PARISH REPORT: Diocese Says EMHC Unemployment Rate May Hit 100%

(ACMPress) WALLA WALLA – A spokeswoman from the Diocese of Walla Walla announced that, as parishes resume public Masses, the unemployment rate for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may likely hit 100%.

“It’s a sad situation,” spokeswoman Kno Mo Whyyn told ACMPress. “As public Masses restart, at reduced capacity and Holy Communion being offered only under one species, it’s quite possible most, if not all, of those jobs will never come back. There won’t be the need.”

Ms. Whyyn said the diocese will offer job training to those left unemployed. “The bishop is committed to helping those devastated by the effects from coronavirus. New jobs being discussed are church sanitization and social distance monitoring. Counseling will be made available as well. These are extremely difficult times for our friends in the EMHC community.”

Making things even more burdensome, unemployed EMHC’s aren’t eligible for additional stimulus funds, or state unemployment benefits. In addtion, choirs, music groups, and coffee hour employees are expected to suffer record-high unemployment rates. Even as the economy reopens, these jobs may be some of the last to return, if at all.

“These are unprecedented times,” Ms Whyyn said. “Maybe the silver lining is, they will finally have the opportunity to experience a greater focus on Christ and His sacrifice during Mass, which is the whole point. It’s a lot to ask for, but only God can bring good out of such trying times.”

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Mr. Catholic Decides to Let Jesus Save the Catholic Church

Mr. Catholic stunned all of Catholicism when he tweeted out his decision to allow Jesus Christ to save the Catholic Church. Responding to the May 17th tweet, Jesus admitted the declaration caught him unawares.

“Only I can save it? It’s up to me now?” the Second Person of the Trinity asked, with an exasperated sigh. “I mean, I guess so. I thought I had left the Church in capable hands, but okay. I promise to give it the ol’ college try.”

A spokesman for Jesus told ACMPress that the Word Made Flesh can’t start saving the Catholic Church until all the coronavirus lockdowns have been lifted, and the churches reopened.

“If that’s okay with Mr. Catholic, that is,” the spokesman added.

Mr. Catholic was unavailable for comment, as he was at his regulary scheduled cranialrectal exam, before joining his friends to retake Constantinople.

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Will Children’s Liturgies Fall Victim to COVID19?

As dioceses resume public Masses resume throughout the country, safeguards to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are being implemented: no sign of peace; no hand-holding during the Our Father; social distancing; no holy water in the fonts; reduced capacity.

And please God, the death of the Children’s Liturgy.

I’ve never understood why parents were encouraged to dismiss their children for the Liturgy of the Word. Jesus said, “Let the children come to Me”, not “Send your kids away to hear a watered down gospel (read by a lay person, no less) and a juice box.”

When I was a kid, Children’s Liturgies weren’t a thing. I sat with my family the entire Mass. My parents discussed the homily with us on the way home, or at dinner that evening. We were expected to pay attention, behave ourselves, and participate to the best of our ability. Granted, prior to reaching the age of reason, understanding and wisdom were limited. But it engendered good habits – or at least that was the hope. We were told, while in God’s house, reverence was expected.

But Larry, some might object, what if Father preaches on a topic too “sensitive” for their innocent ears? Come on, be real. Who preaches on fornication, birth control, or abortion in the US nowadays? Or personal sin? Or better yet – scriptural exigesis and proclamation of the Gospel? They’re more likely to hear a sermon attempting to sound relevant rather than revelatory. But let’s say the priest does preach on the evils of abortion or sex before marriage. Then what? Obviously, the parents are obligated to answer their children’s questions, should they arise. It’s their responsibility to discuss the homily in age-appropriate ways, to reasonably explain Catholic doctrine. After all, parents are their children’s primary teachers. It’s not the Church’s job to protect children from difficult topics by providing a safe space to which their parents can send them.

But what if the kids get bored? Okay, so? Kids get bored, especially when they aren’t the center of attention. They won’t develop the skills of attentiveness, listening, and reverence when their boredom is enabled.

Ultimately, the question is: ‘Do the children receive any spiritual benefit?’ Sure, they get to make a craft (just like in school), and have a snack (again, just like in school), and they get to hang out with their friends (like in school…hey, I detect a pattern here). Mass isn’t meant to be like school, though. Mass is for worshiping God in Word and Eucharist, where families WORSHIP TOGETHER, and they can’t worship together if they don’t STAY TOGETHER.

Besides, isn’t that why we have Religious Ed? Why disrupt the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass twice, once for the assemblage, blessing, and dismissal; and then for their return, like an Oklahoma land rush?

Many months from now, once some level of normalcy returns, I bet Children’s Liturgies will be reinstituted. Let’s hope by then, parents will have learned that worshiping together strengthens their family’s faith much more than by sending out their children for a juice box and coloring page.

Photo credit: Јerry on Visual hunt / CC BY

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PARISH REPORT: Pastor Fills Fonts With Blessed Hand Sanitizer

(ACMPress) GRAND RAPIDS – In anticipation of the public Mass restriction being lifted soon across the diocese, Fr. Mike Robial, the pastor at Our Lady of Good Hygiene, has devised a clever way for returning parishioners to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

He’s filling the holy water fonts with blessed hand sanitizer.

“I received a generous donation of hand sanitizer from a local parishioner,” he told ACMPress. “She’s an Amway distributor, and had gallons of the stuff. At first I didn’t know what to do with it all.”

Fr Robial said the idea came up while having a conversation with the parish permanent deacon, Deacon Taminate.

“He suggested I bless it and distribute it to parishioners,” he explained, “but I figured, why not go one step further? The fonts will be empty, so let’s fill them with sanitizer. Parishioners can bless themselves with it, and sanitize their hands at the same time. Win win!”

Masses are slated to begin Sunday May 24th, preceded by a Blessing of the Masks. Check the online parish bulletin for details.

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