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Catholic heritage (letter)

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 Contents - Jul 2003AD2000 July 2003 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The pivotal roles of Saints Peter and Paul - Michael Gilchrist
Archbishop Hart defends woman in euthanasia case - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World - AD2000
Books: AD2000 to distribute Ignatius Press titles in Australia from July - Peter Westmore
Homily: Bicentenary Mass celebrated in Sydney - Archbishop George Pell
Events: Seeking the face of Christ through the arts: Carnivale Christi goes national - Nicholas Rynne
Orthodox Anglicans close ranks to preserve faith - Nigel Zimmermann
Catholic Literature: Hilaire Belloc's 50th anniversary: is he 'yesterday's man'? - Br Christian Moe FSC
Brisbane Synod ends: Archbishop Bathersby to announce pastoral programs - AD2000 REPORT
The concentration camp prisoner who became a Queensland priest - Warren Losberg
How to start a parish apologetics group - Mavis Power
School sacramental programs: evangelise Catholic families first - Fr John Speekman
TMC: Adelaide Thomas More Centre Autumn School a success - Emma Benz
Letters: Apostolate (letter) - Fr Adrian Head
Letters: Obstacles to confession (letter) - M.G.A. De Wolf
Letters: Catholic heritage (letter) - Sue Russell
Letters: Church design (letter) - Michael Baradinsky
Letters: Lenten program (letter) - Robert Osmak
Letters: Success in WA (letter) - Deidre Lyra
Letters: New Mass (letter) - Peter D. Howard
Letters: Misunderstood (letter) - Elsie Cunningham
Letters: New religion (letter) - Br Jim Ward CFC
Letters: Catholic visionary? (letter) - Richard Congram
Letters: Pell biography feedback (letter) - Mary Lou Corboy
Letters: Catholic books (letter) - F. Carleton
Letters: Research help - Dolores Lightbody
Letters: Conversions (letter) - Margaret Holgate
Books: Marriage And Modernization, by Don Browning - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: The Prenatal Person: Ethics from Conception to Birth - Dr Ted Watt (reviewer)
Books: Europe: The Exceptional Case: Parameters Of Faith In The Modern World - Anthony Cappello (reviewer)
Books: Great books at the best prices! - Anthony Cappello
Reflection: The meaning of vocation for baptised Christians - Archbishop Philip Wilson

Marie Cassey shows great insight into the damage done to the faith when churches are stripped of any semblance of Catholic tradition. ("Re-ordered" and "new" churches, May AD2000). Indeed, much hurt has been inflicted on older Catholics while younger Catholics have been deprived, to a large extent, of their Catholic heritage.

There is, however, some cause for optimism. More and more young Catholics are conscious that there is something missing when they walk into a new or re-ordered church. A young newly married couple recently settled into their new home, walked into their newly adopted parish church only to walk out again in search of "a church that looks like a church" - and many young couples seek traditional churches in which to get married.

Often Catholics who have left the practice of their Faith for years are shocked on their return to find the tabernacle relegated to a side chapel instead of its distinguished place at the centre of the high altar. Formerly, when Catholics used to visit a church, the reason for their visit was obvious - the tabernacle, and close by the red lamp signifying the presence of the King of Kings.

The practice of removing the tabernacle to a Eucharistic chapel is surely a contributing factor to the lack of reverence in our Catholic churches. Eucharistic chapels are also not conducive to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It simply does not make sense to place God Incarnate, the King of Creation, in a side chapel.

For anyone whose parish church is threatened with such changes, I recommend the resources published by Marie Cassey on church architecture, the Sacred Liturgy and many related topics. These are helpful to Catholics who feel ill-equipped to defend their church from unwanted alterations.

Marie can be contacted at email:, or tel (02) 9868 1661/9876 1881.

Bondi Beach, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 16 No 6 (July 2003), p. 14

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