Fr. Christopher Phillips shares some advice

Fr. Phillips posted this on Facebook and I think he offers some great advice for our Ordinariate parishes:

As I looked on the full church tonight during the Vigil Mass, I could not help but remember the first Vigil we had. On that occasion we had one server, an organist, her husband who served as the “choir,” and one elderly lady in the congregation. But we celebrated the full Vigil, complete with Exsultet, readings, blessing of water, renewal of baptismal promises — everything.

My Episcopal rector had given me some advice. As my family and I were leaving Rhode Island and heading to Texas to begin this work, he said, “It’ll be difficult, but do things as though the place is a major parish. People can’t come to things that you don’t have.” I took his advice to heart, and from the very beginning we had a daily Mass, even though I had to strong-arm men to take turns to be the daily server, so I’d at least have one person there. We concentrated on the best music we could produce (which was pretty simple stuff at first). Our little group showed up at every pro-life function we could. We’d host novenas and invite others to come. We’d have “bring-a-friend” Sundays — anything we could think of that would be pleasing to God and which would help us grow. And it worked…or, I should say, God showered His blessings upon our poor efforts.

For those who have new communities in the Ordinariates — don’t get discouraged if things seem very small at first. Seek God’s blessings in all things, work as though God is depending on you to single-handedly spread the Gospel, and give constant thanks that you have been entrusted with the fullness of the Catholic Faith to share with others. And do things as though it’s a major parish. Who knows? Eventually it might be!

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1 Response to Fr. Christopher Phillips shares some advice

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    From your quotation: “It’ll be difficult, but do things as though the place is a major parish. People can’t come to things that you don’t have.”

    Very, very profound, indeed — and certainly very good advice for ALL small congregations, including those of the ordinariates!

    Also from your quotation: We concentrated on the best music we could produce (which was pretty simple stuff at first).

    It is better to do “pretty simple stuff” that’s within the capacity of the community, so that it’s done well, than to massacre selections of somewhat greater complexity that the community simply does not have the resources (voices, accompaniment, etc.) to do properly. If a congregation does not have a talented organist, it’s better to have somebody like me plunk out the melody line, or even to sing a cappella, than to have no music at all.

    Norm.

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