January 25, 2011


Oh yes, Farther Urban kept hearing about ideal parishes (for some reason, he'd never been asked to work one) where the entire congregation chanted from missals and where everything was "liturgical" down to the blessing of foodstuff and the churching of women.  Much time and trouble went into training ordinary people to perform in church.  The more Father Urban heard of these ideal parishes, the more they smacked of Oberammergau to him.  Somewhere in between, between that and what St. Monica's had been like when Phil was there, would be found the ideal parish, Farther Urban believed.  The most successful parishes were those where more was going on than met the eye, where, behind the scenes, a gifted pastor or assistant pulled the strings.  God, it seemed, ran those parishes, which was as it should be.  Wherever parishonership became a full time occupation, whether it consisted in liturgical practices or selling chances on a new car, the wrong people took over.

--J. F. Powers Morte d'Urban
(which I have reviewed here)

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