Holy week!

Two thoughts 2/3 through the Sacred Triduum:

1. Foot-washing on Holy Thursday is a liturgical loser.  Liturgy is theatre.  You have to see it or hear it or smell it or touch it or taste it, none of which 99% of pew-sitters can do with foot-washing, which is hidden from their view in any church I have been in.  You can do it yourself, of course . . .  if you’re into that sort of thing.

2. Ditto venerating the cross on Good Friday.  It really calls for more talent as liturgy (theatre) than most parishes can muster, and what do the hoi polloi do while waiting to do this medieval thing, besides listen to “Were you there when they crucified my lord?” or “Amazing Grace,” which are 19th-century sentimentalism run riot?

Let’s hear it for low mass on Sunday and a nice, calm thoughtful sermon.

Priest out at night

This fellow is now at an Arlington Hts (IL) parish but spent his first 17 years as a priest on the Spanish-speaking Southwest Side:

“What I learned at Epiphany and St. Mark’s is, you meet people in the streets. I did my most effective ministry at 11:30 at night talking with gang bangers, or in Mt. Sinai Hospital’s ER — not on Sunday morning. The people who come to Mass on Sunday, to a certain extent, are going to be OK. They’re staying close to the fold. They need to be nourished and challenged, of course.

“‘Mission’ is meeting people where they’re at and presenting Jesus in a way they can understand. Creating an atmosphere where people feel safe enough to be honest with themselves and God. Let’s just get to know the Lord in the best way – in the sacraments.”

He has an older priest as mentor (“ spiritual director”), which would be very important.

Comboni fathers in the ‘hood

Home mission.

Shooting baskets, doing homework, taking classes and playing pool, Ping-Pong and video games are among the activities offered to at-risk youth from the Austin neighborhood at the Peace Corner, 5022 W. Madison.

Now they can do it in a new $1.6 million facility April 9. The 75,000-square-foot building, still smelling of paint and new construction, has a basketball court, offices, a lounge area, a computer lab and a large dividable classroom. The project was funded through private donations.