The Solemnity of the Perpetual Transferal of the Ascension

It wouldn’t hurt to go to Mass today, even if you don’t “have” to.

How and when did this transferal in the US take place? Glad you asked. Here’s what the USCCB website says about it, in part:

In accord with the provisions of canon 1246, §2 of the Code of Canon Law, which states: “… the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See,” the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States decrees that the Ecclesiastical Provinces of the United States may transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter to the Seventh Sunday of Easter according to the following procedure.

The decision of each Ecclesiastical Province to transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension is to be made by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the bishops of the respective Ecclesiastical Province. The decision of the Ecclesiastical Province should be communicated to the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and to the President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This happened back in July 1999. As it’s happened, only 6 US ecclesiastical provinces hold to Thursday as a Holy Day of Obligation for the Solemnity of the Ascension.

From The Catholic Miscellany:

Given the demands of modern life and the ability of believers to make more than one holy day Mass in a single week, the reformed Liturgy’s guidelines suggested national collections of bishops determine the suitability of transferring to Sunday certain feasts integral to the faith.

Today, for instance, only six of the 32 ecclesiastical provinces, or small collection of dioceses under one archbishop, retain Ascension on Thursday. Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia, and the dioceses under each of their respective archbishops, observe Ascension on Thursday. All other archdioceses and the dioceses transfer Ascension to the following Sunday.

If you live in those provinces – get thee to Mass. The rest of youse guys? Sleep in a little, grab a nap, have lunch with a friend, whatevs. We have Jesus for three more days.

Or maybe petition the heck out of your archbishop. Jesus wants to return to His Father today.

Oh, and lest you think this is a US phenomenon, it’s not. According to Wikipedia:

The switch to Sunday was made in 1992 by the church in Australia;[12] before 1996 in parts of Europe;[13] in 1996 in Ireland;[14] before 1998 in Canada and parts of the western United States;[10] in many other parts in the United States from 1999;[10] and in England and Wales from 2007.[15]

My opinion? The transferal of holy days was not so much a recognition that modern life has made great demands on the lives of so many Catholics, but a voluntary action on the part of the bishops to acquiesce to the culture rather than remaining in stark contrast to it, and demanding more from their flock. And their priests. Making Holy Days of Obligation optional, by transferring some to the nearest Sunday, is just one example of enabling Catholics to be cultural rather than counter-cultural. This exemplifies the dearth of faith in the West. We’ve become culturally indulgent and lazy in our religiosity. When Christ returns, it better happen on a Sunday, because us Catholics be waaaay too busy with the demands of modern life to make time for Judgment Day on a weekday. That’s just my opinion. I’m sure the USCCB’s decision to transfer Holy Days wasn’t taken lightly, and that there was thorough and well-reasoned discussions and all sorts of logical rationalization, but there’s a wee little part of me that thinks:

I’m kidding, of course. Aren’t I?

Posted in American Catholics, Bishops, Catholic Stuff, Feast Days, Holy Days of Obligation, Humor, memes, Pokin' Hornet Nests With A Stick, USCCB | Leave a comment

PARISH REPORT: Starting Lector Pulled After 1st Reading for Rookie Reliever

(AoftheANews) – COOPERSTOWN – Parishioners of Our Lady of Intentional Walks were surprised when the veteran starting lector, Rhonda Horne, was pulled after the First Reading during Sunday’s 10:30 AM Mass, and relieved by rookie Juan Hetter.

“I didn’t want to pull Rhonda out,” Manager Hy Hardwunne told AoftheA News, “but she struggled with her command right out of the gate. She’s got complete game stuff, but it just wasn’t there today. It happens. Normally I don’t put a rookie in a high leverage situation like that, but I didn’t have a choice. My regular relievers had worked a full slate of First Communion Masses the day before.”

Horne, a lector for 13 seasons at OLIW, admitted after the Mass she didn’t have her best stuff. “I could tell during pre-Mass warm-ups that my timing was off. Ended up mumbling the announcements, and then mispronounced several names in Acts 2. I tried pulling it together, but Hy had apparently seen enough.”

“She was getting beat up out there,” Hardwunne said. “She’ll regain her stuff for her next start, I’m sure of it. Just have to tweak a few mechanics. She’s still in her prime.”

Hetter came in for the Responsorial Psalm, and made a strong case for the starting rotation after mowing down the 2nd reading and finishing up with a decisive Prayers of the Faithful.

“Kid did real good,” Hardwunne commented. “Showed a lotta poise and had control of his pitch. You normally don’t see that in a rookie. Needs a little more seasoning before I promote him from the bullpen, though.”

“I’m just glad to be here,” Hetter told AoftheA News. “Doing my part to help the team. It’s up to the coach if and when I become a starter. Until then, I’ll keep working hard and be ready when called upon.”

“It’s a long, long ordinary time,” Hardwunne said. “I’m not gonna panic over one poor start. Rhonda will be lights out next start, I guarantee it.”

Photo credit: Catedrales e Iglesias via Visualhunt / CC BY

Posted in AoftheA News Desk, baseball, Humor, News That Could Be True, Parish Report, Satire, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PARISH REPORT: Pastor Revealed Parish Secrets to Russian Orthodox Visitors, Sources Say

(AoftheANews) – MADISON – According to members of the Our Lady of the Third Degree parish council, their pastor revealed sensitive parish information to members of a Russian Orthodox church during a recent ecumenical visit.

Unconfirmed reports from council members requesting anonymity told AoftheA News that Fr. S. P. Neeyahj held a private meeting with Russian Orthodox representatives for thirty minutes this past Monday, during which classified information was divulged. They participated in an ecumenical prayer service sponsored by Our Lady of the Third Degree, and after the event, Neeyahj invited them into his parish office.

Parish officials denied the allegations at first, but were forced to scramble for explanations after Fr. Neeyahj tweeted out “Great mtg with Russian friends! Shared our summer parish picnic theme & exchanged secret potluck recipes. #BrothersInFaith”.

“As pastor, he has the right to declassify any information he wants,” one source told AoftheA News. “But it’s a trust issue. Not to mention he knows it’s parish policy to not reveal the parish picnic theme until after Memorial Day. Huge breach in protocol, and puts at risk our ability as a parish council to determine themes for future events.”

It’s unsure which recipes Fr. Neeyahj gave the Russians. Past potluck participants have taken to social media to complain that the recipes were closely-guarded, treasured family secrets, intended solely to be handed down to future generations. Father’s actions raise serious questions about what other possible details and secrets he is disclosing.

“Has he given our Dunkin Donuts contract for Coffee Hour to the Presbyterians?,” another unnamed source said. “Has he shown the Baptists our methods of parishioner data collection? Is he telling the Unitarians that, yes, they will be going to Hell? We have a right to know what’s he been saying to whom, and for how long.”

Calls to Fr. Neeyahj were not returned. A parish official told AoftheA News his whereabouts were a secret.

Photo credit: casey.marshall via Visual hunt / CC BY

Posted in AoftheA News Desk, Humor, News That Could Be True, Parish Report, Satire | 1 Comment

Pope Francis Uses Fidget Spinner to Explain God During Homily

(AoftheANews) – ROME – Pope Francis surprised the congregation during his homily at Sunday’s Mass, taking a fidget spinner from his pocket and using it to demonstrate the Trinity.

“Just as St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to teach his followers about the Triune nature of God,” Pope Francis said, “I can use my aluminum Tri Fidget Spinner to reveal the mysteries of our God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As the spinner spins faster, the three arms seem to become a single disc, yet they maintain their individuality. It is one, yet three, even when I do tricks with it, such as this hand transfer.”

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told the AoftheA Vatican Bureau the Holy Father had seen children and adults using the fidget spinners during his Wednesday audiences, and he ordered several through Amazon.

“He’s fascinated by them, and right away, he saw the theological value in the Tri-Fidget Spinners. He’s taught himself numerous tricks and maneuvers, and he’s working on coming up with a few of his own. He’s gotten quite a few Curia members hooked on them as well.”

During his homily, the Holy Father explained that just as an improperly balanced spinner won’t work very well, our faith will falter if our view of God is likewise improperly balanced. “Could I execute a behind-the-back move like this, if my spinner was unbalanced. No, I tell you, no! It is the same if we don’t balance God equally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!”

Burke said The Vatican is currently in discussions with local manufacturers to develop and market a Pope Francis spinner, tentatively called ‘The Papal Plane’. “Since the Holy Father’s interviews have caused a lot of nervous fidgeting and head-spinning during his pontificate, it seemed the logical choice.”

EDITOR: FYI y’all…this is satire.

Posted in AoftheA News Desk, AoftheA Vatican Bureau, Humor, News That Could Be True, Parody, Pope Francis, Satire, toys | 1 Comment