(quote) Lauren-927923 said: I think too the point is that some communities do not have mass every week. We have that here in Oklahoma, where some of the mission parishes have only communion services for most of the Sundays in the month. The obligation to attend of course remains, but there have been times in history as well as today with the priest shortage, especially, outside the highly populated cities, lack of Mass being available to the faithful. Even here in Oklahoma, some of the priests had to ride a circuit and one might not have a priest available for weeks or months.
In some respects it might be beneficial to the tepid to suffer a loss of easily accessible mass, in order to grasp its importance in their lives. The same people who don't think much about their obligation, will be among the first to complain should they suddenly find themselves without the options at all. We have one priest and two deacons and three active parishes, two are missions. The smallest mission has Mass once a month and communion services the other three. We have two Saturday evening masses at the main parish, one at five and one at seven in Spanish, our other mission has mass at 8am on Sunday, then our priest hurries back here for Mass at eleven, three Sundays a month and a communion service on the week that the smallest mission has their Mass.
The discussion reminds me of how I came to understand what a drought really truly is. When we lived in the city, and I grew up in the city, drought meant we watered our lawn every other day. When we moved to the country, I learned what drought really meant. . .cattle ponds completely dried up and water trucks having to bring water in to keep animals hydrated, or animals having to be sold because they couldn't be cared for in the incredible heat. Pasture land dried up like tinder and miles and miles of land and forest winter brown. A scary thing but it totally made me really appreciate turning on that tap and having water.
I forget the exact terminology for this. This is when one is excused
from the obligation without having fulfilled
I love your analogy to drought. Right on. The Church does
not just experience a shortage of priests, but suffers
from it. It is an empty spot that longs to be filled, and perhaps that in and of itself may be used by God as a wakeup call.
Up in Edmond, there's plenty of parishes to attend. I am actually quite spoiled, and I know it. Despite the number of masses and parishes, however, it is incredibly difficult for a convert to get any pastoral attention. Oh, I can't take the Eucharist. OK, I understand that. Oh, I can't go to confession (or at least can't get absolution
). OK, I understand that. Well, what can
I do? Uh... sit on my hands and do nothing until August when RCIA starts? Yeah. No sit-and-have-coffee-and-get-over-fear-of-priests sort of evangelism. No "see? We Catholics don't bite" sort of thing.
The reason for that, I don't doubt, is that the clergy is stretched too thin. I will choose to love the Church anyway in good times and bad.