The following comes from a May 23 Catholic News Agency article:
In an unprecedented change for an archdiocese, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver announced that the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion – will be restored to their original order.
“In an increasingly secular world, the reality is this: the souls of our children are the battleground. As the shepherd of the Archdiocese of Denver, I must do everything I can to help those who form children win that battle,” he explained in his pastoral letter “Saints Among Us” released May 23.
“The world needs saints. Even as our society becomes more distant from faith and more forgetful of God, it still hungers for joyful witnesses who have been transformed by Christ,” he explained. “At the same time, new generations of Catholics need grace to sustain them in a non-Christian environment.”
In response to those needs, Archbishop Aquila said he’s chosen to restore the sacraments to the original order.
While the majority of dioceses and archdioceses have children baptized in infancy, receive the First Communion in first or second grade and Confirmation sometime in middle or high school, the original order placed Confirmation and First Communion in the same ceremony.
“This will make available every sacramental grace the Church has to offer to children who have reached the age of reason,” he explained.
As a result of the change, youth groups will need to adapt from sacramental preparation to “building community, fostering deeper relationships with each person of the Holy Trinity, and preparing them to be witnesses to the poor, those in need, and those who do not know Jesus Christ.”
This change is happening in many dioceses of our country and also in other countries around the world. Let’s hope the change achieves its objectives.
Bob One, since this happens to be the first time I have heard of this happening in the US, I was wondering if you could list a few of the other “many” dioceses where these changes have been made. Thanks. The information might help parents of young children decide to move to one of these dioceses.
I think this bishop is causing too much confusion, among his Catholics! What is most needed, is a strong Catechism class, for children and adults, as well as for all priests, brothers, and nuns! Have all Catholic homes sign pledges of daily devotions together– such as Fr. Patrick Peyton’s Family Rosary– the Rosary is also a great spiritual weapon, against sin!! Require strong Catechism programs, in all Catholic schools and colleges, and a strong devotional life! Excommunicate disobedient priests, nuns, brothers, and lay teachers! Then, add more Tridentine Masses and devotions, too! Set up a good Dress Code, and stick to it! Preach and teach Catholics that they MUST abide by the Church’s moral teachings! Start traditional religious lay groups and societies, once again, to help teens and adults, with modesty, chastity and purity– and obedience to Christ, in all things!!
you will find on Abp Aquila’s Denver Diocese web site – a prominent advertisement/link for the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”.
He is accurately and prominently teaching the Catholic Faith – which includes all the moral teachings, prayer life, God’s Commandments, etc, etc, etc,
Linda Marie, what makes you think that the good Bishop can not direct his Priests or staff to do more than one thing at a time?
What makes you think everyone wants a Latin Mass ? – Who are you to dictate to others? You are not God.
If you read the CCC from cover to cover – you would know that this Bishop does teach all the Moral teachings of the Church – accurately and correctly.
Why are you so mean, and trying to harm a good Bishop ?
You are playing into the devils hands.
Pete, purporting that reading the CCC from cover to cover is the cure all is similarly single minded. Why are you so opposed to one with a strong Catholic viewpoint based on having lived through what has worked before in the Church. (Obviously the good Bishop believes that returning to old practices has merit, too.)
Please stop assigning “mean” to people and try asking “why” where it counts. You are playing into the Devil’s hands, especially when you intimate that suggesting more Tridentine masses indicates that “everyone” wants it. (That’s not what she said.)
What Linda Maria proposes has definite merit and should at least be on the table for thought – even though I agree with receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation as…
There is nothing wrong with the EF Mass but it is not for everyone.
The CCC contains the Doctrine of the Faith in entirety, and must be adhered to by all Catholics – including high ranking Clergy.
Ann Malley, if you and others can not back up your controversial statements with quotes from the Bible and CCC, you are wasting your breath.
No one is interested in false claims; claims that can not be substantiated by the Bible and CCC.
And this inferred business of you and a few other posters of my Mass is better than your Mass is absolutely evil.
God bless you Pete. Excellent faithful comments. Well done. You are correct.
Excellent and faithful comments if one was responding to someone asserting that “my” mass is better than “your” mass. As for official records, I suggest in future you read Steve Phoenix’s posts thoroughly about how the Novus Ordo came about.
And before we scream, but Jesus is in both masses! They are holy! Think of poor families whose homes are rich in dignity because they house human beings made in the image and likeness of God. Families like these are devastated regularly by flood, earthquake, and tornado.
Would it be uppity and sinning against UNITY to suggest that the house itself could have been structured better? That there are safeguards in building that will protect the people inside and thereby promote the dignity and well being of that family? Would it make you cringe if building methods of the past were revisited because less people died when the structures were made in such a fashion?
Or are you too concerned that too many people will refuse to live in the mud huts and rickety structures once they understand the mechanics of construction? And are you afraid, perhaps, of those pushing the mud huts getting angry at you?
I think the problem is what the house is built on. (Mt 7:24-27)
Peter, the Pope, is the Rock. The successor of Peter promulgated the Missal. It is completely irrelevant “how it came about.”
I hope you can grow in faith, hope and love.
Ann Malley it is what it is. You read into it to much. That is where you fail at times. Your reply to Pete was just coming from a place of bad will and adding too much confusion. But praise God many of us know better and we do not agree with how you view things. You read into things way to much and your explanation is choas and confusion because its filled with your prideful interpretation which is not in union with our Lord and His holy Catholic apostolic church.
I get the Archbishop’s reasoning, but when will both sacraments be given. 1st or 2nd grade? at twelve? The article isn’t clear.
Contact the Denver Diocese. They will let you know.
First Communion cannot be delayed until age 12.
At the “age of reason” which is (supposedly) 7 years. I don’t know when that was defined, but they had to pick an age. Seven year old children know when they have misbehaved, and conscience development is a certain sign of reasoning.
If he wants to help children, the Archbishop needs to teach them the True Faith. This means, children need to learn what the Church believes and how it expresses that belief. Yes, Catholic Reader, this means the TLM and the sacraments in the “extraordinary” form.
Does the Archbishop really think that his change will mean anything, when he says Mass like a rugby scrum, lots of priests standing around and gesturing in unison, like a chorus on Broadway? People are leaving the Church, Excellency, leaving, going elsewhere, saying “sayonara” and bolting, never to return. Why?
Because they do not know why they are there. Do you tell them, Excellency, that they are going to die, and be judged? That when they are judged they will go to Hell if they are found wanting? And how many people go to Hell for lust, for fornication, for homosexual sex, for adultery, for abortion — all those things?
St Christopher, most people are not interested in a language that they do not understand.
Further you have been told many times that both Forms of the Mass as Holy when done in accord with the 1962 Missal, or GIRM.
Both include the instruction instituted by Christ.
….most people aren’t interested in a lot of things, Pete. “Interest” doesn’t determine what people need. As for the “language”, the TLM is far more than just Latin language. That’s why it’s so vehemently discouraged in many areas, especially where the rite would do the most good.
This “you have been told” nonsense discounts our Lord’s admonishment to look to the fruits. Why so many are afraid to do that is beyond comprehension.
St, Christopher you are making a fool of yourself.
Yes, Yes, Yes – in answer to your question – ” Do you tell them, Excellency, that they are going to die, and be judged? That when they are judged they will go to Hell if they are found wanting? And how many people go to Hell for lust, for fornication, for homosexual sex, for adultery, for abortion — all those things? ” –
This Abp promotes the reading of the CCC prominently on his Diocese web site which covers EVERY Church teaching on the questions you have asked.
Try reading it sometime.
Check things out before inserting foot in mouth.
You are only giving fodder to the likes of Wuerl, Cupich, Dolan and others who want good Bishops removed.
St Christopher are you a Sedevacantist,
or attend an SSPX Parish – which has no ministry within the Catholic Church ?
Answer the questions.
What Parish and location do you attend ?
Is your rant what they teach you in your Parish ? – To hate others who do NOT want to do things your way ? And state that only YOUR way is TRUE ?
both Forms of the Mass are “man made” AFTER the time of Christ.
This includes the vestments as well as the rubrics. And any Pope can change the man made elements at any time.
Those things instituted by Christ are the same in both Form of the Mass.
St. Christopher, are you stating that this Abp is not teaching the TRUE FAITH ?
If so, prove it.
Are you personally stating that only those who attend the EF Mass will get to Heaven?
Did Jesus tell you this?
Pete God bless you. Thank you for your faithfulness. You are a nobleman.
Are you finished, “Pete”? Take a breather. And, while you are resting, try to read, again, the blog that you completely missed, just as you completely miss most of what is going on within the Church (by your comments).
Among other things, no one is saying that the N.O. is not “licit”. What is said by many, many Catholics is that the Church needs to go back to what it has always been, a unitary, monarchical structure, worshipping in one language, and with one liturgy (elements of the TLM, for example, go back to the time of the Apostles, not to Msgr. Bugnini and the 1960s).
No, the liturgy is not a Pope’s plaything to change whenever he wants to. He is a servant of the servant of God, and is completely bound to the Church’s…
St. Christopher, what you posit has never ever been the case. You write “What is said by many, many Catholics is that the Church needs to go back to what it has always been, a unitary, monarchical structure, worshipping in one language, and with one liturgy ”
The Church has never EVER worshipped in one language with one liturgy.
Effectively, it has “YFC”, certainly more than the polyglot mish-mash that we have now.
However, the Church itself has always been a monarchy, that is the key point. And, the Church has always tried to use uniformity to strengthen the Faith.
The Pope is the Vicar of Christ. The representative of Christ.
As for there being many, many Catholics (.01 %) who want the Church to go back, so what? There are many more Catholics who would like the Church to “progress”. (>50%) So what?
The Church is not a democracy. The Church has to do God’s Will.
Many (most) parts of the Mass In both forms go back to the time of the Apostles or a little after (New Testament) or before that (Old Testament of which Jesus Christ is the fulfillment.)
God bless you for your patience, St. Christopher. Why “faithfulness” is now being redefined so as to make deaf zealots out of what could be intelligent, informed Catholics is beyond me. It’s as if this new breed is, by invention, designed not to be able to read, to reject the prospect, and when forced to do so, reject anything that is actually written in order opt for a pre-programmed kill-the-monster script that advocates disinformation to avoid all possibility of identifying logic. Logic that is also known as – wink, wink – “the monster”.
Much of what is engaged by these “noblemen” is found here:
Does it have straw man fallacy?
The Church should have both the OF and EF Masses for all the Faithful.
However, Christopher those who rant an rave in effect – that my Mass is better than your Mass – has zero to do with the teaching of Christ.
In fact that ranting and raving is a sin against UNITY in the Church.
And drives people away from the Church.
I agree that pastorally, the EF should be made available to those who cling to it, which is why BXVI allowed its more widespread use.
However, Vatican II delineated certain things about the EF that needed reform. We should listen to the wise wisdom of the entire assembly of Bishops who said so, and stop second guessing them.
Pete you are correct.
What works against unity and drives thinking people from even contemplating the Catholic Church is the blanket hands off of logical discourse and shying away from rational observations.
There is no sin against unity when what is currently in use is proving itself to be divisive and often deficient in practice and “thinking” people who actually desire true unity – in Faith and practice – speak of such things.
That said, Pete, where do you get your facts? Who has “left” the Church that you know because they have learned the history behind the Novus Ordo and the facts surrounding the TLM? Where did they go?
YFC, just as those who bad mouth the OF Mass, you must not denigrate the EF Mass (even marginally).
Both Forms of the Mass are equally Holy.
The wisdom of Bishops of the VII Council said that LATIN should remain in all Masses.
Dogmatic Constitution – “Sacrosanctum Concilium”
” 36.1 Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin languages is to be preserved in the Latin rites. ”
However in the USA Cardinal Bernardin and his heretical ilk (including hiding the abuse of children)
illegally (did not have the votes at the USCCB) and completely deleted Latin in the Mass in the USA.
My intention was not in any way to denigrate the holiness of the EF. Please do not misread my comment. Vatican II clearly outlines some things about what we now call the EF that needed reform, in the minds and souls of the Bishops gathered at a Sacred Ecumenical Council. If I say that my car needs to be washed, I am not denigrating my car, I am honoring it. If I say that my fence needs to be repaired, I’m not denigrating my fence. I’m correcting things (dirt and damage) caused by their very proper and good usage. To not wash my car…that would denigrate it.
there is great wisdom in this move. the denver area is in the midst of much spiritual darkness and adversial activity, as deep as LA. do not curse a good thing even if it only seems like a helpless mustard seed.
“there is great wisdom in this move.” “do not curse a good thing even if it only seems like a helpless mustard seed.”
Thank you david drewlow! Wise words! This is an answer to many prayers! Bishop Aquila is surely responding to the grace of the Holy Ghost and with God “All things are possible”.
“In an increasingly secular world, the reality is this: the souls of our children are the battleground. As the shepherd of the Archdiocese of Denver, I must do everything I can to help those who form children win that battle,” he explained in his pastoral letter “Saints Among Us”
Thank you Bishop Aquila and may God continue to bless you for recognizing this reality and for taking a leadership action.
Saints and future…
There could be positive effects by having children receive Confirmation at a very early age, but then, there may be negative ones as well. I know the Eastern rites have Confirmation around the same time as Baptism, but I believe personally that it is better to wait until the children are more mature and developed in their faith. After all, until Vatican II one of the effects of Confirmation was that it made us soldiers of Jesus Christ, ready to defend the Church. There is a German joke, about a priest whose church was overrun with bats, and he could not get rid of them. The bishop told him “, Why don’t I come by and confirm them; then you will never see them In church again.”
“Graduation” will simply happen at age 7 or 8 unless parishes come up with robust catechesis for middle school and high school youth. I understand the logic but there seems in this the great potential to go from the frying pan into the fire by eliminating teen confirmation programs.
Dave N. we can’t help but agree with you that “there seems in this the great potential to go from the frying pan into the fire by eliminating teen confirmation programs.” If you have followed the programs for the kids receiving Holy Communion you can see that they really haven’t a clue on what it is all about. At least at Confirmation we will have another “stab” at getting through to them what our faith is all about.
In reiterating an earlier post. Each parish needs a program taught by those who are truly versed in our faith to teach the catechism of our Church in order that Catholics know the “true presence of Christ”, why abortion is murder, and sodomy shouldn’t be condoned by marriage. And thus know which political candidate they should be voting for. Too bad a lot of our clergy were misinformed when they attended seminary!
I attended a confirmation on Sunday where each youth (teenagers) stood in front of the congregation and individually answered several questions from the Pastor about their acceptance of the Lord as their Savior. Essentially, the Pastor asked each person to affirm their belief in each part of the Nicene Creed. And, they had to do it with their parents facing them. How powerful that was to watch teens commit to the Pastor, their parents, the congregation and to God that they believed and stated that they would live by God Word. When they were ready, then, they were confirmed. They knew the teachings of their Faith and were committing to live by them. Wow!
Pray God that the those you witnessed receiving Confirmation persevere in the Faith, Bob One. For what you describe, despite the “wow” you felt, imitates in part the public avowals of countless “Catholics” who pledge fidelity within the Sacrament of marriage before God, priest, parents, and witnesses only to say later that they didn’t know what it meant. (When often the ‘ not knowing’ was just how difficult it can be to keep the vow that was given.)
The whole “when ‘they’ were ready” may sound great, but unless each individual actually has the Faith and commits themselves, in their hearts, to fight to keep it daily, they will falter. There was a day when societal pressures helped the weak to keep their vows – whatever they…
It’s not about “keeping the kids in church” until Confirmation: it’s about making Catholicism a life-long commitment, something you work at each day.
Archbishop Aquila seems smart in wanting to promote good catechesis for it’s own sake, not merely as a “carrot” dangled in front of children until they get confirmed in high school.
If they come from believing families, get good catechesis, and follow the teachings of the Church as a family, they will KEEP coming back through high school, through college, through to retirement and death.
don’t forget that the early church lived in the context of a much higher mortality rate, far shorter lifespan. allowing the graces of the holy spirit to be operative at an earlier age is hard for our age to understand because….we think we must understand it. i think that we underestimate the power of God to touch souls, and their capacity to respond in ways that cannot be measured or even noticed. when archeologists found large numbers of tomb-markers in rome indicating early childhood death, the church realized that the wisdom and practicality of infant baptism had a history etched in stone that quickly moved aside the ‘wisdom’…
This is a great thing! The sacraments are restored to their natural order in keeping with the tradition of the Church. Baptism, confirmation and Holy Communion. Holy Communion being the summit of the sacraments of initiation. Should be the final sacrament and stage in the initiation of Catholic life.
Kids nowadays are receiving the sacrament of Confirmation way too late. They need the graces of the sacrament a lot earlier. By the time they are in high school, it’s too late for most of them. It’s treated as a graduation for the Catholic teenager who then will no longer be involved in Church life after he is done with what he sees as a mandatory rite of passage to be able to check out and be done with church.
I’m a 78 year old grandmother and I was confirmed in the Archdiocese of Seattle (then the Diocese of Seattle) in May 1943, one week after receiving First Holy Communion. My most grateful heart has rejoiced through the years at the profound gifts of the Holy Spirit at an early age… a great grace!