Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

We're Introducing a New Page: Good Church, Bad Church

Cardinal Mahony's "Rog Mahal" drive in theater cathedral
Do you travel? Do you take potluck when you choose a Mass in an unfamiliar area? Well, we've been there and done that and it can land you at some real stinkers. At one church in Hampton Roads, VA my husband and I didn't go to Communion because we both doubted the validity of the Mass and we weren't sure how we could receive the ginger-bread looking cubes on the tongue.

So, as I was consulting with Susan, we decided we'd start a page with information about parishes in the places we live and visit.
Obviously that will be a limited selection but I can give some general tips on preparing to attend Mass in an unfamiliar place. It's what I do a few days before we travel:
1) Find the churches near where you will be staying. 
2) Check the churches' websites. You can tell a lot about a place by reading its mission statement, checking out it's bulletins, seeing what links are posted, and seeing what groups are active in the parish. If it has an active pro-life group and a Legion of Mary, that's a good sign. If it offers the traditional Latin Mass on occasion, even better. If it links to the National Catholic Reporter, shudder and look elsewhere.

3) Google the pastor's name. If he comes up speaking at a Call to Action Meeting or working with a community organizing group, you know he's a bad guy to be avoided at all costs. 
4) Look at photos of the church. If it looks like the one at the top of this page, run for another parish.
And happy travelling. One of the things my husband and I enjoy most is visiting churches and attending daily Mass in other places. It reminds us that the Church is "one" "catholic" and wherever we go we can find a family with whom we can worship together. That's why we check out the churches ahead of time. It's disturbing to get to a church and find out the family's been evicted and the barbarians have taken over. 


  1. From California,

    Just love your last sentence. It got me to laughing and through the seriousness of it all.

  2. Hopefully, we'll find more family churches than barbarian ones. :)

  3. I live in Hampton Roads (Richmond Diocese) - I bet I could name the church you are referring to (we attended Mass once there soon after relocating to the area), but I won't.

    Also, there is another church in the area that was somehow holding concurrent Catholic & episcopalian services, including Eucharist consecration on the same alter. Fortunately, the Diocese put the kibosh on this.

    That said - there are faithful churches around here - check out Our Lady of Mt Carmel. St Jerome, & St Joan of Arc. I'm sure there are others, but I am personally familiar w/ these 3

  4. Thanks Alan, I wrote to Bishop Sullivan once about that Catholic/Episcopal scandal one time and he claimed it was approved by the Vatican. I never did believe it and I wrote about it in the Les Femmes newsletter. He really was a liberal piece of work. I pray for the repose of his soul, but he sure had a lot to answer for considering what he did in the Richmond diocese. They haven't recovered yet from what I'm told by priest friends there.