A Letter from Mary Tripoli
Mary Tripoli attends Mass at St. Mary’s by the Sea in the Diocese of Orange, California, USA.
Date: Jun 13, 2006 12:46 AM
Subject: St Mary's by the Sea.
Thank you for your words regarding fairness about selective liturgical enforcement. St. Mary's has been a little haven for the refuge of sinners. The most liberal Church in our Diocese is 5 minutes away from St. Mary's. They stand at the Consecration. The Church was built without kneelers. People still used to kneel though. I was one of the parishioners that was asked to leave the parish and Diocese for kneeling at St. Mary's. I went to visit and talk with the Pastor of the Church with no kneelers about the situation at St. Mary's. I told him that Father Tran told us that we had to go back to wherever our home parish was if we didn't like it. Even though I have been to funeral Masses and listened to watered down and goofy theology at this parish, something wonderful happened. I told the Pastor that I had been in the Legion of Mary and that if I was to meet some one who was interested in the faith, I would not know where to send them. I told him that his parish had beautiful horizontal but lacked the vertical. I praised him for the beautiful homily he gave at a funeral I attended. This very, very liberal priest said he felt our pain and that we could come and kneel after the Agnus Dei anytime. He actually said, "Now you know what it is like to have a tyrant come in and remove everything that is Sacred to you." He tried so hard to comfort us. He told us that the Church was diverse and that there was room under the umbrella for everyone. I told him that was only in words, not reality. I asked him who loved the Bishop enough to let him know he is wrong. Who loved him enough to challenge him to the truth? I asked him if he knew about Bishop Sheen. I said that Bishop Sheen had said that the laity is the eyes, ears and mouths for the Church. I told him that other priests in the Diocese who don't like Bishop Brown just say, "Well when he faces Almighty God, he will be in trouble." Again I asked him if that was the best we could do for Bishop Brown. Who loves him enough to challenge him now? Our conversation was absolutely incredible. This priest was so taken by our sincerity he did not want us to leave. He wanted to talk and console us. I learned a valuable lesson about charity from this priest. I still am attending St. Mary's and I approached Bishop Brown after Saturday evening Mass where he showed up unannounced. I asked him if I could have a meeting with him. He asked me what kind of meeting it would be. I said a meeting to heal division within the Church. He said, "Who would attend this meeting?" I said, "A few people and don't worry it will be tame and loving with no tempers." He said, 'Alright I am always interested in healing division with loving talks." I asked the Bishop to check his schedule and please let Father Tran, our parish administrator, let me know. This was a few days ago. The Bishops conference is this week so I am going to wait a few days and call the Diocese and ask for the appointment. Please pray for us. I will be attending a prayer vigil outside the hotel where the Bishops will be meeting. The reason I wrote to you is that your responses on the blogs made sense to me. That is a rare gift and I wanted to thank you. Keep us in your prayers, as I will keep you in mine. Leo, I have just learned how to use a computer, so please forgive any errors. After reading your responses on the blogs, I know you will.