A post from parishioner visiting New York
On one west side street uptown in Manhattan we have a ‘church’ pronouncing in neon lights ‘Sin will find you out’. With pronouncements such as this, I could be cowering in fear of ‘fire and brimstone’; so counter-productive in my opinion.
On another west side street, a little further downtown at St Francis Xavier this Sunday, the message is so focused on welcome, love, and doing what Jesus would do, there’s not too much time left to sin. But sin we do! This morning’s over-arching message of inclusiveness extends a welcome to all – every man, every woman, every child, every preference, every life choice. Amen!
Uptown or downtown for you?
I recall coming here years ago with a non church-going Australian friend (of fifty years next month!) from my hometown, Brisbane. John still talks about the experience of that Mass as a wonderful ‘Andrew Lloyd Weber’ entertainment. The music was on that Sunday so good.
After this Sunday, (with a young Jesuit, a Director of campus ministry at a university in New Jersey by day and well-practiced at whipping up a crowd), and all the singing, arms waving and ‘Amens’, John would have gone home (to Hong Kong now) talking about his ‘Southern Baptist revivalist’ experience.
So not Roman Catholic that we’re accustomed to, but so inclusive and infectious nonetheless, where even the mature men raise their arms in ‘Amens’, and join in singing with gusto.
‘Go Father Rocco!’
And ‘go Francisco’, your ultimate boss, over there in Rome.
I introduce myself to Father Rocco after Mass and tell him I am from St Canice’s, a smaller Sydney Jesuit Parish with a focus on extending a welcome to street people and the needy. To my ignorance, he reminds me that this is also a major mission of this parish, feeding so many hundreds more each week than we do).
POPE FRANCIS (addressing Vatican Bank employees on April 24th)
“We, the women and men of the Church are in the middle of a love story. Every one of us, is a ring in this love chain. If we don’t understand this, we haven’t yet understood what the Church is about