Sunday 18 October 2009

Thirteenth Monthly Mass in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin

The thirteenth Mass took place today, the third Sunday instead of the second Sunday, and only 25 minutes late. There was a congregation of 10, including two small children. That is a joint lowest attendance with June.

However, if all of the 6 people who turned up last Sunday had attended this Sunday as well, the congregation would have been a respectable 14. That would have been the third lowest attendance after June (lowest: 10) and February, July and September (joint second lowest: 13).


Anonymous said...

I know I ask this every time but isn't there something that can be done? Can't we try to get a couple of people each to go?

Mark said...

And I ask this every time:

What is the point of simply stating the negatives every time this Mass is said. It makes one think the author might like it to fail. Sorry to say that, but that's how it seems.

Anka said...

Either make this thingie more popular or just stop doing it; 10 people is pathetic; People obviously prefer to go elsewhere!

Convenor said...

At the beginning, there was a point in recording the facts because the progress of the monthly Masses was the most concrete basis for future progress. At one level, it becomes rather pointless when there is no progress.

The problem only arises where the facts are entirely negative. As I always reply, find me the positives in this.

On the other hand, if we don't report the facts, they will be - and are - misreported through gossip around the Diocese.

From across the Irish Sea this may look like constant carping - and I can't claim to be happy with the mess - but we have to live here.

The facts are not great but they are better than the lies that are being told.

Doc Hannon said...


In fairness, you might have a point about the 25 minutes late comment being negative but you should try attending a Mass where it was supposed to be on the 1st Sunday, got changed to the 2nd Sunday at a week's notice, then changes to the 3rd Sunday with a month's notice (if you were there the previous month) or with no notice at all. These are just the Dragnet facts. When you have to arrange your day to travel to Mass only to turn up to hear that it's been cancelled and transferred for no reason a few weeks earlier you will be in a better position to complain. This is the second time it has happened to me.

Originally the Masses were to be on the 1st Sunday. They told us that it had to be changed from the 1st Sunday to the 2nd because there were baptisms on the 2nd Sunday - but then there are baptisms on the 3rd Sunday too. They change the time from 1 pm to 1.15 and then they don't start Mass until 1.50. I think there's a legitimate grievance there and I think it is legitimate to express it. I'll express it. I think it's a disgrace the way this is being organised. It's being organised, timed, changed, to suit a handfull from another Diocese and who are able to attend the TLM in their own Diocese every Sunday. What do they want to be coming down and making trouble in Kildare for except they can't make trouble at home?


Mark said...

The thing is: where I come from at least 30 is normal for a Sung Mass, and 10-15 'normal' for an advertise Low Mass. If the Low Mass be private, ad-hoc, or otherwise poorly advertised, then the numbers can be even lower. I do not understand, therefore, why the author sees fit to carp on about the the numbers (with all due respect intended, for I should like to consider the author a friend).

As to Masses being cancelled, times changed, etc., these things do happen; it would behoove all involved to communicate better first before airing their dirty linen in public. I would agree that 1.50pm for a 1.15pm Mass is very late indeed, but that notwithstanding, there may have been a perfectly justifiable reason that the readers are not yet aware of.

I simply advise caution here. This seems very much to me like advertising faults without investigating their true and material causes (and that's not an invitation to say "because they don't care", etc., etc; rather I'd like concrete statements like "oh, Father was late because of such-and-such"). Don't shoot yourselves in the foot. This is the Mass, after all, not some optional County Fair.

Anonymous said...

Was the Mass any less of a Sacrifice because 'only' ten people were there? Was Our Lord any less present in the Most Holy Eucharist because 'only' ten people were there? I would suggest 'no' is the answer.
Is this a case of 'Our Mass is better than yours because 30 people were at ours?' I hope not, as such a position lacks any Christian charity.

Convenor said...


While I respect the fact that 10-15 is normal for a Low Mass where you come from, the weekday 10 o'clock morning Mass in the same Church gets 70.

There is certainly a problem with communication but I can assure you that I've communicated plentifully on these subjects and the response has been less than informative... at least once they had gotten what they wanted out of us.

As to late starts, what you may not know is that the organisers and celebrant are usually in the Church well in advance of the scheduled start time.

This is the Mass but it is an optional Mass that the people can choose not to attend and the clergy can choose to cancel.

To Anon: you're right. It was no less the Mass because it was late. Our Lord was no less present because the Mass was started late. But are the people less present because of the poor organisation? Will the Latin Mass be less present when the poor attendance and poor organisation cause it to be cancelled? I think yes.

'Our' Mass, as you put it, is not better than 'your' Mass. However, our organisation is not a danger and a discredit to the cause of the Latin Mass. Is yours?

Mark said...

I meant no implication of "Us" and "Them". I simply meant to indicate 10-12 is not always that low, especially if it is the second Mass!

Which does behoove the question: is it the case that the locals don't want it? I merely ask because I've seen second Masses in other places around the world well-attended (by comparison to those places).

Anonymous said...

Im not saying that there isnt truth on both sides of this but isnt it a solution that we should find instead of seeing the problems that are obvious to everyone?

Convenor said...


The 'us' and 'them' was proposed (and probably created to some extent) by "Anonymous" of 19 October 2009 11:32.

There was no 'us' and 'them' with St. Conleth's CHA. I won't drone on again about how we invited EDI, LMSI, FSSP and the rest of the alphabet soup to co-operate with us or how they couldn't work with their own toe-nails.

When you speak of "the second Mass", there are thirteen Masses in that Parish every Sunday. I really think that you're not quite understanding the local circumstances.

We are 93% Catholic with a population in excess of 25,000. That's 23,000 Catholics. National average Mass attendance is about 45%. If the Mass attendance in Newbridge was at the National average (and it's not) that would mean about 800 people at every Mass. The Mass attendance in Newbridge is probably half the national average but that's still 400 people at the second, third, fourth, fifth and thirteenth Masses... and we think THAT'S a disaster.

As I said, the attendance at the weekday morning Mass in the same Church is 70 and there are another five daily Masses in the Parish.

This is not a question of small populations, not a question of slow build-up, not a question of second Masses, not even a question of disinterest in the Gregorian Rite per se. It's a question of bad decisions and bad organisation by people who should have put personal ambition second and the things of God first.

Donnelly's Hollow said...

Every month I get a text message asking me to come online and give my views on this Mass. How can anyone defend what is going on here? We had everything set for a great success and then these guys came in and took over. Nobody minds if they can make a go of it but all they want is a Mass they can go to themselves. What good is that? If they can oo no better after a year+ they should give it up. Nobody is impressed.

Anonymous said...

Anka, please do not refer to the Mass as a 'thingie' or attendance at same as 'pathetic' irrespective of how many are in the congregation. Irish men and women gave their lives for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and one should always be respectful when referring to it.
Thank you.

Convenor said...

I'm not sure that 'thingie' refers to the Mass. It could equally refer to the travelling circus that parachutes in once a month, of which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the unfortunate pretext.

The current Catechism of the Catholic Church at No. 2478 states:

"To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

'Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.'"

I think there is a favourable interpretation of Anka's words in that she refers to the efforts of the organisers rather than to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

That ties in neatly with my own view that there is not 'our' Mass or 'their' Mass but 'our' organisation that happens to be involved with the Mass and 'their's' that also happens to be involved with the Mass.

The tragedy is that these issues should arise in anything to do with the Mass. Unfortunately, it seems to be an inevitable consequence of fallen humanity. There was squabbling at the foot of the Cross after all.

Perhaps Anonymous (or the several Anonymi) could try to stop hiding behind the Mass or confusing criticism of their efforts with disrespect for the Mass.

At any rate, perhaps they could try to take a leaf out of St. Ignatius' book.

Mark said...

"Travelling circus"? That's hardly hiding your disrespect for them, now, is it?

Convenor said...


I'm not sure it comes under "all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation" either.

It's a needlessly colourful and excessively polemical metaphor. However, it's by no means inaccurate - a travelling circus that comes to town, sets up, does what it does, might attract a few folk, and traipses off again, leaving nothing more enduring than a disturbed field that can't be used for cultivation for a while afterwards.

Most of the anonymi who post criticism of me are happier carping behind backs. I'm happy to say here what I say elsewhere - and what I've said directly to those concerned.

Their choices I do not respect. Their methods I do not respect. Their results I do not respect.

Their motives I do not question but, if those motives are good, they are very mistaken in the excution.

'Their' Mass I respect and am one of only two who can claim to have attended every single one to date - including the ones that didn't happen.


While we're not hiding disrespect, I agree with Anka on the use of the word "pathetic" and pshaw to Anonymous!

Irish men and women died for Hitler and Stalin. It's not a very good reason to respect anything. There are plenty of better reasons to respect the Mass.

Perhaps it was meant to be a racist remark to a Swedish lady, or maybe it was just another ill-conceived and ill-executed effort.

Anonymous said...

Unlucky 13 maybe?

Anonymous said...

What happened to the rumour that the Mass was going to be moved to Milltown?

Anka said...

Um...unlucky 13...? Really...? I thought it was just as unlucky as 9..? Closely followed in misfortune by 5, 10 and 12 if I read the diagram correctly...