The following comes from an Oct. 11 story in the New York Times.
The glory days of Holy Ghost Church were years ago, when Catholics packed into the wooden pews, beneath a starry barrel-vaulted ceiling, listening to bells and kissing icons as priests in colorful robes intoned in ancient tongues the liturgies of a faraway land.
The congregation dwindled so much that in 2009 the church was closed, but on a bright Sunday this summer, Holy Ghost was alive again. Mary Matei, visiting from Knoxville, Tenn., snapped pictures on her iPhone as priests sang Mass, while Ann Cogar and Sue Koch, sisters from suburban Cleveland, admired stained glass windows and statuary.
They were taking part in a Mass mob — the latest trend in Rust Belt Catholicism — which is part heritage tour and part mixer (crudités in the fellowship hall followed the service). The movement is bringing thousands of suburban Catholics to visit the struggling, and in some cases closed, urban churches of their parents and grandparents. It is also attracting much-needed donations.
Named after flash mobs — spontaneous gatherings of crowds, often in a public place, to make an artistic or political statement — Mass mobs are spreading around the nation and taking church leaders by surprise. Fueled by social media, they are doing best around Lake Erie: In Detroit, nearly 2,000 people show up to visit churches that normally draw a fraction of that number; hundreds take part in Buffalo, where the movement began; and scores join the events here in Cleveland.
On the afternoon of the Mass mob at Holy Ghost, much of the city was watching a Cleveland Browns football game, which was blaring on the TV sets in the bars of the church’s gentrifying Tremont neighborhood.
But the worshipers fixed their eyes instead on an older kind of screen: a 24-foot-high, hand-carved Hungarian iconostasis, made of wood and gold, displaying recently restored icons. Behind the screen, and at times in front of them, priests in Eastern European vestments, including an eye-catching red and gold robe called a phelonion and a cylindrical black hat called a kalimavkion, celebrated a special Mass partly in sung Slavonic — a liturgical language used by some Eastern Catholic churches.
“It’s like walking back in history,” said Steven Kalas, 55, of Cleveland. “They’re so much more beautiful than the recent ones,” said Ms. Koch, 50, of nearby Medina, Ohio. And Marguerite Tetkowski, 56, of Cleveland, said with relief, “I was afraid it was going to be sold and converted into a bar.”
Mass mobs began last November in Buffalo, where Christopher Byrd, 47, was inspired by an initiative called a cash mob, which sought to support local small businesses by having groups of people patronize the same mom-and-pop shop on a particular day. Similarly, Mass mobs seek to draw large crowds to a single church in a demonstration of support for Catholicism and its most beautiful — and often needy — churches….
To read the entire story, click here.
A proven fact: many conservative churches are forced to close while the liberal ones are kept open, even though the traditional and conservative ones are operating in the black. Also, in some towns there were three churches, ALL in good shape. The bishop closes all three, and builds a heinous monstrosity in their place., with an updated name. This has happened in several dioceses. In Detroit, as in most dioceses, if the priests and bishops were teaching PROPERLY about marriage, there would be more children and families to fill these beautiful churches which were constructed for the love of God by the nickles and dimes of the parishioners.
I agree with Fr. Karl! We desperately need the Church’s clergy, to not only preach and teach correctly, and properly guide the Catholic Faithful– we need them to do a god job, to combat MORTAL SIN, (particularly, sexual sins)—especially among young people– and help them to date and marry properly, and establish good Catholic homes and families! Then, these good Catholic families will help support and build up the Church, for the future! Good, traditional Catholic parish churches and schools will then be needed, to accommodate the needs of these families. The Catholic home and family, is the cornerstone of the Catholic parish, and Catholic world!
Father Karl, That’s because the modern V2 bishops and priests aren’t really what they are dressed up to be. The Sacramental Efficacy of Holy Orders flew out the window when the modern spirit of man blew in. These sometimes unrecogizable clergy are but Misters.
Fr, Karl, we can all help teach by encouraging others to read the Bible and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” at home – in spite of some Bishops and Priests who do not teach the Faith fully or accurately.
And in spite of some Bishops who do not teach, correct, and if necessary discipline Catholics who choose to publically remain obstinate in mortal sin.
“The glory days of Holy Ghost Church were years ago, when Catholics packed into the wooden pews, beneath a starry barrel-vaulted ceiling, listening to bells and kissing icons as priests in colorful robes intoned in ancient tongues the liturgies of a faraway land.”
These were the days of my youth and when I lived in Germany when the Church understood and conveyed the Faith of our Fathers in a reverential manner.
What is this doing on this Site: “Become Ordained Today. Want to be a Minister? Register Now.”? Please explain if you can. Is the Church of nice now also joining many protest-ant sects that sell their ministries?
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Want to be a Minister? Register Now.
as they say, “follow the money”!
May I humbly request that the derogatory term “rust belt” be stricken from peoples’ vocabularies? Anyone knows who has been to Ohio, for example, that this simply is a lie. For one thing, agriculture is our major industry and always has been. Cleveland has made an amazing come back with medical high tech surrounding the Cleveland Clinic. The arrogant elitists that refer to the Midwest as fly over states should be given the apparently secret information that guess what? Planes fly over California too. If people would just move back to the cities, like they do in Pittsburgh (a really great place, by the way) the problem of empty churches would be resolved. Detroit’s problems go far deeper than the loss of the automotive presence. It’s deep and seemingly hopeless troubles are the result of fifty years of corrupt Democratic regimes and conscienceless unions like cancerous tumors earring their host into extinction. There’s a very strong Catholic presence in the Midwest and this movement to visit different Churches has really been uniting our forces. Last summer we had pilgrimages to chosen Churches of our Diocese and participants were given badges and booklets.
Sorry, that’s tumors “eating” their host. Using an iPad. Bleach!
Being one of the people quoted in the story, and having to live with a tyrannical bishop, who closed fifty-eight parishes and was ordered to re-open eleven of them by Rome, it is not the rationale of theological liberalism that is operative. The churches usually targeted are ethnic churches, often with assets. Historically, American bishops have shown antipathy towards the non-standard model of parish, and many bishops act as businessmen in corporate capitalism without regard towards parishioners.
Well, I can’t agree that our bishop is tyrannical s, but it’s lovely to see someone else from ohio on this site. A fellow from Columbus used to pop in occasionally. I wish we had an Ohio Catholic Daily, don’t you? Or perhaps Catholics of the Midwest Daily. As it is, Californians are a nice lot. :) God bless and come often!
Those who go to the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Mass), most of the time or occasionally, are trying to keep some of these beautiful, magnificent older churches afloat, too, here in California. Often there are receptions after Mass, and if one hears about it too late to make something, one can take a dessert, drinks, special breads or something else that one can just buy at the store before going, or just go without taking anything. I have done that and helped clean up afterward. Spontaneity is quite often the most fun.
Hi Andy, Seems as though no one wants to pay attention to your comments, are they afraid the facts they will find? I agree what you say regarding 98% of the “catholic clergy”; however there is the other 2% or so that are valid Roman Catholic priests who were validly ordained and deserve the title of Father, Monsignor, Bishop, Your Excellency, or what is rightfully fitting.
Since V2 imposed the new counterfeit rite of unholy orders about 1968, the only gentlemen that are valid priests are those ordained by a valid Bishop under the old latin Sacrament of Holy Orders. To find even the youngest of those priests would have to search for a priest a minimum of 70 years old. May went along with the V2 church and have retired. There are a handful out there in the world saying holy TLMs in peoples homes and small chapels, as though they were in the catacombs fearing losing their retirement benefits by breaking the bishops orders to keep them subdued. What is going to happen when the last one of them dies?
Fortunately, today there are young seminarians who are being ordained under the old valid Roman Catholic latin Sacrament of Holy Orders, by a valid Roman Catholic bishop, whether they are very old and semi-retired, or happen to be younger holy validly Consecrated Roman Catholic bishops. These younger bisihops out to restore the Roman Catholic Church’s tradition, do have apostolic succession; however Rome prefers to label these bishops as illicit.
Obviously Doug is a schismatic on the face of his post.
Obviously Anomynous if you really saw the light you would see that the opposite of your comment is true. Contrary to the V2 leadership, I and many like me are in complete union with the Roman Catholic Church and the Apostolic succession of pontiffs beginning with St Peter. They/we didn’t betray God, Holy Mother the Church teaching, rites and the 7 holy sacraments, but the V2 Council and its aftermath did. Many poor sheep have been misled, I was in fact for 20 years until I saw the light.
The V2 Ecumenical Council results have been the watering down of the faith, and loss of the Roman Catholic faith in tens of millions of souls world-wide. Hundreds of thousands of religious left their vocations when the changes were implemented. All this never would of happened without the losses of sanctifying graces brought on by all of the radical changes. Our Lord’s teachings and sacraments were changed by men who must have thought they knew better than God? If so, how arrogant they must be! Before you counter, speak from a position of facts and first-hand knowledge. The modern V2 Church looks and is far different than it was 50 years ago thanks to the many changes. Why even Luther hadn’t initiated so many changes and look what happened to him, he was excommunicated and rightly so! Go to a Lutheran worship service and marvel how much they look like they’ve turned to catholicism, on the contrary, quite the opposite, the V2 church has done the opposite and become more like the Protestants all for the sake of ecumenism. The leadership sacrificed God’s truth to improve man’s relationships.