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Monday, May 26, 2014

Mississippi Mass Confusion

This weekend parishioners at St. John the Evangelists Catholic Church in Gulfport, Mississippi celebrated their sixth year “International Celebration” Mass. 

What is “International Celebration Mass” you ask?  It’s a Mass with a procession of international flags, dancing children during Mass and our Lord’s altar draped in a world map. 

What’s the point of such a Mass?

To celebrate the peoples diversity of course!

Move over Jesus, this Mass isn’t about you, it’s about US.

Look at us! 

See how diverse we are! 

See how we come together to celebrate how special we are!

See how we use words like “unite” and “diversity” and “come together” to divert attention from the fact that we have reduced you Jesus, to a mere excuse to gather at Church so we can celebrate how great we the people are!  

See us celebrate US!  See us celebrate how wonderfully diverse we all are!

See us NOT celebrating Jesus.  :(

Once the guitar strumming and dancing is done, the diversity Mass is followed by a buffet of diverse food for all the diverse people to eat in order to complete the celebration of their diversity.

 Quote from the Sun Herald:
       “Parishioners dressed in the attire depicting their background and carried flags from each country of origin represented at the church to begin the Mass. St. John's Church Choir, St. John's Hispanic Choir and the Vietnamese Martyrs Church Angels Choir of Biloxi provided music during the service. Children's groups from Vietnamese Martyrs and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church performed ceremonial dances during the Mass as well.  Coordinator of the event Vickie Tiner said South Mississippi is rich in other cultures and this is a way of celebrating those cultures.” –end quote-
What does parish priest Father Joseph Uko say about this Mass? He says, the celebration highlights the differences and the one reason everyone comes together.”

Really Father?  The “one reason everyone comes together” for Mass is to celebrate our own diversity?

God save us from priests like this!!

A reminder for those who think this sort of Mass is what the Church teaches…

Catholic Catechism on the Mass…

VI. The Paschal Banquet
1382 The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord's body and blood. But the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward the intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion. To receive communion is to receive Christ himself who has offered himself for us.
1387 To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church.218 Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.                                                         

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


  1. 'What does parish priest Father Joseph Uko say about this Mass? He says, 'the celebration highlights the differences and the one reason everyone comes together.'

    Really Father? The 'one reason everyone comes together' for Mass is to celebrate our own diversity?"

    I find the quote attributed to Father Uku NOWHERE in the article you linked. I think it is a gross mischaracterization of his words to say that 'the one reason everyone comes together' was for diversity.

    He actually said this: "What unites us is far greater than what divides us. We all come from different places and we are one in Christ. We belong to one family and that is the family of God."

    There is nothing canonically wrong with this statement. I understand that the costumes, flags, etc. take away from the point of the Mass. I don't agree with that either. But please evaluate words and articles and sources with the critical thought and integrity necessary to properly defend your points. The use of straw men and the demonization of Catholic priests helps nothing.

  2. Hello Robert, I am sorry you were unable to see the direct quote from the article. I gave the link to it.
    Here is the DIRECT QUOTE:
    "St. John's Pastor Father Joseph Uko is from Nigeria and he said the celebration highlights the differences and the one reason everyone comes together."

    Read more here:

    Do you see it now?

    In Christ,

    Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

  3. Yes, but you misinterpret the paraphrase. What unites them is Christ, per the quote I referred to you above. Father Uko DOES NOT imply that diversity is the 'one reason that everyone comes together.' That is what is explicitly written in your article.

    You merely quoted a paraphrase used by the article's author, which you interpreted incorrectly when placed next to his words.

  4. CCC...great post!

    And as to your critic here, thought you'd get a better perspective of him from this well-deserved take-down/outing by the outstanding Restore DC Catholicism....

    "First, I strongly suspect you're the Robert Burkett who is to be found at that Jesuitical disgrace known as Georgetown University. You have quite a resume as evidenced by Your various positions include: Chair of the Democratic National Committee Trustees, Finance Chair for Kerry for President, board member for People for the American Way. And YOU have the unmitigated gall to accuse ME of subordinating faith to politics? But why should that surprise me? Hypocrisy and arrogance are hallmarks of progressives who occupy positions of responsibility."

    If he's criticizing you the angels are singing.

  5. Multi-cultural Masses, while not in of themselves an intrinsic evil...are a great time to use Latin to bring the people together.

    I have several priest friends from Nigeria, and most of them are solidly taking that into account, I'll give Father the benefit of the doubt in his quote...thinking he meant the one reason we do "come together" (as much as I despise that term) is to Worship the Holy Trinity, and Adore Christ Jesus in the Eucharist...

    The above said...Mass is not about us, celebrating our differences, or making a statement about a political agenda. It is the re-presentation of Calvary in an unbloody manner.

    On the positive, the deacon was vested in dalmatic...:D

  6. More disrespect in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Oh, no wait, ok, now I see there is no central, in the middle, Tabernacle. It is another of those sterile churches where the Blessed Sacrament is relegated to a 'chapel'. Disgusting displays of outright sacrilege. Wonder why your pews are empty and the bishops want all the illegals to fill them. We have had enough of Vatican II and its abuses. I'm waiting on the Halloween mass where you give out candy instead of the Eucharist. Best not give any more wacko ideas to the mush minds.

  7. Yep, reminds me of the 'clown Masses' we've seen so much of in other parishes.....or better yet...the 'liturgical dance Masses'
    I do believe when the Priest that was celebrating after Vatll started facing the people instead of the tabernacle..oh wait, some of the tabernacles have been snuggly tucked away in broom closets, well anyway, that's when we started down the slippery slope. It seemed to become progressively about 'us' and as much about Jesus. And we are at this point and in some places making a sheer mockery out of the Mass! Jesus Have Mercy On Us!!


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Thank you and God bless...

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

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