As members of First Church concluded their celebration, parishioners from the neighboring Mary Star of the Sea filed in for their first Easter service away from their church, shuttered and darkened a few blocks away, its doors locked and its future uncertain.
They took Communion blessed by a priest, but there was no priest to officiate at the service....In Squantum, Kenney said she was very grateful to her United Church of Christ neighbors at First Church of Squantum, for allowing them to use their church, but it was a bittersweet experience.
“It’s everything. It’s part of me; it’s part of my family; it’s part of this neighborhood,’’ Kenney said.
First Church’s pastor, Michael Robertson, said that church members were very much in favor of sharing their building with their Catholic neighbors....
Outside St. Frances X. Cabrini Church in Scituate yesterday morning, Nels Lindblom, 41, of Scituate, stood with his toddler daughter, who had grown restless during the 10 a.m. Easter services led by parishioners.
The parish has not had a priest to officiate its Easter service since the Boston Archdiocese announced its closure and intent to sell the property about 6 ½ years ago.
Anyone care to venture a guess as to why the people adrift would file into a protestant church to consume Communion 'blessed' by a 'priest' instead of one of the twelve Catholic parishes within ten miles where they could have the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ?
I'm sorry, as bad as some priests are in Boston... are there seriously any who would Transubstantiate for them, knowing that it would keep them away from Christ's Church or the Sacrament that removes the stains of sin from their soul?
That's the antithesis of their entire vocation. That's like a doctor selling cancer treatments online. It is completely nuts. I don't buy that even the worst of them would do such a thing.
In Scituate, Janie Avery, 62, of Scituate, who has gone to St. Frances for the past five years, said she prefers to attend services led by laypeople.
“I like it better without [priests],’’ Avery said. “I kind of hope they don’t come back.’’
Sharon Harrington, 60, also of Scituate, also noted some benefit to the absence of priests from services. “It’s especially moving to me to see women up on the altar,’’ Harrington said.
Rogers sees the continued attendance each week despite not having a priest as a testament to faith among parishioners.
“The people of St. Frances don’t need to come home; we’ve been home,’’ Rogers said, noting his own frustration with the Catholics Come Home campaign. “They’ve spent a lot of money on a slick advertising campaign.’’
Harrington said she believes the practice of holding church services without a priest will catch on at parishes across the globe.
“I think this is the future of the Catholic Church,’’ she said. “We’re just ahead of them.’’
Where would one begin. All I can do is repeat the prayer of day 5 of the Divine Mercy Novena.
"Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."
Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.