Cleansing Fire

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Mass at Ss. Peter & Paul

June 21st, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Bishop Matthew Clark will offer Mass at Ss. Peter & Paul [Coptic] church this Sunday, June 26th, at 12 PM. Fr. David Reid, a former pastor of the parish when it was still Catholic, will concelebrate.

I pass along this information only because I know that there are a number of people who would like to see this beautiful building one last time. Personally, I don’t care for the idea of offering Mass in a non-Catholic Coptic church. Bishop Clark had the chance to offer Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul when the community held their closing Mass several years ago, but the bishop declined to make an appearance as he has done for each and every church closing since at least 2001.

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15 Responses to “Mass at Ss. Peter & Paul”

  1. Dr. K, I share your sentiments regarding Bishop Clark not celebrating closing masses (or showing up to parish meetings regarding church closings for that matter).
    SS. Peter and Paul Church is a beautiful classic Roman church basilica with detailed design and artwork. The Coptic Church now owns the church and has their Divine Liturgy there. The Coptic Church kept the name SS. Peter and Paul Church as the saints Peter and Paul are also very important saints in the Coptic Church. Their feast day is also an extremely important feast day in the Coptic Church. While I don’t advocate attending church there on a regular basis or using their Divine Liturgy in lieu of going to Mass, I think it is hospitable on our part to accept an invitation for a special event at that church when offered out of hospitality on the part of the clergy and parishioners of the current congregation. SS. Peter and Paul Church is very inspiring due to architecture and artwork, but apart from that, being there for a special event demonstrates our will for Christian unity. When the Roman Catholic Church is invited for a special occasion or event, particularly for the use of that church for a feast day that is dear to us, we are representing the Roman Catholic Church. We go out of love of God, neighbor, and our religion. -Let’s call it Christian love.

  2. avatar JLo says:

    I’m with Dr. K. Personally, I see this as ecumenism gone haywire. I regret that the church of my elementary school days was sold, but not to the extent that I want to attend Holy Mass there now that it is no longer Catholic. Just don’t see the need to extend either memory lane or PC that far… but to each his own, certainly. Doesn’t bother the bishop any! +JMJ

  3. avatar Beans says:

    Has anyone notice people using rosaries as car ornaments or as jewelery items? Has anyone noticed the statues of The Blessed Virgin Mary stored on the floor behind floor plants.

  4. avatar Therese says:

    I’m just wondering the legitimacy of offering a Catholic Mass in a non-Catholic church… is that even okay? And how do you un-consecrate a Catholic church anyway?

  5. I do not think there is a way of un-consecrating a church. I have a relative who is a Jesuit priest. He celebrates mass at the beginning of every family reunion in the outdoors, wherever the reunion is being held. He also celebrates mass in various relatives’ homes. He was invited back from out of state to a former church where he used to be pastor for an anniversary celebration. That church, which was in different Diocese, had been closed for years. He told us that he knew mass still goes on there every weekend despite it being closed. I believe that church was never sold. Various Roman Catholic priests have been obtained to celebrate a weekend mass there on a regular basis and loyal parishioners continue to attend that mass. He said the bishop probably knows but does not address it.

    I have attended various Catholic groups through the years and have had a priest celebrate mass in a retreat center, someone’s home, or the outdoors. There are occasions, even from many years ago in the Roman Catholic Church, when a couple could request permission from Church Authority (probably the bishop) to have a wedding in another location other than a church. Also, families (usually rich) could petition Church Authority to have other sacraments in another location other than a church (usually a private family home, often with its own chapel).

  6. avatar snowshoes says:

    Having served Mass there many moons ago, I would like to visit just to see the church, which the good Coptic people have lovingly restored. As a Catholic, I think it is respectful to meet the priest or one of the sacristans to request a quick look around the church, and then to give an offering. These are the people after all, who are being driven out of Egypt, killed and mistreated in unspeakable ways by their fellow citizens.

    We all pray daily for Christian unity, that all the churches come back to Rome, as have so many of our Anglican brethren. All according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. As a Latin, I enjoy attending the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Let us pray for the Orthodox and the Catholics who are being so sorely persecuted for the Faith. Holy Martyrs Ss. Peter and Paul, Ss. John Fisher and Thomas More, pray for us! St. Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us!

  7. Snowshoes – I join your prayer. Amen!

  8. avatar Choir says:

    Snowshoes – I, too used to serve Mass at SS.PP . If you’d like to look around ask for Craig Murphy. He’s the custodian. The altar rail was returned about 2 years ago.

  9. avatar Bill B. says:

    Mass other than a church? I remember Mass on the bed of a Duce and a Half in the Army. Have not been to one better since. We all could see!

  10. On another note: Snowshoes – I agree with you that the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Melkite Church is very beautiful and inspirational. However, when I visited, I was told it was a Lebanese based Melkite Catholic Church (from Lebanon).

  11. avatar Mike says:

    Bill B.,

    I remember one Sunday 15-20 years ago at Massawepie Scout Camp when the Protestant service and the Catholic Mass were both scheduled for the same time. The Protestants were assigned to the mess hall while we Catholics celebrated Mass along the lake shore with a picnic table for an altar. It was a very reverent and memorable Mass.

    After Mass I talked with the priest for a few minutes. He was a Jesuit who taught school downstate. His family had a cottage in the area where he spent a good part of the summer “reading, writing, praying and fishing” (or words to that effect). On Saturday evening and Sunday morning he would celebrate Mass at several nearby camps.

  12. avatar snowshoes says:

    Christian,

    Yes, and they can sing. Their choir (and the congregation too!) sings parts of the Liturgy in Greek and Arabic, as well as English. My pastor is Lebanese Maronite by heritage, though his family went Latin when they emigrated to this country.
    Choir, Thank you, I’ll ask for Mr. Murphy. Irish Copts, eh? In my day, all the cops were Irish!!! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself…)

  13. avatar Buffalo Catholic says:

    Craig is not a Copt, he’s remained Catholic and we ALL owe him a HUGE thank you for what he’s done to restore and preserve the Church in the final Catholic days and the transition period. Swiatek Studios of Buffalo (www.swiatekstudios.com) who also restored St. Stan’s, St. Andrew’s, Perpetual Help and others in Rochester has done a lot of restoration work at SS-PP as well. They’re also to be commended in preserving this intact church.

  14. avatar Catholic observer says:

    Someone here asked how do you unconsecrate a Catholic Church. I have learned that you can’t. Not all Catholic churches are consecrated and those that are can never be used for anything else but a Catholic Church. I’m guessing then that STS Peter and Paul church was never consecrated or the Bishop would have not been able to sell it.

    Also….as long as you have a priest, Mass is Mass wherever you are. The location doesn’t matter. The sacrament is still Holy and whole. We seem to be too caught up on esthetics and ideas of location rather than the mystery of the Holy Mass.

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