November 25, 2009 // Uncategorized

New English translation should be greeted with joy, faith, obedience

A moment of history
No, I am not referring to the coming of our new bishop, which is certainly for all of us, as I have said previously, an historical and also a blessed moment in our diocese. I refer rather to a moment at the meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It was the final affirmative vote concerning the various books of the Roman Missal, upon which there had been such deliberation.

As you may know, for some years there has been in process among the bishops a new translation of the Roman Missal from Latin into English. It has gone forward in fits and starts, and some priests wondered if we would ever have a new translation of the Missal, known to us more commonly as the Sacramentary. It has been finished and now must be sent to the Holy See for what is called the Recognition, a final approval.

It is expected that in the year 2011, this new translation of the Roman Missal will be implemented in this country, after a period of catechesis and preparation.

What should we look for?
First of all, we should look forward to accepting it with gratitude. It is a significant improvement. The new translation is more faithful to the Scriptures.
The translation is more faithful to the original Latin, and also reflects a fidelity to a sound theology.

On the matter of the prayers or collects, which begin every Mass, there is more fidelity to a translation, which truly reflects the style and wording of the original Latin prayers.

The translation has a more majestic style; and the English words bring a tone of majesty and tend to be more inspiring.

Why is this important?
Remember, that the first translation came about shortly after the Second Vatican Council. There was no history over the last 500 or 600 years of a translation to the vernacular. We were new at it. The translation tended to be free and poetic, rather than careful and accurate.

Remember also, that the translation approved for use in our country is used in many English speaking countries throughout the world. One thinks of England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It was necessary to find a language and translation reasonably acceptable in all these countries.

Remember, too, that the Mass is not something we make ourselves; rather, it is a gift to us, a gift from the church. It is my hope that in this diocese we will accept this new translation with joy and faith, and indeed, a very important virtue of which our new bishop has already given us a significant example; namely, obedience. I was especially struck by a few words from Cardinal Francis George at the conclusion of our intense discussion and voting. He said something akin to the following: we must remember that people have died for the Roman Missal. He referred to the Elizabethan martyrs who gave their lives, rather than betray the use of this ancient prayer book. The translations will be significant, and the annual active study week for priests has been set aside to assist priests with the new translation. I am sure there will be workshops and presentations throughout the diocese, and some planning for this has already been done. Our director of the Office of Worship, Brian MacMichael, has attended a seminar with Bishop Serratelli and gave a brief summary presentation to our priests at our fall presbyterate meeting. Our new bishop is well prepared to lead us in this preparation.

There will be the need, also, for new hymns, in both Latin and English. The end result, if we all prepare for it well, will be a more beautiful and inspiring language, and hopefully a more prayerful attendance at Mass. That must always be the goal.

Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Good Hope
On successive Sundays, first before flying to Baltimore for the meeting of the bishops and secondly, after returning, I had the joy of installing two new pastors.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a church and shrine that I enter with great joy. Seated high on a hill overlooking Warsaw, the land was given by Jerry and Savina Kralis; and the church built after a nationwide architectural contest, watched over and led by the very able Linda Furge. Father Phil DeVolder, a native of Mishawaka and much more fluent in Spanish than he admits, was installed as the second pastor of this parish. I thought of Father Paul Bueter, who was pastor of this parish for many years, including the time that Mass was said in a former automobile garage. This was a church built as part of our observance of the millennium and funds were collected throughout the diocese as part of the Legacy of Faith Campaign, along with funds raised by the parish itself.

As soon as it was built, people came from all over the area. And now, we have two Spanish speaking priests there, Father DeVolder and the newly ordained, Father Fernando Jimenez, who also serves at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

What a joy to celebrate Mass in my poor, halting Spanish, installing Father DeVolder as pastor.

The following Sunday, after returning from Baltimore, I presided at the installation of Msgr. Bruce Piechocki at Our Lady of Good Hope Parish in Fort Wayne. This parish, cut off many years ago from St. Charles Parish, has had exemplary service from Father Larry Kramer, Father David Voors and Father Mark Gurtner. Msgr. Piechocki has been a blessing on the diocese as our excellent judicial vicar; that is, the priest who is in charge of the diocesan tribunal. His dear mother came all the way from St. Casimir Parish on the west side of South Bend, along with his sister and brother-in-law from Niles, Mich.

Last spring and into the summer, after consulting our Priest Personnel Board, many transfers of pastors took place. This calls on the bishop to do a Mass of Liturgical Installation. In all, we will have done 14 of these installations, with a few more still to take place before Christmas.
When the bishop does this, it shows the centrality of his pastoral mission and his close link to the priests. There is nothing more encouraging than to have people thank you for sending us a fine priest, and I have experienced that in every parish.

A note from Baltimore
How encouraging to hear so many bishops speak to me about the gifts and goodness and dedication of Bishop Kevin Rhoades. He was elected to chair a very important committee, and also received an award from the Campus Ministry Association during our time in Baltimore. A gifted and highly respected bishop. No question about it.

Athletic report
Alas, both of our Fort Wayne high schools, Luers and Dwenger, reached the Semi-State. The Bishop Dwenger Saints lost a heartbreaker at a stadium located in “the region,” a place fittingly called the “Inferno.” If I am correct, it was the Devils versus the Saints. I am told by some Dwenger people who attended that it is a very tough place to play and a very hard place to win. A heartbreaker, but congratulations to the Saints for a 14-1 season.

And the Bishop Luers Knights will be off to the Dome once again to play for the state championship. No one expected it, as it was thought to be a rebuilding year, but after a painful loss to Dwenger, Coach Matt Lindsay rallied his troops and they bounded through the playoffs and will play for the state title. If the Luers Knights win, it will be their 12th championship overall, and I am told that would be an Indiana record. Bring it home, Knights.
And now, the blessed season of Advent. A time to hear the call of John the Baptist to repentance and to open our hearts in faith as Mary did.
See you all next week.

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