Liturgy Corner

Carmel Parish Bulletin articles from the Liturgy Committee

Church Visit to Holy Family Parish, Mt Druitt

12 Comments

Thank you to all parishioners who took part in our recent meeting and learnt more about the renovation concept.  In order to continue to learn more about other renovated churches, to gain more feedback from parishioners, and learn what would work best in our parish, we would like to invite all parishioners to join us on visiting other renovated churches.  The first visit is tomorrow to:

Holy Family Catholic Church
254 Luxford Road, Emerton
10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday 8 November

If you wish to join us, please collect the “Visitor’s Sheet” from the display in the parish centre today, or access it here in two parts:

  1. Rebuilding Church in the Community – an article about the renovations at Holy Family by then pastor Fr Peter Confeggi (Catholic Outlook, August 2007)
  2. Church Visit Feedback Form – for completion after the church visit
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12 thoughts on “Church Visit to Holy Family Parish, Mt Druitt

  1. There is no denying that the kind of change put forward will upset so many Catholics including myself.

    I gather that what the “liturgical team” wants is the very modern non-Catholic architecture introduced in the 70s from which many have come away with lessons learnt. It is alarming that this same movement of progressives could have a hand at this again in Wentworthville.

    What do you think the seating arrangements will have on peoples’ attention and internal direction when they are to be facing each other seated across? Reverence, veneration, adoration, worship facing each other?

    I can think of many Catholic chapels in Rome that would scarcely resemble the proposals.

    It might do good to buy this book http://www.cantius.org/go/webstore/product/art_and_architecture_of_saint_john_cantius/

  2. That is so true.

    I recommend this for the liturgy committee for further reading and consideration: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0967637104/thewolfboutique

  3. The participation of people in any process of change requires a high degree of trust and cooperation. The Liturgy Committee is very mindful of the reluctance of some to see changes occur to the Church. This is why we are continuing to engage in a process of consultation with parishioners, as well as a process of education and formation so people may understand how and why we are doing what we are.

    Over the coming weeks in the “Liturgy Links” articles in Carmel (and here), we will address and explain the different seating arrangements used in Catholic Churches over time, their advantages and their challenges.

    I dispute the suggestion, however, that the antiphonal seating arrangement (as used in Holy Family Mt Druitt and our Cathedral in Parramatta) is “modern” and “non-Catholic” when it finds its origins in the monastic orders that have existed for centuries. This will be addressed in further detail through “Liturgy Links” in due course.

    I also believe that to make comparisons between our 1950’s Wentworthville church and centuries-old chapels of Rome, or even with St John Cantius is unrealistic.

    Finally, this initiative is not solely the work of the Liturgy Committee. While we may be leading the project (as it is our area of responsibility within the parish), our work to date has been fully supported by the Parish Pastoral Council (to whom we report regularly), as well as our Parish Team, who are represented directly on the Liturgy Committee by Frs Denis and Paul.

    If you continue to have concerns about this project, then I suggest you make time to speak to Fr Denis personally, so he may be made aware of them.

    Thank you for your continued contributions.

    Regards,

    Robert Barden
    Liturgy Coordinator

  4. “…when it finds its origins in the monastic orders that have existed for centuries…”

    The author is obviously confused here. That seating arrangement still exists, YES, for those religious.

    Regular Joe I dare say is not your religious.

  5. Do you think the religous has the same disposition, let alone instruction, as you and our parishioners?

  6. “I also believe that to make comparisons between our 1950’s Wentworthville church and centuries-old chapels of Rome, or even with St John Cantius is unrealistic.”

    The author wants the church to be a meeting place, a common place no longer sacred.

    Having a seating arrangement much like parliament’s or even a lecture hall or a Greco-Roman sporting arena, where would peoples’ minds and hearts be directed?

    The author implies that their design of having an ‘antiphonal seating arrangement’ or theatre-seating is how the parishioners’ limited resources will be best spent. That can not be. Our parishioners can make adequate provisions for a beautiful church.

    That seating arrangement is as ugly as sin.

  7. the first theater churches were 19th century Protestant auditoriums designed so as to focus on the preacher.

    The seating arrangment of the religious needs to be distinguished as different to your theater.

  8. Dear Pat/Patch/Unhappy Parishioner,

    I once again thank you for your comments and opinions, and will take them on board.

    I simply made comment on the antiphonal arrangement because your comments indicated that you were opposed to it. Clearly your preference is for a processional seating arrangement, and that is duly noted.

    I believe that if you go through all the communication of the Liturgy Committee to date, you will not find any statement declaring that we intend to change the seating arrangement to antiphonal arrangement, or a “theatre”. We have made no references to the church as a “meeting place”. We must be very clear on what has and has not been announced. What’s more, there are certainly no drawn plans for a possible church arrangement as yet. This will come after further parishioner consultation next year.

    Robert Barden
    Liturgy Coordinator

  9. All the photos put up on this blog do not contradict from my assertions.

  10. I have been clear what I don’t want to see. Can you be clearer with yours?

    The photos on this church ‘renovation’ idea seems to be the vision and inspiration. Why else would they be shown? I have seen all of the same kind.

  11. The intention of using pictures was to simply give people an opportunity to see churches other than their own. I have not shown many pictures of seating arrangements similar to the current Wentworthville layout simply because Wentworthville parishioners are more than familiar with it.

    As for my own opinions, I believe the most important thing to do at this point is to continue with our process of parishioner consultation to ensure the opinions of all are heard and valued.

  12. As a parishoner who has had some input into this process of renovation, I find some of the comments being made here rather odd.

    “I gather that what the “liturgical team” wants is the very modern non-Catholic architecture introduced in the 70s from which many have come away with lessons learnt. ”

    Firstly, the “liturgical team” has been an integral part of the parish for over 10 years, assisting in the preparation of liturgy as well as formation of the parishioners and countless other tasks. The majority of people who form this team are not paid employees of the parish. They work full-time in other occupations and give a significant amount of time to the parish on a weekly basis of their own accord. This dedicated group, who were brought together at the initiative of the parish priest, deserve more than being referred to as the “liturgical team” as if they are a random group of individuals, removed from the community. On the contrary, they are an integral part of the community and all have been active members in the parish in various capacities, some for over 40 years.

    Secondly, how is anything that has been discussed “non-Catholic”? The basis of all discussion has been the documents and theology of the Church, primarily that from the Second Vatican Council.

    “What do you think the seating arrangements will have on peoples’ attention and internal direction when they are to be facing each other seated across? Reverence, veneration, adoration, worship facing each other?”

    Yes – all of them. At the core of it all, an increased understanding and appreciation that we, when gathered to celebrate the liturgy, form the Body of Christ – one of the four modes of Christ’s presence (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 7). The renovation process to date, however, as Robert has clearly stated, has not confirmed this as a possible seating arrangement for the church.

    “I can think of many Catholic chapels in Rome that would scarcely resemble the proposals. ”

    I, too, have had the pleasure of visiting Rome and agree – in fact I’d go so far as to say there wouldn’t be any Catholic chapels in Rome that I saw (although I freely admit I didn’t see them all) that would even vaguely resemble what is being discussed for the parish in Wentworthville. Perhaps this is because the communities the chapels in Rome were built for, and the liturgy they celebrated, were very different from our own and these Catholic chapels have been preserved for their historical significance. In some cases, however, simple modifications have even been made to these beautiful, sacred and historic places of worship to accommodate the liturgical changes since the Second Vatican Council.

    “The Liturgy Committee is very mindful of the reluctance of some to see changes occur to the Church. This is why we are continuing to engage in a process of consultation with parishioners, as well as a process of education and formation so people may understand how and why we are doing what we are.”

    From the very first meeting with parishioners in this renovation process, of which I was present, the suggestion was made by at least one representative of the Liturgy Committee: “do we need to do anything at all? Should we just continue to fix the maintenance issues as they arise and forget about using the mounting maintenance issues as an opportunity to see if the community would like to explore renovation possibilities for the church?”. The unanimous decision at that meeting was that the process should commence. Of course it would have been easier for the Liturgy Committee (again, who donate their time to the Church and work full-time in a variety of occupations) to not commence this process. Considering the substantial amount of time and energy required, it would have been much easier to not commence a process of community consultation, putting together concepts and ideas from parishioners with the view to making the now approximately 54 year old church more representative of the community and liturgy that now celebrate there. It would have been easier, but it wasn’t what the community represented at the gathering wanted and so the process commenced. The Liturgy Committee has and always will consult with the community at each step along the way and always take the comments of every parishioner seriously.

    “…when it finds its origins in the monastic orders that have existed for centuries…”

    The author is obviously confused here. That seating arrangement still exists, YES, for those religious.

    Regular Joe I dare say is not your religious.

    So, Pat, are you suggesting the religious should celebrate liturgy differently to the lay people? Are we not all baptised into the same Body of Christ? Also, is it not worth considering that the Carmelite community are one of the many monastic orders and shouldn’t elements of our community worship space reflect the wonderful contribution the Carmelites have made to the community? Once again, the seating arrangement has not been decided but failing to consider every alternative would possibly leave us with a worship space that reflects the views of only a few people in the community.

    The author wants the church to be a meeting place, a common place no longer sacred.

    I’m not sure how you can make this statement – it appears to be baseless as everything that has been suggested indicates any modifications that take place are to be carried out in accordance with Church principles and consultation with the community. I believe the sort of “meeting place” the community would like to see is one where we can gather as a community, forming the Body of Christ, around the tables of the Word and Eucharist, just as the early Christian communities did.

    That seating arrangement is as ugly as sin.

    Clearly not one of the most articulate comments I’ve read but it is an opinion and, like every other opinion, it has been noted and taken into consideration.

    Personally, I believe the every church building should be a reflection of the community that gathers in its walls. It should be sacred and beautiful; encourage personal as well as communal prayer, encourage devotion and, most importantly, invite everyone who gathers to become more fully what they receive when they gather for Mass. The Body of Christ isn’t just something that we come to ‘get’ at Mass, it’s something we should become so we can go out into the world and be Christ for others.

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