The September 15 parish bulletin of Christ the King Church in Pleasant Hill featured a reminiscence from the parish’s pastor, Father Brian Joyce. The previous week, Father Joyce had attended a Mass and reunion luncheon with his fellow seminary classmates from St. Joseph’s College in Mountain View and St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. Father Joyce observed that his 1951 class contained nearly 100 men, of whom 22 were ordained to the priesthood.
He then noted: “In those days the faculty was busy doing everything it possibly could to throw us out. What a difference from today, when vocations are so limited that faculties do everything possible to keep you in! With the present shortage of vocations to priesthood and disappearing number of women religious (sisters), many feel this is a great loss. Frankly I feel just the opposite. The great gift and blessing of our time is the recognition and growth of ministries by all our baptized parishioners.”
Father Joyce’s statement is revealing. He notes the shortage of vocations but sees it as no loss. If one sees vocations to religious life as no great loss, or “a great gift,” one is unlikely to work towards increasing them. Tellingly, the shortage of vocations is in the process of being rectified in religious orders and in dioceses which are most faithful to the teachings of the Church—who believe that vocations to the religious life are good. On August 13, 2012, the liberal National Catholic Reporter compared the number of vocations to the orders represented by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (the umbrella group for liberal nuns) and to the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (the orthodox counterpart). “As of 2009, LCWR institutes reported 73 candidates/postulants, 117 novices and 317 sisters in temporary vows/commitment. CMSWR institutes reported 73 candidates/postulants, 158 novices and 304 sisters in temporary vows/commitment.” But what is striking is that the existing nuns represented by LCWR outnumbers the other by more than four to one.
Father Joyce can’t be accused of not practicing what he preaches. The Homilies Online webpage at Christ the King’s website links to a July 22, 2013 homily given by a laywoman of the parish, youth minister and “pastoral associate” Kate Doherty.
The Church is clear on who is or is not allowed to give the homily at Mass. From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal #66: “The homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person.”
The subject of Doherty’s homily was Mary Magdalene. On July 20, 2011, Father Joyce described the feast of Mary Magdalene as “fast becoming a ‘high holyday.’” Poor Mary Magdalene has been abused by the Womanpriest movement as a rallying point for the ordination of women. In 2004 Christ the King parishioners organized a group called Women of Magdala. The Women of Magdala group organized a Eucharistic Gathering in a house church in San Francisco’s East Bay, where lesbian womanpriest Victoria Rue would perform. One of the Women of Magdala, and a Christ the King parishioner Maureen Mancuso, has since been ordained as a deacon and then as a womanpriest in the association of Roman Catholic Womanpriests.
Roman Catholic Womanpriests?
How very bizarre.
It’s like saying: “Oh, yes, my uncle is a cloistered Carmelite Nun.”
Or why not: “My favorite cat is a German Shepherd.”
Well, from all I’ve heard on the subject over the years, these women, and those pretending to “ordain” them, are automatically excommunicated from the Church, so they are not really Roman Catholics any more, and certainly not Catholic priests — no matter WHAT spiffy outfits they might choose to don for the occasion. Usually some silky scarf in lieu of a priestly stole, of course.
As for dear old Father Joyce, I would hope he’d have more sense.
If we do NOT get more priestly vocations, he’ll have to run about 50 parishes and won’t be allowed to retire until he’s 95 or so.
Our Church NEEDS more good priests, and if the priests already working in the trenches don’t realize this, they must be blind.
Maybe the best thing would be for him to retire, say, in time for Halloween, 2013.
Your key words were: “Our Church NEEDS more good priests”! From what I have read here, it is very doubtful that Fr. Joyce meets the definition of a “good priest”!
May God have mercy on an amoral America!
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Turkeys voting for Christmas? Are all to be equipped to confect The Sacrament? What nonsense.
Any (Bishop or) Priest who does not adhere to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” or GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) or the Code of Canon Law – all of which can be found on the Vatican web site – is a heretic, schismatic or an apostate.
Bad Priests are a scourge, and they promote their own will – a mortal sin of pride. Report them and their actions to the Diocese Bishop for correction or removal from the Priesthood.
We need our Priests for the Sacraments.
Pray for the Pope, Bishops and Priests. Ask God to send us holy and more Priests.
When will the lunacy of having people like “Fr.” Joyce in the Catholic clergy end? Of course the absence of priests is awful (although understandable, given the rubble of the Church caused by the “Springtime” of post-Vatican II). No, the Holy Ghost does not wish for there to be fewer priests or religious, or that lay people “take over.” What madness! People like “Fr.” Joyce are everywhere, unfortunately, among today’s Catholic clergy. It is bad enough having to deal with the many homosexual clergy in the Church; there are also liberals, like “Fr.” Joyce, who have no idea of what it is to be a Catholic priest in the first place. His failures result, at least, from poor training in seminaries (where not much is taught about the Church, instead focusing on social welfare and psychology type issues, all in the name of being “Pastoral”), and having weak, and likely only semi-Catholic on-the-job training. The poor parishioners of Christ the King Church!!
Brian Joyce is a complete disgrace. And this parish is only nominally catholic. I moved to PH 11 years ago. My wife and I attended a number of “masses” at CTK when we first moved here. There was only only one mass wherein BJ actually stuck to a proper liturgy. And lo and behold it was when then Bishop Vigneron made an appearance. Other than that not a single mass was recognizable as Catholic. His abuse of the liturgy is farcical. And it is a disgrace that not a single bishop has moved him or reprimanded him. I suppose he brings in good coin for the realm. We attend mass at St. Mary parish in Walnut Creek.
There is no vocations shortage. There is, however, a woeful lack of creativity and flexibility as to whom to consider for the priesthood.
It is neither a lack of creativity or flexibility that results in married men not being allowed to be priests except in specific circumstances. It is simply a prudential judgment that that would not be best.
I got a different take on what the Father was trying to say, before the editorial started. I think that he was expressing the reality of the situation in the western world. There aren not enough priests, those that there are are getting old, and the lay people are being trained to do the non-sacramental work that the priest once did. The truth is, saying Mass is only an hour in a typical priest’s day. The rest is filled with visiting the sick, counseling and administration. No one can do the job by themselves like the old days when there were two or three priests in each parish. So, we have to train people to do some of this work. In many diocese, the Pastoral Associate has had to earn a masters degree in divinity, ministry or theology. These generally are two to five year programs. Most, frankly are women and they do a good job. They coordinate religious formation for youth. Condider a parish with 900 kids in youth formation. Do you really think that the local priest has the time to find forty or fifty teachers, train them and coordinate schedules? The formation director usually has an admin assistant and lots of volunteers to help her. Do you think that the priest has time to coordinate the many liturgies – Holy Thursday, the five or six masses for Easter, Christmas, etc. The list goes on. Too many comments on this site, in my opinion, don’t understand what it takes to manage a parish with 4000 families. We need to put it in prespective folks.
“So, we have to train people to do some of this work. In many diocese, the Pastoral Associate has had to earn a masters degree in divinity, ministry or theology.” There you have the crux of the real source of the problem. These so called “Pastoral Assoicates” usually have to have such advanced degrees from anti Catholic rats’ nest like USD, Loyalla, USF etc. etc. ad. nauseam.
May God have mercy on an amoral America!
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
The very fact that you keep posting on this faithful Catholic website confirms your own innate obsession or good desire to search out the fullness of Christ’s revealed truth. Even though you have freely chosen to follow the broad road of “creativity and flexibility” over Christ, people are praying for you and your own guardian angel is always imploring you and working on your soul’s behalf while you are living on this earth. Don’t be caught off guard Jim! You are trying to convince yourself and many others that your own personal choice of “flexibility” is acceptable to Jesus. I am truly sorry that along the way you have met many misguided friends and even wolves in sheep’s clothing who have also embraced “creativity and flexibility” instead of trusting and embracing the cross. We live in a time where you will find many applauding supporters of “flexibilities” that if left unrepentant and unconfessed, will land souls right into the tormenting flames of hell. Jim, Your ongoing personal rejection of Christ’s revealed truth is why the gospel truthfully and charitably warns us that even if someone came back from the dead to warn someone, they still would NOT listen. Is this what you want for yourself and your close loved ones? Pick up your cross and follow Jesus. This life is temporary. Choose everlasting life for yourself and for each and every family member who out of love for you chose to ignore revealed truth and also embrace the “creative and flexible” road.
Great response Catherine. However, having read his comments on CCD and the Catholic Voice, he is as close to hopeless as one can be.
Father Joyce reminds me of a priest we had in our parish a number of years ago, a totally modern dude! Pastors like him are a parishioner’s worst nightmare. They love spontaneity without realizing that they create liturgical chaos. Ours annoyingly referred to the Holy Father as “the bishop of Rome”. Mercifully he was busted for child molestation before he could do further harm. His legacy took several years to eradicate.
Fr Joyce was from the 1951 class of St Joseph’s/St Patrick’s and blithely comments “In those days the faculty was busy doing everything it possibly could to throw us out. What a difference from today…” (Well, maybe the faculty missed one.) But because things were generally well run in those days, with a regulated, disciplined training, the TLM, the traditional (S Pius V/S Pius X) Latin breviary, a clear moral code, excellent priestly models of behavior, and dont forget (ex-US Navy chaplain), Archbishop John J Mitty, a respected but acknowledged tough discipline-man with clear expectations of conduct (I knew priests in the SF diocese from those days who said ANY misconduct with woman-man-or child was peremptorily and severely dealt with, IF IT WAS KNOWN)—-no passssstoral/smashtoral approach—well the products were stamped generally from a good mold. And now, we have Fr. Brian Joyce. I don’t think Bishop Barber will put up much longer with the nonsense.
Fr. Joyce’s heterodxy is well documented. He is a disgrace but the parishioners at CTK hold some responsibility (as do Bps. Cordelione, Vigneron and Cummins) . We will see how our new Bishop responds but I am not hopeful. At his installation, one of his first acts was to give communion to Jerry Brown; not a good sign.
“Bob One”: There are not enought priests because most men are revolted by the feminized, minicing liturgy that most Catholic Churches use today. Most men that want to be priests, simply do not understand how a once powerful instituion, focused on a time-tested liturgy and bases of beliefs, could become a place for women-lead, silly, banal, and wildly different liturgies that do absolutely nothing, except show the world that the Catholic Church — the place where Christ resides — has decided to reinvent itself. And, this decision was made for no reason, none, except for the influence of Satan. The laity have no legitimate role in being de facto priests; only life-time committed men can do this (and how could you have left the Papacy, Benedict?). What many describe is nothing more than a social worker, a position that many could do: women, men, straights, homosexuals, children, aetheists, pagans, people who like the Designated Hitter Rule, anyone. The Catholic Church is set, nothwithstanding the truly strange interviews of Pope Francis and his minions. No, Vatican II did not reset the Faith but it did start the institutional destruction of the Catholic Church. “Fr.” Joyce is effectively a non-priest, a True-Believer in the “new Church” perhaps, but not the Catholic Church. And, it is not the Catholic Church that I consent to, and, it is guessed, not the church that many, many readers and bloggers here consent to. What a truly pathetic priest, perhaps the modern theological bookend priest to “Fr.” McCall who blames his (and his inamorata’s) moral shortfalls on Catholic teaching, not on his own immoral failings. If “Fr.” Joyce thinks that the laity is the better choice to lead the Church, then he should join them; he is no Catholic priest to admire, in any respect.
Excellently stated, St. Christopher. Way to put it out there!!!