been observed.
Shaming a long time parishioner of the church for the benefit of ‘newbies’ is cheap theatrics [‘theatre’ was a much used word during your Maundy Thursday sermon] and to suddenly decide to stop the ‘Prayers of the Faithful’ because you felt like it? According to you no consultation is required with the Parishioners as you are the Parish Priest and only you decide.
However, despite all this I apologise for my words to you, for unfortunately I had momentarily forgotten this is Easter Sunday and Christ had suffered, died and risen for my sins as well as yours.
I shall leave this in God’s hands for I know he is watching and the Neocats are but our cross. The parishioners of St Vincent’s together with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters are suffering.
I will pray for you, for from your harsh, arrogant words on this of holy days, much prayer is needed especially for the St Vincent’s community whom you treat with utter disregard and demand respect.
God help us all
The Easter Sunday morning mass was attended by a few more Neocats than usual, including a number of new faces. There was only a handful of community members present, and overall the congregation was quite small.
Mendes was the sole celebrant, and when came the time he failed to invite any prayers from the gathered faithful, so Clare spoke up:
I would like to pray for all those who are suffering problems of mental health, especially those trying to cope and come to terms with this difficulty; I also want to pray for their carers, who can be many and varied, and especially are related to the families and hospital associates of these people; thirdly, I want to pray that those who have lost all hope of ever coping with their problems may today experience some change; many of these can even be in prison, especially in this state — where they should have been placed in a mental hospital.
So, on this Easter morning, we pray that such people may regain the hope that, now, Life is worth living, and may they come to know this today, and every day. Lord, hear us.
Mendes ignored her, loudly launching into the offertory. Later, before the final hymn, he extended Easter greetings to those present, and in the same breath added, grinning, that there were still difficulties in this parish with the proper observance of respect – while pointing at Clare.
When he emerged from the sacristy after removing his vestments, he again admonished Clare, who had been joined by Ann M. Voices were raised during the ensuing exchange; all the while Mendes displayed a Cheshire cat grin.
He announced that he would stop the ‘Prayers of the Faithful’ from the community, claiming that it is not part of the Roman Catholic Liturgy. When it was suggested that there should be consultation with the community he replied no consultation was required as he had made the decision.
When Clare told him that he should read the 2006 Social Justice Statement of the Australian Catholic Bishops, especially the Bishops’ Conference recommendations on liturgy and Aboriginal people, he retorted that he did not have to do anything that she said, and that he did not care about the bishops‘ statement.
The Neocat clergy at St Vincent’s have consistently demonstrated their lack of respect for the community’s participation in the Prayers of the Faithful by cutting them off in mid-sentence and even terminating the mass. Could it be that they are not aware of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal?
69. In the General Intercessions or the Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in a certain way to the word of God which they have welcomed in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all. It is fitting that such a prayer be included, as a rule, in Masses celebrated with a congregation, so that petitions will be offered for the holy Church, for civil authorities, for those weighed down by various needs, for all men and women, and for the salvation of the whole world.
70. As a rule, the series of intentions is to be:
a. for the needs of the Church;
b. for public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;
c. for those burdened by any kind of difficulty;
d. for the local community.
Nevertheless, in a particular celebration, such as Confirmation, Marriage, or a Funeral, the series of intentions may reflect more closely the particular occasion.
71. It is for the priest celebrant to direct this prayer from the chair. He himself begins it with a brief introduction, by which he invites the faithful to pray, and likewise he concludes it with a prayer. The intentions announced should be sober, be composed freely but prudently, and be succinct, and they should express the prayer of the entire community.
The intentions are announced from the ambo or from another suitable place, by the deacon or by a cantor, a lector, or one of the lay faithful.
The people, however, stand and give expression to their prayer either by an invocation said together after each intention or by praying in silence.