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Mass will be missed


February 22, 2014 Letters to the Editor

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Regarding the Jan. 30 Focus feature, “Mass change sparks criticism at St. Anthony’s”

Many of us baby boomers may recall those wonderful Sunday dinners after church. Families would gather around the table (probably at grandma’s or in my case ‘Nonie’s’) to break bread and noisily share the joys and dramas of the past week.

It was a happy time for our family. If one of us was missing, Nonie would make it her business to get us there the following week.

Sadly, for this generation, that tradition has largely gone out the window with Sunday soccer practice and catching up after a hectic week.

But for many of us, Sunday family dinner has been replaced with Sunday breakfast after church with our parish families. In the case of the St. Anthony church choir, which I have directed for over 30 years, our “communion” continued after Mass with coffee and choir practice or breakfast. We laughed, hugged, sang joyfully in harmony, shared our lives, and prayed for those who were ill or hurting. That familial love left us happy and renewed to face the week.

St. Anthony has held Sunday services for more than 100 years. But since our Sunday service has been eliminated, traditions for many non-choir members, some of which also have existed 30-plus years, have also been abandoned.

As was stated in the Focus story and previous letters to the editor, hurt and resentment over this has caused many to leave if not in body, then in spirit. Much has been lost and not much gained with the new schedule.

We have been told to grieve and move on. I have tried, but it is not in me to move on and leave behind even one member of my parish family.

What would Christ do? Would He not shepherd them back? We each, no matter which worship site we attend, must shepherd one another. Send a card or speak when we see one another in passing and bring the lost home. Show that we care.

I have personally struggled with not being able to rise above this situation, but I am asking God to somehow help me let go of this resentment and resurrect my spirit so that I might be able to raise the spirits of others.

Our St. Anthony Sunday morning Mass will be temporarily restored on Easter Sunday for the summer. This Lent and Easter, let’s ask God to help us to leave behind our bitterness and return everyone to our family table.

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