Oh, for an intentional community!

December 29, 2008 at 6:33 am (Catholic Church) (, , , )

What I’m looking for is an intentional community of the Roman and Catholic persuasion in the inner city of Sydney, where I can worship and be a part of a community of faithful who exemplifies the defining aspects of a dynamic church: the church militant, the church suffering and the church triumphant.

    I want a parish church where there is an open conflict between the parish priest and the congregation, with no clear guidelines as to, who is actually conducting the weekly Mass. Let there be long-winded dissertations and outpourings by congregation members when the time comes for prayers of the faithful; and as for the sign of peace, anything less than chaos, as people move around the church, kissing, hugging and shaking hands would be unacceptable. The pastor must wait patiently while these expressions of love are taking place. With a bit of luck, he might not even turn up for next week’s Mass and leave the faithful entirely to their own devices.

   The community I want is one dedicated to the first Australians; be they functional or dysfunctional, the more dysfunctional the better. The call for “any change brother” would be like music to the ears of the parishioners, especially if the hard word is put on one during the consecration at Mass. The advisability of keeping one’s possessions close especially when going to communion need not be stated. The spirituality of those moving about the church must be a known fact and not open to question.

    I like the idea of putting items of supposed sacredness on the altar without reference to the pastor; what would he know anyhow?

   I want a priest who says very little about social justice and a lot about sin and damnation. I want a parish that has a fierce and ongoing memory of a past charismatic pastor and wants to preserve this at all costs; one that moves with the times but is stuck in time. It would be energizing if during Mass someone jumps up and informs all about a television service that impressed him or her and is far better than the present one.

   The parish that I want must be militant, triumphant and suffering and I put to my readers, is there such a parish?

   One might accuse me of looking for drama rather than spirituality, and this might be right, but please protect me from the insipid and dull and let me grow in the excitement and exuberance of a truly intentional community.

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