ATLANTA - The level of reverence for the Mass and the Holy Eucharist has reached a new low in the Novus Ordo. After failing to contact the parish priest and local deacons, a layman of St. Anna's Catholic Church in Monroe, GA led the congregation for the parish's 12:30pm weekday mass.
Recently, I started to dedicate some of my lunch time from work to praying the Holy Rosary at St. Anna's. I was disappointed to find the front doors to the church and offices locked; however, I noticed a woman, wearing a chapel veil, walking toward the rear chapel for daily mass.
I was impressed to find a Catholic woman, in the middle of Georgia, wearing a chapel veil and attending a Novus Ordo parish.
I decided to follow and observe the mass.
The chapel was quaint, containing only a couple pew rows and filled with a half dozen elderly women. There was a small altar, facing the congregation, with the tabernacle behind it and icons of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary hung on the wall to the left and right.
I took Holy Water, genuflected and made the sign of the cross, walked in front of the altar, where I genuflected again, and took a seat in the back of the chapel to observe and pray the Holy Rosary.
About the Third Decade of the Holy Rosary, the only other man in the chapel got up, genuflected, and exited the chapel. I didn't think much of it and continued to pray.
The man returned and informed the ladies that he wasn't able to contact "Father," the parish priest. Joking with a laugh, he asked if there were any deacons in the chapel.
Several of the ladies were concerned that the priest wasn't there and inquired if they should check his home; he is elderly as well. The man informed them that the priest was away in Atlanta and may not return in time for the mass.
He genuflected and exited the chapel.
Upon the man's return, I'm now on the Fourth Decade, he said that he was unsuccessful in contacting local deacons. Thinking out loud, the man wondered if there were any consecrated "Hosts" in the tabernacle and left the chapel.
Returning with a key, the man approached the small sanctuary, walked behind the altar, and genuflected before the tabernacle.
I could not help but stare, losing concentration on my prayers, as the man unlocked and opened the tabernacle to check the inventory of consecrated Holy Eucharists.
Unfortunately, our Lord was present.
He shut the tabernacle, genuflected, walked down from behind the altar, and left the chapel for a fourth time.
I'm now half way through the Fifth Decade of the Holy Rosary and he returned with a packet of read-alongs, since the Novus Ordo abandoned missals, and walked to the podium.
I prayed that he would only attempt to lead the congregation in prayer, but I was wrong.
He said, "Bare with me, I've never done this before," and walked behind the altar, lifted up his hands, called the congregation to rise, and began repeating the Confiteor.
The woman, wearing a chapel veil, to my right grabbed her things, genuflected, and exited the chapel.
I wanted to stand up and say something; to demand that this layman step down from the alter. I failed, kept silent and departed.
I beg God to forgive me for not having the courage to speak up, deter them from heresy, and allow our Lord Jesus Christ to be disrespected and violated.
Holy Mother Church has fallen far from being the church, founded by God Incarnate, that established all Christian teaching, virtue, faith, tradition, and Truth. What I witnessed today at St. Anna's stands testament to all that is wrong with the watered down theology and liturgy of the modern Catholic Church.
Tomorrow, when I return during my lunch to pray the Holy Rosary, I will speak with the parish priest about the incident and my concerns with the congregation's lack of reverence and proficient catechism.
In Christ Crucified and the Most Victorious Heart of Jesus. Amen.